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Meet IRC's Nettie and Eddie Kat

    Nettie Kat is the purrrfect IRC Lady.
    Her handsome brother, Eddie Kat, is the purrrfect IRC Gentleman.

    They speak with courtesy to everyone, which makes them the purrrfect IRC guests in any channel they visit.

    Eddie is accustomed to working around rowdy, rough-talking men where he works as a guard at a Maximum Security Detention Centre, but he never brings that kind of language into an IRC channel where many would be offended by it. 

    Nettie is a Social Worker and knows that people have many problems of their own and don't REALLY want to hear about hers OR those of the unfortunates she counsels daily. She understands that IRC genealogy time is supposed to be fun and relaxing and informative. 

    Eddie and Nettie are Genealogists and use IRC as a research tool as well as for entertainment. While both have marvelous humor and personality and others love to "kid around" with them, they are careful not to dominate the screen with frivolous chat while someone else is having a serious genealogy discussion. However, when the channel is filled with regulars who have already exhausted possible connections in their family trees, they join in the jocularity the inevitably happens when friends get together. 

    Strangely, though siblings, they are of different religious beliefs AND different political persuasion; therefore, they DO NOT discuss these personal beliefs and choices in IRC channels where these things are not the topic. 

    Both Nettie and Eddie realize that with being unable to read "body language" and facial expressions, the printed word can be easily misinterpreted. So, they are careful to add "Smiley Faces" to text that might be misconstrued. Sarcasm on screen doesn't "come off" well. 

    Nettie's nickname in IRC is "Boots", (she owns thirty pairs of them!); Eddie's is "Gatekeeper" (reference to his job as a guard). When in channel, they refer to each other only by their IRC nicks so that everyone knows to whom they are speaking and won't feel "left out" of the conversation. (If others wanted their real names used, it would be their nick.) They never hold personal conversations on the channel screen but keep a "Chat Window" open together so they can brag about their accomplishments to each other and discuss personal friends. 

    Nettie and Eddie always watch to be sure no one is being ignored in the channel and try to answer questions and comments as promptly as possible. If they need to step away from the computer for a time, or cannot see or hear their nickname in the channel, they mark themselves as "Away". 

    Neither of them uses "auto-greets" in a genealogy channel because the channels become close-knit groups. They hand-pick the greetings for each person who enters the channel to make them feel at "home".They keep their greetings to one line if possible, especially when the channel is crowded and everyone will be greeting the NewComer.They both remember being a "Newbie" and feeling overwhelmed with large graphic greetings when joining a channel. 

    Because they know that people like to log conversations on a busy channel screen to read over later, neither Eddie nor Nettie has opted to use 'auto messages' for exchanging sound wavs or graphic files that are played in the channel. They know that some people have limited RAM on their computers that prohibits opening a log that gets very large and that the 'auto messages' are very distracting. 

    When Nettie and Eddie are in a channel that you join, you are treated as a guest in their home. If they join a channel that you are in, they behave as guests in yours. They are both the Guest and the Host at the same time! 

    Nettie is very careful about giving "CyberHugs" to Gentlemen on IRC until she gets to know them pretty well. She is aware that some individuals might interpret innocent "hugs"as an invitation of sorts or decide that she is a "Loose Woman". *Smile*. 

    Eddie, always a gentleman, is sensitive to the tone of his comments to Ladies on IRC, especially until they get to know him and his sense of humor. He doesn't want anyone, particularily a new lady friend, to misconstrue or be offended by an innocently made remark. 

    The Kats know that IRC has a bad reputation in some quarters but have learned that many of the annoying incidents can be avoided by self monitoring their own behavior. With a "nick" like "Boots", Nettie is troubled by few flirting messages from the occassional prowling IRC "jerks" because they are uncertain of "Boot's" gender. The siblings don't frequent new, unknown, or "dubious" channels wearing their Genealogy nicknames. 
    So, you see, IRC "rules" remain unwritten, for they aren't "rules" at all!

artwork 1998 Mark McCabe