It’s time again for the Worked All Twitter Contest (#WATwitter). This is a fun, loose “contest” to bring together those that love amateur radio and Twitter. The contest was the idea of Connie Bird Mah NR4CB three years ago to help amateurs that often chat on twitter about ham radio to get on the air and actually meet each other through the radio. The contest has traditionally occurred over the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
The Noise Blankers are a big fan of Twitter and of the #WATwitter contest. Most of the club has been active on Twitter for a number of years with dedicated amateur radio-focused Twitter accounts. I personally feel that given how much passion we have about amateur radio, it’s best to dedicate a Twitter account just to the topic. It allows you to use your callsign as your Twitter handle and keep the conversations fun and focused. Heck, The Noise Blankers collectively maintain five amateur radio focused twitter accounts in our small club alone!
In fact, we actually met one of our club members on Twitter! After exchanging a few Tweets with Nathan Shinn K5KAC, I realized that he shared our same odd sense of humor and lived just a few miles down the road. A short time and a few Tweets later we extended an offer to join our sorry excuse for an amateur radio club, WR5P.
And of course we have out ham-based humor account @HamHijinks where we post absolute rubbish stories mocking mostly ourselves. But I digress—the contest! I’ll leave it to Connie herself to explain the basic rules of the loose contest:
- Dates: Wednesday, 27 November – Sunday, 1 December 2013
- Who: Any licensed operator, especially those who use Twitter
- Where: All bands, all modes. To let as many people as possible participate, use the portion of the band open to the most people, i.e. the technician class portion of 10m, the general class portion of 20m, etc.
- Exchange: your normal exchange plus your Twitter handle, especially if it’s not your call sign.
- Spotting: Self-spotting is practically required. Tweet your frequency, interact with people on Twitter, set up skeds, get those states you’re missing for WAS, work old friends for the first time, and make new friends.
- Hashtags on Twitter: #WATwitter and either #hamradio or #hamr. Use these hashtags in your tweets, and search for others who are using them. Interact!
- Have fun! Log your contacts, tweet your tallies to others, but there are no scores or awards. This is about enjoying our hobby and connecting with fellow hams over the long holiday weekend.
We look forward to working many of you on the air. If you’re new to Twitter, that’s fine too! It’s a great opportunity to meet (and follow) many new ham friends and connect with them through one of the most popular social tools. It’s clear us hams like to connect and Twitter provides a laid-back, low commitment way to do it. The Twitter ham radio community is vibrant, growing daily and has been a great place to share DX stories, gear advice, make skeds and more.