Something that's been puzzling me for the last couple of years, particularly on the digital modes, is the number of people who address me by name before I've told them. These are not stations I've worked before - KComm will alert me to those. But increasingly often when I reply to a station they will come right back with "Good afternoon, Julian." I've even had people end JT65A contacts with "TU JULIAN 73", despite the fact that the operator's name is not part of the exchange.
I'm not egotistical enough to think that half of hamdom know my name because of my blog. I've had people address me as "Mr Julian Moss" which I think is a bit formal for the amateur bands. But it makes me suspect that some database is involved.
It would shake my faith in the parsimony of hams to think that 50% - because that's about how often it happens nowadays - have stumped up for a subscription to QRZ. But if they haven't, where do they get the information from? Is there a free callsign lookup database I haven't heard of? And if there is, doesn't the fact that you can access a station's details at the click of a button render somewhat pointless the rest of the QSO?