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RE: [CQ-Contest] Recruiting Women into Contesting

To: "CQ Contest" <CQ-Contest@contesting.com>
Subject: RE: [CQ-Contest] Recruiting Women into Contesting
From: "Hanlon, Steve" <SHanlon@dnr.state.md.us>
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2004 07:49:50 -0400
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
> How can we make contesting appealing enough to someone
> that they might want to get a radio license to participate?  
> Can contesting be marketed as a more appealing (or just as appealing) draw 
> into the world of ham radio than 2M repeaters, emergency comms, shortwave 
> DXing, etc.?

i sort of got my license for the sole purpose of contesting.  i went to a Field 
Day site and checked out the activity.  one of the operators explained that it 
was a contest to work as many stations as possible within a geographic area and 
in a window of time, i was hooked.

how to get more involved from outside the amateur ranks?  quite frankly, it 
will take an image makeover.  it's hard to get over the idea that ham radio 
operators are the prototypical nerd who was old enough to be my father.  
basically, radio is not cool because cool people aren't into radio.  to sell 
contesting, both public image and the literature/sales pitch need to be updated.

radio can never compete AGAINST computers.  never.  computers offer flexibility 
and each user can explore as little or as much as they wish (just like most 
hobbies).  in order to promote the hobby of radio and specifically contesting, 
it needs to be presented as a challenge - the would be needs to feel there is a 
hurdle to overcome in terms of making contacts, not building a station or 
putting up antennas.  too much emphasis is put on station building and not 
having fun thru the on-air challenge - it's supposed to be fun, right?

make radio cool and challenge potential operators to beat others by placing the 
emphasis on contacts.  that is how you get the late 20 and early 30 somethings 
into the hobby.  the teenagers will never be swayed into the hobby - esp. in 
suburbia due to restrictions in the communities and the "cost" seen by parents.

the big question then becomes, in the age of instant communication thru 
computers, how to make radio cool?  the first step is to poll the younger 
contesters and ask them why they are into the hobby and find the crossover 
points that will get other young people into the hobby.

any madison ave types out there with a spin machine to help with the image 


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