Be a Good Newbie!

A Guest Post by
Rosemary O’Neill


Last week, I wrote about how to be an upstanding citizen of the Twitter and LinkedIn worlds. But what if you’re venturing farther into untested waters? What if you’re pointing your canoe toward some of the newer and less-traveled areas of the web?

When a new social tool arrives on your map, it is even more important to mind your manners, especially if there are natives who have been there for a while already. Pinterest, Google+, Quora, Tumblr, EmpireAvenue and others were populated with early adopters and beta testers long before the rest of the Internet discovered them.

If you’re considering planting your flag on new territory, here are some tips that will ensure you are welcomed with a feast, and not eaten for dinner.

Listen & Lurk

My golden rule for approaching a new network is to listen for at least a week (more, if you have time). Read lots of content, and get a feel for the tone of the network.

Be Honest

Don’t try to pretend you’ve been there since the beginning if you haven’t. If there’ an “introduce yourself” area, take advantage of it to break the ice.

Take it Slow

Until you get the lay of the land, treat lightly. Don’t try to “speed date” your new connections. Share little tidbits at a time, and don’t flood the network with a million updates all at once.

Find a Buddy

One trick I’ve used to get acclimated quickly is to find a network “mentor.” Find someone whose behavior you admire, and follow them. Rather than “friending” 100 people at the outset, try to establish one or two stronger connections and build from there.

Look for Clues

Many networks have guidelines, either formal or informal, stating the rules of the road. And if there aren’t any on the website, try doing a quick Google search for “insert social network name + etiquette.” You’ll find tons of resource blog posts that detail behavioral norms for you. Here are a few official resources:

Pinterest Etiquette:
Quora Etiquette:
Google+ Etiquette:

If you’re looking for a buddy on any of those networks, I’d be happy to help! You can find me obsessively “pinning” at, enjoying the Q&A on Quora at, and building my empire at Come introduce yourself :)


Author’s Bio: Rosemary O’Neill is an insightful spirit who works for social strata — a top ten company to work for on the Internet . Check out their blog. You can find her on Google+ and on Twitter as @rhogroupee

Thank you, Rosemary!

You’re irresistible!

ME “Liz” Strauss

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