Wednesday, November 6, 2013 Additional resource for amateur radio information using social/community technology.

Summary: New site for amateur radio questions and answers that could become very useful.

The background (aka my editorial):

For a number of years, software developers have been using web sites like stackoverflow (part of stack exchange) as a way of getting questions answered and using the results to build a searchable resource of higher quality information that avoids many of the problems associated with the typical forum or mailing list.  Questions and answers have plus and minus buttons that allow members to vote them up or down.  Higher rated questions and their answers appear closer to the top which makes useful information much easier to find. This "crowd moderation" helps move the noise of unhelpful responses that are typical on forums and mailing lists out of the way of the useful nuggets.

Members get reputation points as they get voted up and down.  Messages can be edited after they are posted which helps improve the quality of the information.

This type of community driven Q&A system has also been used to help make the free on-line college courses (aka Massive Online Open Courses or MOOCs) such as those offered by Coursera, edX, much more feasible by having students help other students rather than relying on the professor.

In my (not so) humble opinion, good on-line sources of information are critical to getting (and keeping) new, more technology literate people involved with amateur radio. Looking at the quality of tutorial information for the maker movement and things like Arduino, show why there are so many more people involved.

Here's a relevant example: What's a cost effective way to boot the range of my cheap handheld?

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