Social Media and Ham Radio
By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU
In the last ten years, there’s been an explosion in social media. I’ve found some to be really great. Others, I haven’t found to be to my liking. Here are my opinions on a few of the most popular social media websites:* Twitter (twitter.com). I like Twitter. I have more than 3,000 followers on Twitter, and it’s not only helped me sell more books, I’ve found out about a lot of great projects, and I’ve met and corresponded with a lot of great hams there. It’s a lot of fun. If you have a Twitter account, follow me there. I’m @kb6nu.
* Facebook (facebook.com). I have a Facebook account and I even have a page for my study guides. I don’t like using Facebook, though, and avoid it when I can.
* Reddit (reddit.com/r/amateurradio). Reddit hosts a very active amateur radio forum. What I like about Reddit is that these guys, unlike say the forums on eHam.Net or QRZ.Com are really interested in doing stuff, not just complaining or arguing. A lot of the hams on Reddit, and it’s associated IRC channel (talk about retro!), #redditnet, have used my study guides, and apparently, I’m quite popular there.
* Blab (blab.im). Blab is an interesting concept. It’s kind of like an interactive podcast. You can record the blab sessions and then post them to YouTube or your own website. When I suggested having a regular Blab session to talk about ham radio topics to my blog readers, they weren’t very enthusiastic about it. Even so, I think that I’m just going to do it. Sometimes you just gotta go with your gut, and my gut says this could be fun and eventually popular. Blab is integrated with Twitter, so if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll find out when I’m blabbing.
The biggest problem with participating on these social networks, of course, is that it takes a lot of time, time that could be used for building stuff or getting on the air. Even so, I would say that, overall, using them has certainly increased my enjoyment of amateur radio and has connected me to people that I probably would not have connected with otherwise.
What do you think? What social media accounts do you have? Which do you prefer? What have they done for you?
When he’s not blabbing or tweeting, KB6NU likes to work CW, build stuff, and teach ham radio classes. He’s also a prolific blogger (www.kb6nu.com) and the author of the “No Nonsense” amateur radio license study guides (www.kb6nu.com/study-guides). If you have any comments, questions, compliments, or complaints, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.