I applaud WM5R's new analysis. It is novel and provides additional insight
into the world of contesting. However, total QSO for contests in which
participants can make contacts on more than one band can be misleading.
The analysis shows that in major dx contests such as ARRL DX and CQ WPX and
even SS contest the total number of QSOs tendency to be quite flat from 1998
onwards. The increase trend prior to 1998 could be the effect of email log
submissions coming on line.
The only way to tell if there if there is an increase, decrease or no change
in contest participation is to examine the total number of unique calls that
occurred across all logs submitted for a contest.
Our inability to even determine if contesting activity is on the increase or
decline is an indicator of how little we know about the contest community.
This could be changed if all sponsors and participants endorsed an open
access policy were logs as well as results are placed in the public domain.
This would provide the contest community with the data sources it needs to
understand its activities. Until then we can do little but guess!
Sylvan Katz - VE5ZX
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