The term chatiquette is a variation of netiquette (chat netiquette) and describes basic rules of online communication. To avoid misunderstandings and to simplify the communication between users in a chat these conventions or guidelines have been created. Chatiquette varies from community to community, generally describing basic courtesy; it introduces new user into the community and the associated network culture. As an example, it is considered rude to write only in UPPER CASE, because it looks as if the user is shouting. The word chatiquette has been used in connection with various chat systems (e.g. IRC) since 1995.
Netiquette, a portmanteau of “net etiquette”, is a set of social conventions that facilitate interaction over networks, ranging from Usenet and mailing lists to blogs and forums. These rules were described in IETF RFC 1855. However, like many Internet phenomena, the concept and its application remain in a state of flux, and vary from community to community. The points most strongly emphasized about USENET netiquette often include using simple electronic signatures, and avoiding multiposting, cross-posting, off-topic posting, hijacking a discussion thread, and other techniques used to minimize the effort required to read a post or a thread. Netiquette guidelines posted by IBM for employees utilizing Second Life in an official capacity, however, focus on basic professionalism, maintaining a tenable work environment, and protecting IBM’s intellectual property. Similarly, some Usenet guidelines call for use of unabbreviated English while users of online chat protocols like IRC and instant messaging protocols like SMS often encourage just the opposite, bolstering use of SMS language.