Posted by: kerrywills | September 30, 2011

Emoticon competence

Most workplaces use collaboration tools such as Lotus Sametime. These tools allow people to see who is online and “ping” them real time. This serves such important functions as…

  • Making fun of people who are speaking during conference calls
  • Figuring out who wants to go to lunch without leaving your seat
  • Seeing what time people get into work in the morning
  • Harassing people who don’t respond to e-mails in time

Beyond just communicating words, there is also the use of animated icons, or emoticons.  The use of emoticons is a skill which gets honed over time.  You can’t just throw out the dancing banana during just any conversation.

Here are some pointers for those looking to become skilled craftspeople in the use of emoticons…

  • Know your audience – It is important to have a sense of the person you are communicating with. If they take work too seriously they may not enjoy emoticons
  • Timing is everything – The emoticon timing has to be meticulous as to align to the conversation. Having the “crying guy” icon during a funny conversation will make you look like a novice
  • Over Usage – Like great lobster or fine wine, you can’t just use emoticons in every conversation or it loses its power. The placement must be carefully determined and not over used
  • Don’t use inappropriate animation – Goes without saying but most companies have records of all transactions and you really don’t want to be fired for being that guy who showed an animation of the monkeys doing non-business related activities

Well hopefully my tips will help you along your way of emoticon usage and this thread didn’t bore you too much.


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