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Author Topic: eham: the web resthome of amateur radio  (Read 2139 times)
WA4D
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Posts: 99


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« on: May 07, 2008, 04:05:48 PM »


3 Years ago, FaceBook didn't exist. One recent estimate puts now it's value now north of $15 Billion.

My Space, Okrut, Photoblogs, Twitter and all  sorts of  social networks have exploded around us. They offer environments that are rich in features, visually engaging and interactive.

The eham site is based on crude text based responses. No editing, no You Tube Video insertions, No Text messaging built in, no collaboration tools, no formating ability, no images or graphics in forum messages, no linking or blog style referencing to name but a few of the routine features found in the sites that are among the most popular around the world.

Yet eham plods along like the hobby and demographics it represents. Compared to what's happening on the net at large, eham is like a web rest home

wa4d.net


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AA4PB
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Posts: 12701




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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2008, 06:38:28 PM »

Gee, maybe they need someone like you to volunteer your time to design a new web sit for them...
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K5TR
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Posts: 385


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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2008, 06:55:10 AM »

Mike,

You are correct in many ways with your comments.

eham.net is not Web 2.0.

We have been making some progress (slowly) to update and improve areas of the site.  Along the way we have been improving and cleaning up html and back end code in ways that should be totally transparent to the user.  We have also been working to improve the infrastructure - but again these are improvements that are mostly transparent to the user although I hope they have lowered page load times and improved overall reliability.

You should see more user enhancements in the coming months - most of these will be fixes and added options and features to the site's existing tool set.

When I think about ways to improve the eham user experience I am a bit torn between a full blown web 2.0  direction and something more simple like Craigslist.

At the moment I think we will mainly be working towards making the site more useful and continue to clear out the clunky bits so your user experience will be less painful.

--
George Fremin III
K5TR
ex. WB5VZL
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George
K5TR
WA4D
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Posts: 99


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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2008, 08:27:43 AM »

Jeezus! WB5 Victor Zulu London?!?!?!?!

Hello George!!! I don't get to interact with Ham radio royalty very much. (No I'm not being facetious).  Nice to "see" you!

I hear what you're saying yet ask why are you spending time tweaking it? You can "outsource" the entire system at reasonable cost. (this may be a debateable point since I don't know the financials of eham).

My larger issue is one of philosophy. I'm reassured that you are thinking about changes and I agree there is merit to the  (Craigs list "vanilla model" vs. the Web 2.0 services concept.) Further, the demographics of the hobby are a VERY valid consideration. Just who are your users? Fact is most hams won't use more powerful site features.  But does that mean you don't offer them?

Cheers,
mike
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12701




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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2008, 01:10:58 PM »

Also remember all those people who are using dial up or wireless connections. Graphic intensive web pages can be pretty slow to load if you don't have a good broad-band Internet connection. To me, the most important part of the "user experience" is that we get the information. Most people won't hang around too long waiting for all the nice graphics to load. I sometimes experience excessive delays on DSL (which is probably attributed to eham server load rather than the DSL).
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K5TR
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Posts: 385


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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2008, 07:47:54 PM »


> I sometimes experience excessive delays on DSL
> (which is probably attributed to eham server
> load rather than the DSL).

You should not be seeing much slowness or delays with the site.  We did go through a year after moving to some new hardware a few years ago that was very painful but that issue has been solved.  

All in all the site seems to be working well and we are not seeing excessive loads on the servers or database.  I am still working on getting it to be better.  We are a fairly busy place during the daylight hours in North America.

If you see some area that is slow or causing problems feel free to let me know about it.

Thanks

George Fremin III
geoiii@eham.net

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George
K5TR
WB9URN
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Posts: 96




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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2008, 07:42:03 PM »

Not all of us have the mental capabilities of a three year old who needs pictures and flashing images to get and hold their attention. We come here for information. We get it and move on. Then, when appropriate, we deposit some nugget of wisdom and move on.
Who needs all that other stuff that is just useless bells and whistles?
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W5ROY
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Posts: 39




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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2008, 05:03:04 PM »

Well George, I guess that is the reason I have never been able to get my password reset. All the hard work you have been putting into this site. I find most of the posters here nothing but whiners from a bygone era. Too  bad you don't pay more attention to the future  of amateur radio, than to the past.  Two years and counting on the password reset.  de W5ROY
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K5TR
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Posts: 385


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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2008, 09:44:08 PM »

W5ROY,

As far as I can recall this is the first I have heard of your problem.

Please email me and give me the details.

Thanks

--
George Fremin III
geoiii@eham.net

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George
K5TR
KE4DRN
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Posts: 3718




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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2008, 08:31:34 PM »

hi,

Facebook boasts over 70 Million active users.

http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics

That is a lot people to generate revenue.

I like eham,  I have no trouble using it.

73 james
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K7SU
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Posts: 53


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« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2008, 08:54:23 AM »

I consider myself very computer literate and see some merit in this discussion.  However, my frustration comes from hams who:

Never turn on their radio's,

Think that SSTV still involves a room full of homebrew    equipment,

Think the most recent innovation in amateur radio is the hilltop 2-meter repeater,

Are "gonna have to put that HF antenna back up someday" after it fell down about 20 years ago,

Wouldn't have one of those "blasted" computers cause they "just don't understand them and don't want to",

Wouldn't have email if they DID have a computer,

Never heard of QRZ.COM or EHAM.NET,

and

Can't figure out why the local club doesn't send out that monthly newsletter via snail-mail anymore.  

Some enhancements on here would be nice but I'm not sure many of the 600,000 and some hams would know what to do with them.  When you have millions of users to support things like Myspace and Facebook it's a lot more practical than the numbers of hams within our ranks who are active online.

You can use the argument that if we had more "up to date" ham-related web sites that we would attract more of the younger generation to become hams, but my gut feeling tells me that probably wouldn't be the case.  I don't think people become "hams" because of the "neat and cool" websites.  But then, I could be wrong.


Just my $.02 worth

K7SU
 
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WX4O
Member

Posts: 99




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« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2008, 11:10:59 AM »

eHam is my favorite ham site, and I usually visit it several times a day. If it changes for the better - great. If it stays the same - fantastic. I almost made it my home page once. 10 of 10.
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WX4O
Member

Posts: 99




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« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2008, 09:43:03 AM »

Stop bitching and don't use eHam. I happen to like it just fine.
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AA4PB
Member

Posts: 12701




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« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2008, 09:59:01 AM »

George, this morning is an example of the delays I experience. Making the initial connection to the site or going to another page was taking in excess of 30 seconds, sometimes timing out and requiring several tries. I tried two different computers using two differnt ISPs and had the same delays. One was on a cable modem and the other on a high speed corporate network. Other sites were normal. After about 45 minutes I tried again and everything had returned to normal.
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N4VNZ
Member

Posts: 17




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« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2008, 08:58:42 AM »

I come to this site for reading material. If I want videos I will go to YouTube.

Before this year, all I had available was dial-up and I remember wishing that the websites would cool it on the heavy graphics because of the page loading time. Not a problem now with cable service, but really, if you are interested in lots of visual stuff there are more websites around that will please you.

Kind of reminds me of the old joke about the "slow" guy not liking a particular book because it did not contain pictures...

The social networking sites seem heavily populated (mostly) by hormonally-challenged youth whose spelling skills are painful to read and whose vocabulary seems to revolve around the expletive "fu*k" and the taunts "retard" and "moron", etc. ad nauseum...

Those of your who think that Eham is the only place where a complete lack of civility in posts and replies exists are ignorant of the facts. For an enlightening experience, read the "comments" posted by YouTube viewers on just about any topic...

Eham, nice site,sometimes a bit dull in content, but that is largely the fault of it's contributors. You guys put way more time into this (for free) than I would be willing to do...thank you.

Those of you complaining about the lack of whiz-bang graphics must really hate blog sites that are almost entirely based on text.

73,

N4VNZ
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