My mentor Arthur Goldstuck has just released his latest statics on Internet growth in South Africa. According to his annual study growth has slowed down to 3% per annum and by the end of 2007 we will have ONLY 3.85 million South Africans online. This is including the explosion of access since broadband became available a few years ago.

Anyway as more new people are gaining access to the Internet they are breaking most of the guidelines of good email netiquette. In the early days of the Web around 1994-1998 there were many people who policed the Internet and enforced good netiquette. Netiquette is simply a set of guidelines that was originally published in RFC 1855. The problem we are finding ourselves in is that no company – as far as I am aware – provides their staff with some basic training around online etiquette. The simply result here is that you will find half of your emails could be jokes with sometimes excessively large attachments sent to you by friends or acquaintances who have added you to a jokes list without asking your permission. This is one of the ways that we are increasingly creating more information pollution.

Here are a few reasons why companies should change their attitudes about basic online literacy training:

  1. reducing internal and external bandwidth costs
  2. lowering support costs from the IT department (internal or external)
  3. increasing productivity by employees

I look forward to your comments with the stories of your bad email netiquette experiences.