[amsat-bb] How can I serve AMSAT today?

John P. Toscano tosca005 at tc.umn.edu
Fri Sep 11 12:49:00 PDT 2009

Rather than tacking on more replies to the depressing multitude of 
arguments back and forth that have degenerated to the level of 
name-calling, let's try something that is actually POSITIVE for a change.

The AMSAT web pages have tons of information on them. One of the big 
problems of having such a vast store of information is the impossibility 
of one or a small number of volunteers keeping it all current and up to 
date. Please trust me on this. I am the lone webmaster for another radio 
organization, and I KNOW from personal experience how hard it is to keep 
the thing going properly. I have admitted publicly on several occasions 
that I appreciate feedback, and will do my best to make repairs when 
errors or omissions or outdated information is detected.  Unlike the 
experience with the AMSAT volunteers, however, I have actually received 
honest-to-goodness POSITIVE feedback from folks, and it has helped me 
enormously to fix at least the worst shortcomings of the site I have 
volunteered to maintain. I've even had a few people say "Thank You!" to 
me, and it sure feels good to know that my efforts are appreciated, even 
if they don't match up to my own standards of what I wish I could do.

So, here's the challenge to EVERY BLEEPING ONE OF YOU who are now 
reading this message:

1) Find something on the AMSAT web site that needs fixing. According
    to all the flak that's been flying about, that should be no hard
    task, right?

2) Write up a SOLUTION to the problem. Broken link? Find a new link.
    Misspelling? Write down the correction. Poor grammar? Re-write the
    sentence or paragraph to improve it. Outdated info? Find the newer
    info. Etc., etc. I think you get the idea.

3) Go to the "bad" web page in question, and at the bottom, click on
    the link to report "bugs" in the web page.  I realize (as I am also
    a programmer among my multiple self-taught skills) that the above
    mentioned things are not "bugs" in the programming sense, but on
    the other hand, most of the AMSAT pages don't actually compute
    something that a bug would cause to be mis-computed, so I submit that
    the original intent of the author was to use this link to report
    ANY flaw(s) in the page, not only programming errors. If the
    original author wants to contest that point of view, she is welcome
    to come forward and say so in this public forum.

4) Fill out the form that will pop up, including your description of
    the problem AND the solution that you found or created. Hit the
    SEND button.

5) Wait a very short time, and if you did your part well, I am willing
    to bet money that you will find that the web page gets fixed.

There were several things on the Satellite Status pages that annoyed me. 
Having had enough of the troll-feeding, I decided to follow steps 1 
through 5, and, lo and behold, those annoying problems are now history.

I seriously doubt that the prompt action by Drew to my "website bug 
reports" had anything to do with the esteem in which the organization 
holds me, as I am usually lurking around quietly, and saying/doing 
nothing to make my existence even known to AMSAT. I am about as close to 
an unknown member as you can get, yet still be the author of an article 
that was published in an issue of the AMSAT Journal once upon a time. I 
therefore submit that if it worked for me, it will likely also work for you.

Don't believe it?
Go ahead, try to prove me wrong. I dare you.
And have a nice day while you try.

73 de WØJT

P.S., don't think that the "Life Member" status got me any special 
attention, either. It just means that if they spent my one-time life 
membership fee on cheap whiskey and expensive women, they will have only 
the memories of that experience to enjoy, they don't get to send me a 
bill every year to renew my membership so they can do it all over again!

P.P.S., a hearty THANK YOU to all the people who make this hobby 
possible, especially those who are currently getting flamed recently.

/* jpt */

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