This is taken from my IM profile on AIM.. I’d been meaning to write this down.. Here’s a version edited over the years. I’m pretty sure it’s over 10 years old now and requires an update.

I don’t actually expect anyone to read this but here are my basic rules for IM. The problem is that the average person who has a personality that messages me out of the blue will either not violate these rules in the first 3 femtoseconds of the conversation and I won’t be motivated to send the link. OR… The person will violate at least 2 in an even shorter amount of time and is probably too damned stupid or illiterate to make it through this paragraph let alone the rest to figure out why I just don’t have time for their waste of space on the internet.

  1. Talk to me like you would in person.
    1. Say Hello, Good bye for example.
    2. Never use abbreviations for words that are under 4 letters to begin with. “U chat me now!” will most assuredly be ignored.
    3. MORFs and ASLs are right out. Come on. Picture me walking up to you in a bar and shouting in your face, “AGE! SEX! LOCATION!”
      Is this conversation really going to go anywhere?
  2. Unless you are very familiar with me, you should identify yourself to me.
    1. While I really do try to learn all the IDs on my IM list (and frankly, there are a lot of them) there are times that I am moble and unable to cross reference your 4th infrequent handle with your name. This isn’t disrespect. This is the result of being online; having been in the SCA; and being in a Fraternal Order. TOO MANY NAMES!
    2. You will be asked to read this and while you’re reading it, I’ll be looking up your chat ID. AIM, Yahoo, ICQ. There are profiles out there. And empty profiles or worse, profiles that look like they have pictures of models with no details… Trust me.. I’m not going to be rushing to chat with you.
  3. Beeps, Attention buzzes, and demands for me to quickly respond to you will not be appreciated.Admittedly, I type quickly. And can respond quickly. If I don’t it’s because work or something else has intervened. Be patient it’s not you. If you don’t get this and keep buzzing or online pleading.. then it ‘will be you.’
  4. If you are messaging me from Nigeria or Ghana. I’m truly sorry. Don’t bother.
    1. As much as the next person, I really don’t want to stereotype a large group based on the actions of a few bad examples. That being said… I have yet to be messaged, emailed, contacted, astrally coaxed by ANYONE in Nigeria that hasn’t been trying to run a scam, spam me, or get me to marry them so they can move to the states. And as close friends will tell you, I’ve tried to cut every one of them a lot of slack to prove they aren’t like that. If you’re in Nigeria.. don’t bother sending me an IM. Because I will endeavor to find out if you are from Nigeria and I will be less than polite when I discover it.
    2. Sadly, my list of African nations is increasing, because it’s no longer just Nigeria
  5. No, I will not add you to my buddy/permanent/contact list because you asked.
    1. I like to chat with people. But listing someone and tracking them means I’ve taken a vested interest in them. Asking me before we’ve chatted, really lowers my potential interest threshhold.This is actually one of those things that are not hard and fast but depend on the conversation above all else. Don’t introduce yourself, chat for 3-5 lines and then make an add request. I’ll tell you right now… It’ll be denied and your odds of getting it later on… far reduced. Back to the bar.. it’s like, “Hi, I’m David. Give me your phone number.”… Hi, I’m not a David fan. let me give you my drink in your face. Far worse… are people who add me after I’ve told them to take a leap. If you’ve been blocked or told to go away and I get an add request. You get one warning, then I notify abuse.
    2. I am NOT going to flip on my webcam during the first conversation you instigate that I have with you. Asking is a sure fire way to not only fall to the power of my ironic wit and character assassination… but it will also likely get you perma-banned.
  6. Spamming, baiting, phishing, 419’ing me is beyond dumb.
    1. I’ve worked professionally in net abuse. I know how to track you down. I will make your life a living hell. There was an appropriate movie quote here, but sadly… it can’t be found on google.
    2. For those of you who’ve been taught to 419 and told what you’re doing is just a way to make some cash. I will not help your business, get you a checking account number, process money for you, participate in getting other people for you, help you with money problems when everyone in your family was killed. I’d go on, but most people asking this still don’t get it.
  7. Just in case you really feel the need to know, I am in fact heterosexual.I realize that I list bisexuality as an interest in many of my online profiles. I happen to consider myself open minded about people’s personal lifestyles. As long as they respect mine. I am not interested in sexual relationships with my own gender. You get one polite warning, one rude warning, and after that I will take every step I can to have your account terminated for sexual harassment. Believe it or not, legal charges can be assessed via online conversation.
  8. While we’re on the topic of love and relationships No, I will not marry you..I’m pleased that the Internet has evolved to the place that you can find products, services, and even hard to find mysteries. That being said… while some people use the ‘net as a dating site… random PM’s searching for a love are not going to work with me. More often than not the people who approach me under this pretense are practicing what Thelemites refer to as “Lust of Result.” This means that you’re more interested in a relationship than the person you’d be having a relationship with. All of this being said… I’m already married and really not interested in moving to Southern Utah.
  9. Make not a weapon of your religion. (or) He who knoweth little, thinketh he knoweth much; but he who knoweth much has learned his own ignorance.I love philosophical debate. Note… debate is a conversation between two people with different viewpoints substantiating their side with intelligent analysis. Uh, huh. So what does this mean. Please… don’t start a conversation to convert me, explain how I’m going to Hell, orient me to the one true G-D, pray for me, prompt me to give up that spiritually eeeeeevul magic thing, stop watching football, etc. We can discuss it like fully functioning adults… or you can be a fundamentalist and get blocked really fast. I don’t mind having my paradigm shifted… just the manner in which it’s done. My IM is not your soapbox

Okay… You’ve gotten this far. Now you know my rules. So, I’m not quite that horrible. But I will be doing some checking when you IM me. There are things I’ll be asking about and looking for. Here’s a rough idea.

  1. Are you a real person?If you IM me on a service like Yahoo, I’m going to look up your profile. Empty profiles, profiles with pictures too good to be true and obvious mistakes that infer lying… that will indicate… you’re not really a person interested in interacting for real.
  2. Why me?One question you should really be prepared for is, How did you get my username for IM?. The answer, “I searched” is not sufficient. Were you searching for “Men over 35”, were you searching for people who list “Jim Croce, Alyson Hannigan, Poker, and Thelema.” This simple yet often not obvious difference is also what separates my attitude from Yawn, another 5 minute waste of time on the net and Oh my goodness?!?! Really?!?!?One final note on this. How did you get my username for IM?… this is not a yes/no question.
  3. No really… did you get this far?I really haven’t written, rewritten, and editted this document over the last few years to be pompous and full of myself. I like chatting with people. Note… people. I find people fascinating. At the same time… I find some people to be a waste of the act that created them. What this means is I do want to chat. But if you skimmed, or worse blew-off the text above… You really probably don’t care about me as a person. So why should I bother wasting time chatting. Note: If you didn’t understand something above… at least you read it. You can ask me.. I’m more than happy to explain.

See, this is just the tip of the iceberg. This is what we call netiquette. Meaning.. being nice on the net. Personally, I’d hope everything above is just common sense. Sadly it’s not. But once you get this far… It is the tip of the iceberg… Because there’s so much more to talk about once we know how to talk.

Edit 060818:Fixed some grammar on #1
Edit 070225:Added 4.2 because Africa has more than one country with IM spammers
Edit 070225:Added 7 because I am not interested in 24 year old boys or any boys, males, etc.
Edit 070225:Added 5.2 because 419’s are dumb. Really dumb. They just don’t get it.
Edit 070225:Fixed Formatting
Edit 070321:Sub headings for #2, added 2.2 to explain that empty profiles mean empty people. Also expanded the intro paragraph.
Edit 070518:Added section #8 because people seem to think that i was hoping to find or look for love is a great reason for chating me. I also added section #9 and everything after it. I felt more needed to be added. Yes… as the result of more stupid people IM’ing.
Edit 071126:Merged 9 (buddy list add requests) into 5 since they were essentially the same thing. Added Subheadings for #5 to add 5.2 to mention that webcamming is right out.
Edit 071126:Added Ghana to African nation list. Had no choice. Ghana ID’s were 0 for 5. No redeeming people in the country worth talking to after 5 is my cut off.
Edit 070129:2 in one week. A new paragraph 9. See the referencing post for the details on this thunderhead.

Edit 110109: Converting post for WordPress.