I found these tips for IM online and wanted to comment on a few. The impetus for it is primarily that people at my work fail to even come close to IM etiquette.
1) You should offer all IMing partners some kind of farewell before signing off of Instant Messenger completely. You should try to wait until all parties have said goodbye before signing off.
2) You can use indicator of sarcasm and/or humor after making like comments, i.e. Smiley Face :) or equally appropriate laugh symbols unless the relationship between the two people IMing know each other well enough to understand when sarcasm and/or humor is implied.
3) You should inform the other party if one must take a leave of absence from computer terminal. Feel free to use any abbreviation necessary. i.e. AFK, BRB. And you should inform the other party once you return.
4) Serious topics can only be discussed in an Instant Messenger environment under the following circumstances:
If said relationship is primarily based on online communication.
If said relationship is newly formed.
If serious topic is very embarrassing.
5) Be aware that all information in an IM conversation has the ability to be saved, pasted and/or forwarded to at least 237 of the IM partner's closest friends or posted on websites.
6) You do not reserve the right to get angry if any Instant Messenger information is shared with the general public.
7) It is recommended to wait at least one minute or the time it takes for screen name to leave boldfaced state before messaging buddy.
8) Wait a minimum period of 10 minutes after initial IM before accusing party of IM avoidance. If, after 10 minutes, buddy has not been reduced to his/her idle state, you reserve the right to be offended.
9) Be familiar with the status of all buddies, such as people you will never IM, people you don't actually know, or people you stalk. Make certain each buddy is separated according to status, as to avoid accidental IMing.
10) You cannot be the initial IMer consistently over a short time period. After a maximum of 3 initial IMs, you should refrain all IM initiating until other party initiates an IM interaction.
11) YOU MAY NOT SIGN OFF MID CONVERSATION. However, if there are circumstances beyond your control such as getting "logged off" or "booted," you should offer an explanation upon the next IM interaction for forewarn the person you are having to reboot or logoff.
12) Recommended time between each response is a maximum of 1.5 minutes. If user provides reasonable explanation (i.e. slow server, external events, or multiple IM interactions), response time can be extended.
13) If involved in a particularly intense IM conversation, all other IMs must be terminated immediately! Or at least leave a courtesy 'brb' to the other people in IM.
14) You should never ever use yellow as a font color.
15) You should always check away messages and/or profiles. This is not only useful for keeping tabs on people, but also for getting a good laugh out of those rare people who deserve their own category for funny away messages.
16) You should always beware of fabricated IM conversations. You should make sure the sources with which they converse are relaiable.
17) You should not TYPE IN CAPITAL LETTERS for the duration of a conversation, unless to indicate shouting or excitement.
18) You should refrain from using slang or shortened versions of words (example: using the letter u to replace the actual word 'you').
19) If, after terminating all IM conversations appropriately, one persists, this laggard may be subject to conversation termination following the obligatory two warnings.