I can remember one of the aspects about Ham radio that always excited me was receiving QSL cards. My dad showed me his binder full of cards that he had collected from all over the world. I was fascinated to see the different styles of cards as well as the differing stamps.
Now that I am a Ham, I have found that a number of fellow hammers are using digital QSL cards. I can certainly understand the draw. With just a few strokes on the keyboard, your contact is logged and sent. You don’t have to pay postage (which seems to constantly be on the rise) or pay to have more QSL cards printed.
But I feel that going digital sort of takes all the fun out of requesting a QSL card. While I am not sure that my collection will ever reach that of my father, I had hoped to actually have tangible evidence that I contacted someone in a different country. Receiving an e-mail like card is just not the same.
Plus, digital seems less personal. I feel that hamming is a very personal hobby. The whole point is to communicate with others. I believe that this is especially true for those that use voice instead of CW. I want to see the different hand writing styles of my contacts. And of course, collect stamps from across the globe!
Perhaps I am just too “old school.” While I love the idea of expanding communications capabilities digitally, I still appreciate the sentiment behind a handwritten letter and paper QSL card.