Let’s Talk About- Etiquette

What New Writers Need to Know on Medium

egyptian-by Oberholster Venita from Pixabay

Welcome home, don’t forget to wipe your shoes at the door.

The online Oxford dictionary defines etiquette as “the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group.” Different cultures have different rules and expectations.

Etiquette is using your manners; the ones your parents taught you.

It’s pretty basic. Be polite, say thank you and do your best to help.

Writers and editors are building a community here. There are a few basic rules of etiquette we’d like you to follow.

Get to know us.

Begin by taking some time to familiarize yourself. Have a look here.

There are several great articles welcoming new writers to Illumination. Go to the home page, type “Welcome to Illumination” in the search bar to find several helpful reads. Here’s one I wrote recently.

View at Medium.com

Search for Help on the page.

When you’re on the home page, use that search feature to find other helpful articles such as “editor” and you will find other helpful articles.

View at Medium.com

It’s a great tool if you want to research topics that other writers may have covered.

Follow the Guidelines

We have some fantastic editors that volunteer their time, making sure your articles are published quickly.

There are lots of new writers added every day, so our editors have less time to make changes to your articles before posting. If you send us an article with a lot of errors, it slows down the time to publication for everyone. Please read these guidelines and follow them.

This article is the result of a collaboration of some of our editors, written by Kevin Buddaeus. It’s very helpful and easy to follow.

View at Medium.com

Join Slack

Slack is a tool where lots of collaboration takes place. You can ask for help or clarification, contribute your thoughts, and generally share and meet other writers. You can request an invitation to Slack from this link. Please type Request for Slack on the heading.


Tagging is when you use someone’s Medium name in your article and it sends them a notification that they’ve been tagged. For example, if you type @treelangdon, and click on my name from the list that comes up, it turns green and embeds a tag like this: Tree Langdon ♾️ I’ll get a notification.

  • Mass tagging is a no-no from my perspective. When you write an article and then tag a large number of writers for no reason, you’re spamming their notifications inbox.
  • That’s the same as shouting ‘look at me, look at me’.
  • If you tag someone as part of a conversation, that’s different. For example, when he heard I was writing this article, Timothy Key asked me to tag him.
  • If you are referring to an article another person wrote or an idea they suggested, it’s perfectly fine to tag them.
  • If you accept a writing challenge, the challenger usually asks you to tag them back. That’s reasonable.
  • Don’t get me wrong, I like being tagged, but if I don’t know you and you tag me along with a whole bunch of other writers, that feels impersonal. If you are in doubt, send me a message.
  • But if you are tagging just to get more reads, that’s not ok.

Then how do I grow my readership?

You grow your readers by writing, a lot. Focus on quality, consistently writing and choosing relevant topics to write about. They are the three things I work on in my writing and it makes a difference for me.

Respond to Other Writers

If you are mentioned, or tagged in an article in an appropriate way, respond to the writer. They’ve taken the time to comment on your post or recommend your article in their conversation. The polite thing to do is to say thank you.

Build Community using Collaboration

Illumination was created from a concept where collaboration, synergy and fusion would create success.

Being engaged with other members of the community is key to your success.

Here’s the recipe:

Combine these ingredients:

– Talented writers from a diverse background with a wide variety of knowledge.

– Active support on social media by all of the participants.

– Share, so you add active readers from many communities online.

– Mix in a cup of collaboration and cooperation

– Stir in ten parts good intentions.

Voila — the publication Illumination!

Collaboration in a digital sense is using social media tools to communicate.

  • People work on a writing project together using digital tools.
  • Writers work as a team to support each other online. This is an “I’ll read yours if you read mine” scenario.
  • Use your social media accounts to support each other.
  • Social media links for Illumination are: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Flipboard Publisherspotlight

Synergy is defined in the Oxford dictionary as:

“The interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.”

  • Writers jam together like musicians and create synergy as they write.
  • Together we produce something larger than each of us combined.


This is when we join different things together to co-create or re-create a single new entity or form.

These three concepts are the main ingredients of Illumination, but participation is the special sauce.

Here are a few things I do as an Illumination writer every day.

• I read a post written by several Illumination writers.

•I read the daily updates, and the curated list of stories posted by Dr Mehmet Yildiz.

• I let fellow writers know I’ve read their work by clapping, highlighting and commenting. We all love it when someone comments on our writing.

• I participate by helping out where I can. I’ve helped new writers navigate Medium and social media and volunteered on the Facebook page. I’m also fairly active on Slack, which is a collaboration tool used by the community.

• I’m finding fellow authors on social media and I do all the ‘things’. Follow, Like, Tweet, Share, Clap, Highlight and shout from the rooftops when I can.

When I first became a writer here, this was my first impression. These thoughts still ring true.

“Writers at Illumination support each other. We take the time find each other on all of the social media platforms we use. We follow each other and like each other’s posts. We share and click and retweet.

The cross collaboration is fantastic and it excites me when I hear a writer suggest we explore a topic together. The writing is professional and comes from diverse perspectives.

This publication includes many talented people. Some are new to writing and others are published authors with a lot of experience. No matter what your level of experience, everyone is appreciated.

Participation is encouraged. I really appreciate the attitude of reciprocity.

We celebrate each other’s successes.

Remember, we’re happy you’re here and willing to help if you need it. (don’t forget to say please 😊) And it’s ok to tag me in a conversation.

I look forward to reading your creations.

If you are a writer and want to join Medium, use this link to join me there.

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