Over the last week I have received several QSL cards via email.
These were backed up with LoTW confirmations, but the emails included images of a QSL card plus other interesting details about our QSO. Having received a sprinkling of these over the years it isn’t something brand new, but four in the last week makes it feel a little like a trend. Is there some sort of movement underway that I haven’t heard about?
I sure hope so. I enjoy receiving actual cards as much as anyone, but I don’t see it as a sustainable practice given the never ending increases in postage costs. On the other hand, delivery via email seems imminently practical and enjoyable when used in conjunction with LoTW. I still want the confirmations for ARRL awards, but I also enjoy seeing QSL cards with images of the shack and equipment, and I especially enjoy finding out more about the operator and where he lives.
If the email QSL actually became a thing I like to think that operators would update their personal information a little more frequently. I know how it is to purchase 5,000 printed QSL cards and then have piles of them still on hand after changing email addresses, moving to a new location, or when updating the equipment in the shack. I can even imagine updating photos on a regular basis, like with the change of seasons or if some special festival is taking place, or if the QSO took place in the field, etc.
Learning about a fellow operator, his family, pets, equipment, and station or the location he calls home is a special joy that can deepen the ham radio experience and add volumes of enjoyment to an already interesting hobby. It’s light years advanced from yet another hundred “UR 599 TU” contacts in the log and might even spawn a few new skeds, create a penpal or even, make some new friends in the process.