Surfin': Twitter, Facebook and Ham Radio
Do You Twitter?
Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers, known as followers. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access. Users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter Web site, Short Message Service (SMS) or external applications.
I have a Twitter account and can see where Twitter could be useful in ham radio public service applications to communicate with non-hams who are involved in a public service situation. Twitter would also come in handy to augment ham-to-ham peer communications in cases where ham radio communications is spotty or non-existent.
Hams may also use Twitter as a tool to broadcast DX and contest alerts. It would seem to be a natural for that (but of course, during a contest, the same rules and restrictions regarding spotting networks would apply to Twitter).
Surfin' the Internet, I found Ham Twits, a directory of ham radio operators on Twitter. According to Dave Stark, NF2G, "New ham users of Twitter should check out HamTwits. That's the proper way to find other hams to follow."
I also found HamFeed, an online repeater for tweets from hams. It includes a filter to display only ham radio-related comments.
Do You Facebook?
Facebook is a global social networking website that is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. Users can add friends and send them messages, as well as update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves. Additionally, users can join networks organized by city, workplace, school and region.
I also have a Facebook account and check in a few times per week to see what my friends (and editor) have written on their Facebook accounts.
Searching the Internet again, I found 73s.org. Dubbed "the Facebook for hams," 73s.org is a social network for hams with more than 1600 members.
So, how do you use your Twitter and/or Facebook for ham radio? Please share your ham radio applications using these services and I will write them up in a future installment of Surfin'.
Until next time, keep on surfin'!
Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU