Over the past 19 months I have learnt so much and it’s all still a huge learning curve – I’ve found stuff I like and also some that I don’t – I’ve given lots of things a try and there are others I’ve avoided because it requires significant time and resources both of which are in short supply for me at the moment. PLUS there is still so much to investigate… it’s a very cliche comment but… the hobby is truly vast in what it can offer everyone.
What has been a constant over this time and what I am really enjoying is the ham radio community on “Twitter” – search out the hashtags #hamr / #hamradio / #amsat and that will help you pinpoint some people to follow and more specific ham radio content – I’ve been on twitter since May 2016 and the conversations I’ve had range from the benign to the ridiculous, subjects way beyond my comprehension – yeah-yeah, I know that’s easily achieved! :P.
It’s all inspirational though – things register in my head for future use, documents downloaded and dropbox’ed for when I have the time and I want to investigate further.
And then there are the individuals with so much energy and enthusiasm it’s infectious. I really wish I had their drive!
The other thing that I really like is how much everyone helps each other on twitter – there may be some jokes and sarcasm along the way to answering your question but that for me makes it all the more enjoyable – it’s the friendly banter and sense of humour I love – and always remember “there is no such thing as a stupid question” 🙂 edit: I have just been told (thanks @m0zpk) of someone asking “if I eat croissants everyday will it turn me French?” so I’d just like to add – yes there is such a thing as a stupid question, BUT not when it’s amateur radio related… well not yet anyway but I’m sure someone will correct me at some point 😛
So is there an alternative to twitter? There is Instagram, Pinterest and facebook to name a few – Instagram seems to have a wide ham following too but I don’t find it as engaging as twitter nor as easy to use – Pinterest, not quite sure how that works but it doesn’t seem interactive, just pictures of stuff – and as for facebook, I’m not a facebook fan – I think I was addicted to it at one point 😉 so I deleted everything and closed the account, however if Instagram, facebook or another is your thing then hunt down the ham stuff, find the pages/people that fit your needs but just a word or warning – block the trolls as soon as you see them (they are there on twitter too, just not as prolific as facebook), facebook just seems to attract them, I’ve no idea why but I’m sure with some dexterous keyboard skills you will find and build the same or similar type of community / timeline on facebook (or which ever social media platform you like) that there is on twitter… facebook is just not for me.
Social media in whatever flavour you prefer is brilliant for talking about hobbies or interests but personally I think twitter is the best out of them all, but each to their own – I used to think that the 140 characters with twitter would be limiting but it’s actually quite liberating… also, the 140 character limit is hopefully going to increase soon to 280, I’ve been lucky enough to have been one of the ‘few’ given the ability to try it and after being limited to 140 the 280 seems vast…..
How do I avoid seeing rubbish and make my feed clean and very specific? Well I filter my timeline that twitter presents by muting specific words, muting accounts that I want to follow but not listen too all the time and I even block some – the blocked ones are usually the promoted adverts that twitter likes to send you, mainly from the big brand names… I’ve built quite a list of blocked brand accounts and with all these settings my timeline tends to be very clear of stuff I don’t want to see.
If you haven’t looked at twitter before then consider doing so – there are loads of crazy people with crazy personalities & amazing insights and skills and it’s a resource for ham radio that you will find really useful… don’t be shy, just follow a couple of people to start with and watch what they post; if you don’t like what you see then stop following them.. just be a lurker for a while and in time I bet that you will find you will end up caught in the twitter trap and soon become one of those crazy people too 🙂 @MU0WLV