A Word About Writing this Amateur Radio Blog – Reflection at Ten Years

Amateur radio is really a lot of fun – “Huge Fun” to use the meme of these days.

Particularly rewarding is sharing what you have learned, done and are experimenting in your hobby pursuit with other hams.  Interesting a potential ham enough to get their license is a real thrill.

It was out of that desire to share-back and pay-forward that ten years ago I started this blog project. It was also an answer to a challenge when my children (all have their ham licenses as well) suggested I was “too old” to do a blog.

With the postings dropping down to months between them, it is mostly from a lack of feedback. Unlike the in-person helping of another ham, a blog post is less a two-way QSO and more a Broadcast.  And I hadn’t figured out how to access if what I wrote had a positive influence on anyone, as comments when left tend to be questions, complaints or clarifications, and the blog mechanism does tell me how many page views I’ve earned each day, but not so much about whether anything I’ve written has helped another soul better their enjoyment in our hobby.

I did a short run of more provocative articles, where I expressed my opinions on most ham radio topics, but the feedback was either from those synchronized with my thoughts or statements that I was “all wet” by those opposed. I don’t think I helped anyone learn a darn thing, and it was rare that any response was intellectual enough to make me think.  And it seemed like always someone was upset and simply tuned further posts out or stopped reading altogether.  Not such a good idea were these provocative posts.

On the lighter side I shared some Travelogue and Shack-Diary posts, but one grows tired of doing so for a number of reasons. The comments and emails were not supportive.  If I wrote of something I was lucky to experience or have to enjoy, the constant “it must be nice” sniping is a bore.  Since I started in this hobby I have put aside some money every month, and combined with taking good enough care of equipment that I can easily sell it as I upgrade I have parlayed the old Yaesu FT-101EE I bought from a pawn shop, with my homemade dipole into some fairly nice gear and station features.  That it was upgraded little by little over 27+ years of doing ham radio seems to escape the complainers.

So that writing again seemed to attract the upset who trolled before they disappeared.

I will share that the main reason I have a nice station, have over a lifetime of other activities now ride a nice motorcycle, can do some nice travel and can indulge my passion to read real paper copies of books is sticking at these activities and working at making a better ham station, faster/nicer motorcycle, targeting 6 or more trips a year and have read a lot of what interests me immediately on publication, is sticking to my hobbies. Sure a bit of reinvestment was needed, but mostly I needed to be active and have my ears opened for solid advice.

Enough of all that, I would guess if you are still reading you may be wondering where this bit of writing is going.

My intent for With Varying Frequency – Amateur Radio Ponderings is to return to writing what pleases me. I may even turn off comments – perhaps right away or maybe after a post is a couple weeks old.

With the radio posts I plan to weave in other posts that while they apply to the radio amateur the posts will have a wider application. Might be on good decision making, or about a great place to travel to that has a radio interest.  Hang around and see,



6 thoughts on “A Word About Writing this Amateur Radio Blog – Reflection at Ten Years

  1. Steve G6XWK says:

    I can fully understand the feeling given the lack of feedback. A more reflective stat would be the number of visits your blog receives. I’ve yet to start my own ham radio blog and rarely comment on others, but your blog and others give me an insight into how you work, set your station up, experiment etc etc. Keep up the good work and I’ll keep reading ;-)

  2. Steve

    I am guilty of reading many blogs but rarely leaving a comment! It doesn’t mean I don’t find the articles interesting or relevant though. I regard my own sporadic of late blog postings as a kind of radio diary, interesting to look back on. If I get comments well it’s a bonus.
    I guess it comes down to doing what you enjoy. If blogging became a chore I wouldn’t do it. I always think however that a lack of comments doesn’t always mean a lack of readers.
    Keep up the work on the blog, you have another reader here.
    73 Kevin GW0KIG

  3. Bas PE4BAS says:

    I leave a lot of comments everywhere. But if I don’t have anything to say about a topic I don’t comment of course. Personally I write my blog not only for others but also as a archive for myself. It’s good to read you will probabely post some less HAM related posts and some other subjects as well. You will be surprised! I wouldn’t turn of the comments if I was you, it’s always nice to have something you can reply to. But it shouldn’t be a counter for the popularity of a post. Good luck! 73, Bas.

    [typo fixed per PE5BAS’s request]

  4. Tom AJ4UQ says:

    Most of my blogging is at work, under the theory that if I answer the same question twice, it’s time to write down the answer. Over the years my blog has turned into more of a cynical observer (with suggestions for improvement)… I write for my own entertainment. If others benefit, it’s a happy bonus.

    Don’t let the lack of comments affect you, I get a lot of hallway thumbs-ups. You just don’t have a hallway, I suspect.

  5. My own blog was always more of an actual personal station log and stream of ideas for my own benefit. I maintain about 20 posts and pages that are not public. Most of the public content there is mostly as a source for ideas for whomever manages to stumble upon them. But they really need to work their google-fu to get there. SEO not a priority.

    The most amusing thing I discovered was how indirectly voicing a single not so politically correct opinion resulted in being booted from blog rolls of the O-so-self-righteously-tolerant crowd within ham radio’s early adopter bloggers. Turns out they are not nearly as tolerant as they probably think they are. I would have expected hams to be less reactionary than the general population. Alas, I was wrong. This still brings a huge smile to my face. Maybe I should do it again to peeve the other half. ;)

    I’ve found most comments I get are from folks seeking clarification or more information on project related content, or reporting dead links. This has made several of those posts much better both for my own documentation purposes and for the very few who find the pages. The biggest improvement I would like to make to the personal blog is a better index into content both within my blog and also into external content. Policing dead links is a chore, so I sometimes ask for permission to reproduce content I find to be high value.

    Been neglecting the blog of late, but mostly because I’ve been away from the hobby also. [As evidenced by this comment five months after the original post]

    Your own blog should be just that. Your own, whatever that means to you.

    BTW, I am STILL getting new ideas off your goodreads list too. Thanks for both sources.

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