Monday, April 21, 2008

The Future of QSLing

Take a close look every month, and you‛ve likely noticed an increase in electronic verifications. Once a curiosity to hobbyist and a convenient alternative for cash-strapped broadcasters, eQSLing has become a trend in the radio hobby that has broadened in scope.
There is no doubt that shortwave, medium wave and FM eQSLing is on the increase. Many pirate operators opt for electronic QSLing to forego the "go-betweens" and post office mail drops. Some clandestines are using this alternative, thus providing an opportunity to send electronic editorials promoting their cause. Utility QSLing, once the most difficult to pursue, is on the increase, while amateur radio operators have verified over 75 million contacts using the successful electronic Logbook of the World project.
As stations downsize or convert to internet broadcasting, the hobby rhetoric continues that the shortwave hobby is dead or "nothing left to hear or QSL." I would challenge radio enthusiasts to broaden their focus and consider the hundreds, if not thousands of stations that verify by using the eQSLing technique.
The same courtesies used in postal reporting are used in electronic methods of QSLing. A brief explanation about yourself or radio hobby, program details of 15-25 minutes, and a friendly verification request should be used when submitting an electronic report.
While this alternative may not be a favorite of the QSL card collector, many stations are using it as an alternative to regular mail and it will likely continue to expand in its usage.
(Gayle Van Horn/Monitoring Times QSL Report)