Thursday, November 11, 2010

Our Community Leaders

I just received the December QST Magazine. There wasn't anything that really to terribly interesting and usefull for me in this issue again (sigh)... However the "It Seems to Us" editorial did catch my eye.... (here is a snippet)

Our Community Leaders

"Why do people become radio amateurs? If you ask new licensees, frequently you will hear that they are interested in radio technology or that they want to be prepared for emergencies and to provide public service communications. But there's more to it than that."

In general, people join groups with whom they have something in common and whose company they enjoy. Sometimes a desire to learn - to tap into a body of knowledge and expertise - is the motivator. At other times, sharing a common goal is enough to bring people together who might otherwise have no occasion to interact.

Amateur Radio is a global community. We can lay claim to being the first technology-based social network. The common goal that sparked the creation and early growth of the ARRL was the desire to develop a network of relay stations to overcome the limited range of the crude radio equipment of the day, so that amateurs could exchange messages with others well beyond the reach of their own stations.

Read the whole thing in the December QST, Page 9.

It's kind of interesting and fitting as I re-post this on a different social network. Oddly enough, where sharing expertise and knowledge doesn't require you to at the radio at the time of relay... A different demonstration of global communication nearly 100 years later.

It's also important to realize that the primary leadership role of a club is likely changing.

In the 90's maintaining a local repeater (or two) was the key to the local ham radio social network.

As more hams have since gained access to the internet and cellular phones, and now social networking sites online the repeaters are less active and less important.

It's time to step back and reevaluate the clubs role and priorities in 2010 and beyond.

And finally I have to repost this from Wayne Green's 11/01/10 blog:

A Ham Note

A note from Ben Alabastro W1VM chuckled over the September 2010 issue of QST having an article on a solar-powered repeater…and the Ham Radio December 1978 issue having an article on solar-powered repeater design. Glad to see you guys in Newington are still right on the ball.

Far's I can remember, our champions at the ARRL have never pioneered any new ham technology. To this day they're still pushing CW, a hundred-plus-year-old technology....

As pointed out, good leadership is hard to find at a national level. In summary: Local clubs really need to put more emphasis on leadership.


Unknown said...

I let my arrl membership lapse roughly a year ago. Part of it was cost. Lately I've been pondering getting another membership. But, your comment about old articles getting rehashed rings a bell.

This past week I was thinking about how much better I like British magazines. In my youth I thought the White Dwarf magazine was better than The Dragon. In old age, I think The Economist is better than various US news magazines. And I prefer the British Linux magazines to the US ones.

So, this begs the question of whether the Royal Society of Great Britain's magazine might similarly be better than ARRL's QST. I don't suppose you take that magazine and can say?

Steve said...

From time to time I get my hands on RSGB's RadCom Magazine. In my opinion, its much like QST... watered down boring stuff.

The VHF Communications Magazine from the UK is great, and I like the Dubus, from over there.

Great topic, would love to hear what else people read and what they think of it.

Unknown said...

Perhaps what's needed is a app for the Google TV that provides a 'channel' for ham radio. Think of it as a gateway to technical videos/articles on amateur radio. I've seen some good videos on youtube about amateur radio. And some universities have provided videos on some of their technical courses. (Wish I could find some good articles on FPGAs. PIC is nice, but underpowered for what I want to do. Given how long it took for the ARRL to come out with a PIC book, we probably won't see an FPGA book for 20 years.)

Supposedly content can be pushed from your phone to your google tv. I'd hope that the reverse would be true as well. So, potentially a video could push a parts list to your pc for printing, or it could push a list of articles to your pc for viewing, to supplement the video material.

So, instead of asking for articles on hsmm, perhaps you should be asking for videos on hsmm instead.

Too bad the google tv api won't appear until the summer of 2011.