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[CQ-Contest] CQ Mag Raison D'etre

Subject: [CQ-Contest] CQ Mag Raison D'etre
From: k2av@contesting.com (Guy Olinger, K2AV)
Date: Mon Mar 26 23:54:25 2001
Y'all, really.... It's not whether CQ mag is the greatest thing since
sliced bread (or not). How about some perspective.....

How many "E-zines" have folded because there was no way to enforce
income and maintain even the most basic publishing routines. I lost
count a long time ago.

The physical magazine, for whatever value deemed, enforces subscription.
And there is no cultural expectation of getting it for free (versus
everything for nothing attitude on the net, including programs). That
income is necessary to maintain the simple publishing regimens necessary
to put out a magazine and keep on doing it.

The delays in publishing scores are clearly related to paper logs,
all-details-must-match rule-keeping that requires a small army of
volunteer log umpires and a program development staff to keep up. Those
issues are discussed often enough and the weight comes down on the side
of maintaining the status quo. That is not at the feet of the magazine.
Talk to the contest committees.

In the end YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. Pay nothing, it folds. Don't
water your plants, they shrivel and die. Some sooner, some later, but
eventually all. Pay no attention to your wife, you're alone.

Want it to go away? Decide as a group that "the other guy" can keep it
up. CLASSIC recipe for a fold. At least commercialism builds in a
mechanism that keeps some going longer, like a cactus, whose nature
allows it to survive dry spells, to a limit.

In some respects, given all the problems, it's simply amazing that the
contests keep coming around every year, and there's actually someplace
you can go to see old scores and how the last one came out.

Be careful how you get onto CQ. Beat up on anyone/anything long enough
and they'll go away. Even the most dedicated will retire to some pocket
of their life where they get birthday cakes and hugs and those around
are glad to have them just for who they are, and the poison pen is a dim

Observing a parallel, the human race has a ghastly record of taking
apart the environment for trivial reasons without any thought to what
else they are tearing down or setting loose. Why should we be any
different about our ham radio culture?

Ham Radio is a TINY, TINY niche in the scheme of things. Yet we have
major manufacturers and an actual competition for our tiny market. We
have two major magazines and a handful of specialty magazines within the
niche. We ACTUALLY have frequencies protected by NATIONAL TREATIES!!.

And then there's Ham Contesting, maybe 5 to 10 thousand participants,
out of a world
population of (??) billion. And we talk like contesting is some
commanding issue? Please.... My personal love for the pursuit aside, we
have all the social relevance of the Balkan Rules Lawn Billiards

How on earth did we manage all these privileges? In a word, DISASTER
COMMUNICATIONS. You take that from the mix, and the whole thing
collapses faster than a busted balloon. Better pay some attention to
local involvement with emergency services. If our usefulness in
disasters gets replaced by some other methods/equipment, our frequencies
will be gone in five years. There isn't a single Hz of our spectrum that
someone else doesn't want.

Oh, yeah, drop your subscription to ARRL too, because N1ND looked at you
funny. Smart. Better yet, let's all BOYCOTT ARRL because N1ND looked at
us funny or lost our contest log. Let's really parade our intelligence
and grasp of the total situation around. Forget bemoaning 11 meters and
220. Lose it all. The ARRL is the ONLY lobbying arm looking out for us
in the halls of Congress and other necessary places. What were those
things, little LEO's? Let's start with losing 2 meters. Ah, such a house
of cards. Excuse, that was a tangential rant...

CQ mag is NOT getting any government subsidies except the postal rates.
It's a niche within the niche. Kick it around some more. Squeeze it's
revenue stream. See if it makes
a gurgling noise before it dies. See if you enjoy having to scrounge old
scores in your floppy disks of old zipped email. Have arguments about
what the scores really were.

Otherwise, send them a check once a year (amount which will NOT feed
your family at McDonalds), and learn to be amazed that it's actually

Oh, and don't forget to read the interesting articles by knowledgeable
people on your favorite pastime, see your call sign in print, and see
the ads for all the new rigs you drool over.

Hope we're still doing this in 2011. Hard to believe it wasn't snatched
away from us years ago.

- - . . .   . . . - -     .   . . .     - - .   . - . .

73 y'all, Guy
Apex, NC, USA

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