Don t Take Chances with Content


Don’t Take Chances with Content

If you have any doubt about your employees’ willingness to adhere to the organization’s IM policy, content guidelines, and usage rules, consider applying a software solution to your people problem. [17]

If you opt for an enterprise IM system, be sure it comes complete with content monitoring and filtering capabilities. If you allow employees to download personal IM software from the Web, install technology that works in concert with your IM policy to detect and block messages that incorporate banned language or otherwise violate your content rules and usage policy.

IM Rule # 21: Instant messaging rules and policies should guide technology, not be guided by it.

[17]Nancy Flynn, The ePolicy Handbook, New York, AMACOM, 2001.



Using Conversational Language

The most effective tone for electronic business correspondence is professional, yet conversational. How do you achieve that tone? Take the colleague, customer, and competitor test. Imagine that you are in an elevator crowded with colleagues, customers, and competitors. What tone would you use? What would you say? What information would you reveal, and what would you keep under wraps? If you wouldn’t say it aloud while sharing close quarters with the people you work for, with, and against, don’t write it in an instant message, which might be retained and later revealed publicly—to the embarrassment of you and your employer. [18]

[18]Ibid.



Communicating with Instant Messaging Shorthand

Given the abbreviated nature of instant messages and the hassle of typing messages, many chatters employ acronyms, or IM shorthand, for super quick communications.

Limit your use of IM shorthand to common acronyms most readers are likely to understand. If you have any doubt that your reader will not understand (perhaps because of language or cultural differences) avoid acronyms altogether.

?4U

question for you

BCNU

be seeing you

BFN

bye for now

BRB

be right back

BTW

by the way

CUL8R

see you later

F2F

face to face

FAQ

frequently asked questions

FOAF

friend of a friend

FUBAR

fouled up beyond all reason

FWIW

for what it’s worth

FYA

for your amusement

FYEO

for your eyes only

FYI

for your information

GMTA

great minds think alike

GW

good work

HHOK

ha-ha, only kidding

IC

I see

IDK

I don’t know

IMCO

in my considered opinion

IMHO

in my humble opinion

IOW

in other words

JK

just kidding

K

okay

LOL

laughing out loud

MOTOS

member of the opposite sex

MOTSS

member of the same sex

MSGS

messages

NFW

no [freaking] way

NLT

no later than

NRN

no reply necessary

OBTW

oh, by the way

OIC

oh, I see

OTOH

on the other hand

OTP

on the phone

PCM

please call me

PLS

please

PMFJI

pardon me for jumping in

PRES

presentation

PTP

pardon the pun

QTY’S

quantities

REC’D

received

RGDS

regards

ROTFL

rolling on the floor laughing

THX

thanks

TIA

thanks in advance

TIC

tongue in cheek

TMRW

tomorrow

TTFN

ta-ta for now

TTYL

talk to you later

TYVM

thank you very much

WB

welcome back

WRT

with regards to

WTG

way to go

YR

your

YT

you there?