Friday, May 21, 2010

QRZ.com to offer logbook

QRZ.com has just announced that it will be making available an online logbook. It will also be offering an awards program and will be organizing a contest to recognize the first person to make confirmed contacts with 100 other QRZ users.

I like QRZ.com and think this is a great idea. I don't know whether they will be providing an API for logging programs to post entries to the log in real time but if they do then I want my program KComm to support it so I have volunteered my services as a tester.

9 comments:

Ed N4EMG said...

Hello Julian - I believe the notion of an online logbook is one that's floated around for a while now, especially in the contesting circuit. While this would certainly be different from that approach, it seems worth investigation. I do notice that QRZ says that anyone can put contacts into it, but in order to make use of it you need to be a basic subscriber. That may deter many, although I don't consider the $30 US to be unreasonable if it includes the QRZ XML ability as well.

73, Ed N4EMG

Theodore said...

In the never ending quest to bring in subscription money, the qrz.com bus had to eventually stop at the online logbook station.
It will no doubt be greeted with much fanfare, then slowly fade into the sunset of lost business opportunities.
Online backup of your logbook, why? how hard is it - export - adif - all.
HRD,Mixw,Multipsk,Fldigi mostly the same - whats the problem?
Do it after you finish for the day, 30 seconds work.
Want to reload a logbook? Import - adif. Duh!

Lotw and eQSL have covered the landscape very comprehensively, leaving not much elbow room for yet another qsl option.
QRZ.com awards, yawn!

In the end this will fail, as most people who intend to use electronic QSLing have already committed to the spanish inquisition like subscription to Lotw
or to eQSL (my personal favourite).

But hey! it will raise the temperature of the net backbone by at least 1 degree and increase entropy in the universe slightly before it finally succombs.
Game on.

Adam said...

I too like QRZ.com very much and would be interested to see an online logbook and especially some awards. Thanks for telling us about it. 73 Adam

g4ilo said...

I'm an eQSL user but eQSL isn't really a logbook - they only store enough information to produce a QSL card. If QRZ is only offering a log backup then I agree, it isn't very interesting. But if it is an online, searchable logbook that you can link to from your home page then I think it will be of interest to many of the hams who have blogs and web pages. I currently have a logbook on my site that I coded myself, but it works from a flat file (copy of the MixW format log file) so it isn't very efficient. I'm hoping that QRZ will come up with something better. I might even be willing to subscribe for it!

Jeff, KE9V said...

QRZ.com offers a reasonable service but, really, do we need yet another online logging site?

The site also allows you to make "contacts" when someone just views your profile. Wow.

My paper logbook laughs at all this electronic logging silliness. :-)

73, Jeff KE9V

g4ilo said...

If it's going to be just another logging site then I agree, it's pointless. I was hoping for something more than that. I have lost many paper- and computer-based logs in the past. I was hoping for something that could serve as a database back end for a logging program that might support things like logging contacts online (for when you're not using your usual computer) and allowing my website visitors to browse my logs. Perhaps I read too much into the announcement.

Jeff, KE9V said...

Julian, you could very well be right, I didn't read the entire announcement. And I've lost some paper logs through the years too, as well as some electronic files. Nothing is forever it seems.

But it seems to me that this only works well if there would be just a single system. I know, that seems draconian (who do we trust with all the data?) but I have made many contacts where the op on the other end wants me to confirm our QSO via eQSL. Others times he wants LoTW. Now I suppose he is going to want me to confirm via QRZ.com.

It practically forces us all to join up with multiple services just to "stay current" as it were.

I liken it to Facebook. I refuse to join into that nonsense, but now I have people emailing me links to some cute picture they want to share with me but when I click on the link I find it is to a Facebook page and in order to view it, I must join.

That sort of inclusion drives me batty! :-)

73 de Jeff, KE9V

Theodore said...

Jeff, I agree with you.
I am getting heartily fed up with the corporate types (qrz.com, eqsl.cc etc) butting heads together to feed enormous ego's. Eqsl announces they are the worlds biggest ham organisation, then qrz.com announces they are. When will all this silliness stop?

I am only a hairs breadth away from not sending any qsl's of an electronic variety and only qsl'ing direct cards. I have direct as an option and state I don't require any return postage or any offset.

But seriously, I will never qsl a qrz.com contact, as I believe this is a naked grab for cash at a time when many people are having trouble just meeting basic needs.

Remember, these are businesses e.g. in one of his recent posts Fred of qrz.com stated that around 2 percent of 400,000 "members" of qrz.com were paid subscribers. That equates to around 8000 giving about $240,000 per year income. Not too bad for "cloud computing" which if I understand it correctly, is basically that you rent computer space and processing power on other peoples computers on the internet.

I don't know about eqsl.cc but the fact is that qrz.com is simply trying to pull in more subscribers by giving a limited "logbook" facility and then holding hams to hostage if they wish to do much with it.
Julian stated that it would be useful for hams wishing to link from their websites, but truly how many of us really care to look at other peoples logbooks?
In addition he stated that it would be useful if you were away from your usual computer to give online logging, but Fred of qrz.com has stated that if you upload an adif, there is no guarantee that you will receive back all the fields when you download.
eQSL allows you to upload and download your log, so I think your comment about them only keeping enough information for qsl verification may be inaccurate, but as I have never done this I cannot say for sure.
In these days of usb thumb drives how hard is it to have your logbook in adif format on a thumb drive with you? Lets face it, you are going to have to have acess to a computer anyway.

Many hams, I am sure, are sick of this grab for their cash, and speaking personally, I am close to pulling the plug on it all soon.

It seems the worse the economy gets the more those who are trying to maintain lavish lifestyles find new ways to squeeze money out of those who can least afford it.

g4ilo said...

I understood QRZ.com's Fred was a professional systems engineer who lost his job a couple of years ago and is now trying to make a living by devoting himself to QRZ.com full time. Having been in a similar-ish position myself I am not going to criticize, indeed I wish him the best of luck with this. Hams are a notoriously tight fisted bunch and, knowing someone else who lost money on an idea for setting up a subscription based service for hams, I doubt that he will get rich from this.

As for storing one's log on a thumb drive, the problem with this is it can easily get lost or trashed. The value of a cloud-based backup is that it can be accessed from anywhere and will be professionally backed up, unlike thumb drives and most people's hard disks.