Proposal: Amateur Radio

One-way notification in the title means broadcast, or general dissemination material; Anything that does not expect a response.

A few examples here may be

  • Contest details
  • Net schedules
  • Space Wx
  • Emergency net activation

The last item on the list is something we probably must allow, even encourage. Other material on the above list may be generally useful to operators. At the same time, it would probably be dissemination only - discussion on such matter may be almost nil.

What should the site policy on one-way notifications be?

5 Answers 5


One-way notifications are not questions, and do not expect answers. Thus, they do not belong to a Q&A site.

Emergency net activations belong in the same categoria, and I don't think they belong here either. There are numerous existing ways to push that sort of information, and all one-way messages would simply make a mess of the Q/A pool.

  • 1
    Concur with you on the others. Albeit OM I would press for net activation to be allowed here. This because the net may be accessed from both on-band, and off-band.
    – Everyone
    Commented Aug 10, 2013 at 16:06
  • 1
    That's still not a question. On every other SE board, non-questions get deleted very quickly. There are many, many other places for announcing net activations on the internet.
    – scruss
    Commented Sep 1, 2013 at 0:41

The general rule on a Stack Exchange site is that it is for questions and answers. “One-way” communications are permitted — provided that they are written in the form of a question and answer [1] [2], and the question is otherwise on-topic. However, I do not think most of your examples are a good fit for the Stack Exchange system, even if phrased in the form of a question, because announcements of events inherently become obsolete. A SE site should accumulate a collection of useful information, not of shortly obsolete information.

On the other hand, your third item might be made to fit, as it is a single question*: “What is the current space weather?” A question about the current state of things would generally be frowned upon in most SE sites, but if the community for a particular site chooses to permit a few such questions and continuously maintain their answers, it would likely work well enough.

Also, announcements could be made in a chat room; notably, the “star” and “pin” features allow highlighting particular messages for later visitors. However, the content of chat is not displayed to people merely visiting the site front page.

*: At least, I assume it's a single question; perhaps the topic is far too detailed to discuss in one unit. I don't know yet; I'm supporting this site to ask questions!

  • +1: Loved the idea of continuously updating the answers on a few stereotype questions. Hadn't thought of it that way, but it may just be what the surgeon mandates
    – Everyone
    Commented Aug 11, 2013 at 18:55
  • 1
    I don't think "What is the current space weather" would be a good question period. It would require almost constant editing and wouldn't provide much use seeing as there are plenty of other places to get that information.
    – Seth
    Commented Aug 21, 2013 at 13:51

First of all, let me state that they should not be allowed in the context of a Q&A setting, unless there is a question about it. W1AW broadcast questions would be acceptable, so long as they weren't about a specific broadcast. Understanding the meaning of them, talking about time table, etc should be on topic here, however. Getting information about contest details would also be on topic.

Now, for some possibilities.

  1. Especially when the site gets to be graduated, we might be able to include some sort of a widget to show space weather. It's iffy, and would need to be discussed, but I've seen similar things before (See http://arquade.com the space ship, or http://photo.stackexchange.com)
  2. These kinds of things can ALWAYS be posted in chat. They could be starred, and kept up so long as they are important. If there is an RSS feed of such activities, they can be posted to the chat room automatically.
  3. The Tag Wikis could be kept up to date with the latest contest date information, emergency broadcast info, etc. This would take some work, but it could work.
  4. Moderators can create events that show up in the Community Bulletin. Thus, for something like an emergency net, an event could be created, allowing everything to see what's happening. This would have to link to a post, maybe a meta post, giving some information about what's happening. This would require a bit of work, but could be done.
  • 1
    About (4), you basically mean featured meta posts? Events have to be linked to a post within the SE network.
    – asheeshr
    Commented Aug 14, 2013 at 14:20
  • @AsheeshR: Moderators can make something without being a featured meta post. In that one event, it doesn't have to be linked to a post. Commented Aug 14, 2013 at 15:27
  • Yes, but an event has to be linked to a SE page. See under URL in /admin/community-events
    – asheeshr
    Commented Aug 14, 2013 at 15:31
  • Ahh, good point. Hmmmm. Will have to think about that. Commented Aug 14, 2013 at 15:35

To an extent, one way time-bound notifications can be passed on by moderators through featured meta posts. These however, being meta posts, have to be about the site and hence can only cover contest details.

Based on the description in the comments, net events can also be handled in a similar fashion with a slight difference. Here, moderators would have to create a community event which would link back to a meta post describing the event and providing details.

  • Briefly - Amateur radio is defined as a technical hobby for self enhancement. Working on the radio in very narrow bands in all kinds of climate conditions demands skill. Amateur radio operators (henceforth 'hams') exhibit their skills in Contests. Similarly 'nets' may be construed to be the on-the-radio equivalent of networking on specific frequency/frequencies. Emergency net activation is when hams fix a specific frequency for communication with a distressed entity. E.g. For Uttarakhand allocated frequencies were 7073Kcs, and 14160Kcs.
    – Everyone
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 18:09

I agree with the other answers that one way communication and time sensitive information should not be included even in the form of a question.

I think the easiest way to deal with this would be for the question to be posed as to where the best place to get this information is. Numerous responses have suggested this information has existing ways to be pushed so answers that direct users to best practices for obtaining time sensitive material would be appropriate.

For example rather than ask “What is the current space weather?” the question "How do I find the current space weather?" would be acceptable.

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