Last week I read an article in Wired magazine about various rules for online behaviour and it got me thinking about my own rules online that I like to call netiquette.

It is often said that the internet is the modern equivalent of the wild west where pretty much anything goes. Having said that many people appear to abide by rules for various things. There's the rule THAT YOU DON'T TYPE IN CAPS BECAUSE IT MEANS THAT YOU ARE SHOUTING!

Sorry, enough of that. Another one I saw is that you don't use photos of your children as your profile picture on social networking sites. This lead me to question, what are these sites for other than for thirty somethings to show off how beautiful they think their children are? But I'm getting off the point.

So these so-called rules have made me think about what mine are. I'm a man of simple pleasures and so one of mine is about buying things on eBay. I like it when I win an auction, which isn't often as I'm rubbish at bidding, that the seller sends me an email acknowledging my win and that the item will be sent forthwith. However, most of the time I get diddlysquat and only know that the item has been sent when it arrives. In fact I've had two occasions this year where a week after winning I've not heard nor received a thing.

On both occasions, after emailing them to ask where the items were, they apologised and said that a family member had died. I believed the first person, but to get two very similar, almost identical, excuses from two total strangers in the space of a few weeks struck me as very strange. Now I may be being callous and horrible but after getting the second one I did struggle to question if either of the excuses were true. Why couldn't they have just emailed me and apologised for not sending it when they could?

I think it's all down to the feedback scoring on eBay as I don't believe it works. If as a seller you leave bad feedback on a buyer they are bound to leave bad feedback on you, regardless of the service you provided. In fact I have heard about people demanding that bad feedback be removed, something that I'm not sure is even possible.

Another issue that also bugs me is when you send someone an email where you ask them a simple question and they don't get back to you. Now I don't tend to ask questions that are that particularly complex or difficult. I don't ask questions that would make Stephen Hawking stop and think nor do I ask for an explanation of chaos theory or astro physics, so why don't they respond? In fact what I often have to do is then phone that person and ask them the very same question and they say, oh yes I got your email! It's enough to make you want to type in caps.

So anyway, rant over, I would like to hear if you have personal netiquette rules that you like to use online.