Has eHam become the Ham Community with the cross section of writers, reviewers, forum participants and readers originally envisioned, or has it become too much of a Wasteland of the ultra-biased, the negative, the ham internet trolls, and the self-important?
When posing this question to a group of very well published Radio Amateurs I was surprised to receive back comments like:
I could write a fifty-page blog entry about the foolishness of the people who run eHam. I had a run-in with them several years back over their unauthorized posting of some of my copyrighted material and it got ugly very fast.
I read the note from Bernie this morning on the Daily DX list and could see this turning stupid. I don’t know if Bernie advertises with eHam and if that would have made a difference? Wayne and Eric have “spammed” the Elecraft list from time to time soliciting eHam reviews and I’ve yet to hear of that being a problem — but of course Elecraft does (or did) advertise on eHam.
I remember well when XXXXXX (who was indeed a pain in the butt) had a run in with one of the “editors” on eHam a few years back. They edited his profile to say he was a “pain in the ass” and then locked him out from being able to edit his own profile… a childish and petty act by any measure.
The equipment reviews are the only thing worth a nickel on eHam and even those require much data mining. Too often I’ve seen reviews there that start out, “I don’t own this equipment, but my friend does and he said it sucks” with the requisite ZERO score given. How silly that anyone trusts these reviews and that process…
Sorry for the long retort but it touched a nerve. I despise eHam and the horse it rode in on…just to be clear. I look forward to the day when high-quality ham blogs put it out of business for good.
I have abandoned eHam.
I would try to participate in a meaningful discussion and would be met with the worst kind of ad hominem attacks, reply posts about farting, and worse.
It came down to this: would I recommend that a new ham, anxious to learn about the hobby and its participants, go to eHam to read and get questions answered?
Not quite the two-sides to the story sorts of comments I expected, but first hand complaints of the eHam problems.
So which is eHam? A Ham Community Cross Section or Ham Hobo-Land?
The answer appears to be in the middle of the two extremes this piece’s title suggests.
The underlying issue that their can be no effective level & equal quality control in an unmoderated forum/venue/website seriously undermines the eHam model.
It is worth remembering that eHam basically costs nothing to read, costs very little to subscribe to, and like free publications everywhere it should be taken with a grain of salt.
eHam has a serious problem working things out to balance the negative and troll posters. Personally I have been lambasted by self-appointed forum guardians who do eHam no good whatsoever.
This also means that until an amateur is experienced enough to be able to wade through this unfiltered mess of webpostings, that eHam is a pretty screen but not much more.