People from all around the world get together via a technology medium that allows them to form relationships through a global, far-flung community even though they have never met face to face. It may not be the first thing that comes to your mind, but amateur radio is alive and well thank you very much.
Just ask any one at “This Week in Amateur Radio” which produces a weekly show devoted to nothing else. A 100% volunteer effort, a typical show will be at least 80 minutes. “You wouldn’t think there is that much information week in and week out about a hobby,” says George Bowen, Executive Producer of TWIAR “but other than Christmas and Thanksgiving week it’s there.” There are plenty of stories about government regulations in broadcasting but you are just as likely to hear stories like the one this week about the military radio broadcasting that is jamming garage door openers all over Florida.
Segment producers will record their own stories and then upload to one of the mirrored ftp sites which George then downloads and compiles for the show. The result is broadcast on bandwidth made available by commercial satellite feeds but according to George more and more listeners are simply picking up the MP3 version from TWIAR’s website.
These MP3s and all the material on the site used to be marked with an “All Rights Reserved” copyright because “that’s what everybody else was doing. Then I saw this piece on Creative Common on TechTV and I thought ‘Hey, that’s what we’re doing!'”
Indeed, segments are regularly shared with one of the other six such shows produced around the world from New Zealand to Europe. They are now free to do so legitimately thanks to George having put all the shows on the web under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.