[CQ-Contest] Solicit contacts on the Web? Why???

Kelly Taylor ve4xt at mb.sympatico.ca
Fri Oct 6 23:40:08 EDT 2000


Just got back from eBay. Each page I looked at took more than a minute
to load. I saw several things, and spent about a half hour scanning
roughly 10 pages. Didn't bid on anything.

Admittedly, my 14.4 modem is antiquated and slow. But even if I had
the ubiquitous 56.6, it still would have taken me 15 minutes to do my
thing on eBay. We've got fractional T1 access at the office. It ain't
a screamer either. What has this got to do with contesting, you ask?
Easy. It demonstrates how ludicrous the belief by some that simply
Webcasting a contest operation in itself amounts to solicitation.

Sorry to break it to you, but the Internet simply isn't efficient
enough to become an effective advertising vehicle for contest
stations. Plus, it is SO expansive you could visit a Web page every
second for the next week and still only scratch the surface. So you're
not going to get much, if any, walk-through traffic. The chance that
someone who would be enticed by your Webcam stumbling across your
little outpost in the vast cosmos of cyberspace is infinitesimally

If you launch a Webcam and tell us about it on cq-contest, you're
preaching to the converted. When it's time to contest, we'll be too
busy contesting to worry about typing in your URL correctly. If you
advertise your Webcam in a DX newsletter, any good DXer worth his salt
will find you on air before your streaming video begins playing in his
shack anyway.

Certainly, there's a risk that some stations could use Webcasting as
solicitation. But to do so would require more effort than simply
pointing a camera. You would have to advertise it, likely by sending
out e-mails during a contest. A point could be made that those e-mails
constitute an attempt at circumventing the rules and so should be
banned. Fine. I agree.

But to turn around and argue that Webcasting contests should be banned
simply because someone, somewhere, might, if the planets align
correctly and Bill Clinton is wearing blue socks, solicit a contact
is, well, paranoid. The word McCarthyesque comes to mind.

And this isn't a slippery slope, folks. This DOESN'T open the door to
buying half-time ad space on Sunday NFL. Ahmad Rashad and John Madden
won't be doing play-by-play at K1TTT, no matter how much Dave pays
them. (Sorry Dave). It DOESN'T mean, because most people use dial-up
connections, that telephone solicitation is again OK. No, solicitation
is still banned. And should be. But we can come to an intelligent
understanding of what constitutes solicitation, can't we?

Does telling your family that you'll be contesting constitute
solicitation? I mean, what if a non-contesting radio amateur calls for
you and your spouse tells him you can't come to the phone because
you're contesting. Oops. You may have been on your way to the record
books but your a checklog now, pal. After all, he might take that info
and fire up his radio, no?

Solicit contacts by simply putting up a Web cam? Puhleeze, you're
better off sending a message in a bottle.

73, kelly

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