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Thoughts towards a better Amateur Radio Forum 24 - January - 2013

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
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It seems there is a huge void in the Amateur Radio internet world.

I’ve not able to figure out why the anti-Flex trolls are allowed to run unfettered at eHam.

I moderate a music list (on the uncommon Bass Saxophone) and even have some very well known figures on ‘moderated posts’ because they have a history of others seeing their posts as hot-head moments.

Yet eHam rewards these their trolls, almost cultivating them as star attractions. Why?

Where eHam succeeds is:

- little alternative (for whatever reason otr Amateur Radio forums have’t taken off)
– they make their money by “clicks” so the controversial gains them clicks
– low costs (wondering if the moderators are volunteers, and they definately have little oversight)
– great domain name
– loyal advertisers

Where eHam fails is:

- biased sample issues (Trolls pileing on is one example)
– lack of concern for accuracy, utility, facts or integrity
– never dealing with their chronic trolls
– not fact checking
– allowing unverified non-callsign user names (some trolls seem to control several user names as well)

I’m thinking until their revenue stream is in danger eHam won’t grow up.

When the ad revenue drops they might change.

More likely is someone else will take their place.

The QRZ Forums tend to be a bit better but a clinging to a very old feeling PHP BBS design.

They are also organized in a more difficult to use thread tree.

There are few other internet forums – the Trolls and Moderator Heavy Hand issue is unfortunately far to common among them. A couple of the shooting and preparedness forums that have reasonably sized amateur radio threads suffer from the same trolls, poor moderation, group-think and cultivated bias issues that plague so many forums. A couple have outright offensive moderators and owners – and are best given a wide birth.

Is there room for a new Amateur Radio Forum?

How would you go about it?

Can it be self supporting either via ads, subscriptions, grants or sponsorship?

Would appreciate your kind comments!

73

Steve
K9ZW

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Comments»

1. Tom - 25 - January - 2013

Boy I do think and hope there could be a new forum to replace eham. The decline of eham is really a shame.

It actually was the first ham web site I found and really got me interested in the hobby prompting me to join a club and get licensed. I was a paid subscriber for some time too.

Their reviews on there are always referred to on manufacture websites. But even the reviews have gone down hill.

I really used to like and trust them, then a few weeks ago I was reading about the new Ten-Tec qrp rig and a guy had posted a nasty troll review that slammed the radio, and he even admitted in the review he got the information from the online manual for the radio.

In other words he never even owned it!

So, I wrote the moderator about the review and I never heard a thing back and the “review” is still posted.

The trolls on the many forums including the ones on the flex ( I have one, and love mine) are completely out of hand. Anyway, I don’t know what can be done, they have been on-line for so long and have built up an audience. I would love to see a replacement for them, but am skeptical that a good one will get to that level of visibility on the internet. We can only hope.

73,

Tom, k2bew

2. kd7ltn - 25 - January - 2013

I think there is room for a solid amateur radio forum. Other than the examples listed. There are a couple other Sites such as 73s which is more of ham/twitter combo and of course the ARRL which had not incorporated much if any of the social networking aspect of online hams. Also it can be difficult to locate local ham groups and hams on sites such as Facebook. As far as funding goes I say whatever works. I do agree with the other comments made about the infamous trolls.
Eric kd7ltn

3. Kuby N6JSX - 1 - February - 2013

There have been many other HAM sites in the past ten years but they just did not get the publicity to get HAMs to follow.

eHAM allows/enjoys TROLLs/LIDs (that do not get personal). The controversy trolls bring increase site hits that increases ad pricing. eHAM does not care about fairness or truth they are in it for the money. eHAM is about selling ads, which in part they need to keep eHAM free. But I’m confident eHAM is far exceeding the break-even hit count going into profit making. And eHAM makes even more money in subscriptions for ad-free memberships and first to view new classifieds.

Last year I posted SEVEN main line articles – all I got was grief from trolls for my efforts (well not totally true, there were a few thank you’s) but far to few for the grief/frustrations from arm-chair-trolls. eHAM doesn’t even ‘give’ an ad-free membership per posted main line article for the hours of effort. I now post on HamUniverse.com for all to read and enjoy; HU is an article posting download site not a blog.

Trolls are a reflection of our reality-TV & biased media societal evolution – where the entertainment value trumps truth, facts, & accuracy.

4. Jim - 17 - February - 2013

I’ve been looking for a good ham radio forum. Very difficult. I don’t care for trolls. I’ll be getting my license in spite of the idiots and the poorly run forums.


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