Friday, October 30, 2009

Keeping a broader sense of perspective

There are so many specialist interest groups in radio which focus on just one aspect of the hobby, be it CW, 50MHz, QRP, repeaters - you name it, you'll find one. In many ways this is marvellous and you feel that there's going to be a real depth of knowledge when you join these organisations and indeed there usually is.

Sometimes, though, I find the inward-facing nature of these organisations frustrating. Take for example, a CW club, which I won't name, that I currently belong to. With Morse changing (decreasing) in importance in the amateur radio world you'd think that the club would be focussed on how to get new amateurs using Morse and encouraging existing amateurs to keep using Morse - and to use it better. You would, wouldn't you? Instead, a lengthy discussion on their internet reflector this week has centred on 'The Meaning of 'R' (on CW)'. Next year, they're planning something exciting. No, not awards and encouragement for people who are interested in Morse, but, a new Constitution. Yes, I know.

Now, perhaps I'm being a bit unfair to this organisation by singling their issues out. I've been a member of other radio 'special interest groups' and this inward view is not uncommon.

Even National Radio Societies seem to have problems concentrating on the bigger picture of activity and maintaining interest, rather than a short-term view of getting people into the hobby.

Please - do enjoy your specialisms within the hobby, but remember that your part of the hobby is part of the wider one too. Think about how it can play it's part in making our hobby of Amateur Radio a vibrant one for the future and then act on it.

Look outward and not inward. Look the wrong way and you won't see the future looming..


Peter, M3PHP said...


The comments you make are so true and rather worrying if all they can think about is the short term.

I try to avoid special interest groups where possible for me they come across as being too "clicky" and like you say missing the wider picture of the hobby.

Whether these groups can change there ways I'm not so sure I expect it goes back years.

73 Peter.

m0blf said...

Well said, Tim.
It's not only 'interest groups', though. I think many local clubs have the same problems a lot of the time (not thinking about how to promote their activities in the wider local community). Furthermore, whenever our esteemed national society tries to look outward, it somehow always seems to miss the point. I'm not quite sure what you can do about that.
73, Dominic M0BLF.

g4ilo said...

Sad but true, Tim. On the other hand, I think organizations like this are a bit like print magazines in this day and age - still nice to have, but nowhere near as important or influential as they were before we got the internet.

I often receive comments about how my own website gives hope to people who can't use outside antennas. I think that shows that you don't need to be a club or organization to promote an activity. Just start a website or a blog and people will find it and get infected by your own enthusiasm.


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