Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Handiham World for 11 February 2009

Welcome to Handiham World!

cartoon guy looking in crystal ballIf you're like me, you probably use the web to check news. Printed newspapers and news magazines are "yesterday's news" for sure, and it isn't surprising so many of them are losing market share. So we are reading what is now called "digital ink". And just as with real ink newspapers, digital ink can give amateur radio some real media hits - or misses, as was the case with one story that popped up on my Google News page this morning.

The story was on the Alva, OK Review-Courier website, and was a rehash of an older post on an AOL-linked service called "Walletpop". I'll give you links to both in a moment, but the point I'd like to make about this sort of bad press, which contains factual errors and even stupid spelling mistakes like "Morris Code", is that once they are posted, they live forever on the Internet as they get passed around every time someone re-discovers them. In this case, the so-called "story" is about Ham Radio being one of 25 things about to become extinct in America. When it appeared first in mid-2008, it wasn't real news then, either - just speculation based on someone digging their old crystal ball out and trying to predict the future. Among the unfortunate comments in the article was one about 50,000 ham licenses being lost "in the past five years alone".

I can only speculate how much email Tom Barlow, N8NLO, the original author of the ham radio part of the Walletpop article, has gotten about this story. Feel free to read the many postings on the website, too.

Read more on the site or listen to the podcast.