As an IT professional, I’ve made it my business and pleasure to use various social networks and communications tools, from the BBS system in the 80s, to IRC and instant messenger in the 90s, to the social networks of the 2000s. After reading this article about ham radio as a social network, I realize that amateur radio has always had its place amongst the best ways to communicate with others around the world, and we’ve been doing it in various ways for over a century. Furthermore, it’s kept up with the times. 21st century amateur radio is cutting edge and tons of fun.
Austin has a vibrant amateur radio community. Listening to the local airwaves on this page, especially during drive time, reveals many channels with several people talking about everything under the sun at any given time. This microcosm of FM chat is repeated in all the major metro areas all over the world, many of which are linked together, and that doesn’t even count the worldwide HF activity.
But the best social network is one you actually have to study for to become qualified to use. Visit the Amateur Radio Relay League’s “Getting Licensed” page to find out how you can study for the exam and find a place to take the exam locally, and then join the best social network.