Re: ARRL Drops Fire Fox


Dave AA6YQ
 

Four years ago, the ARRL spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase a license to Personify, but failed to properly scope the effort required to integrate Personify with the ARRL's existing infrastructure and applications. As a result, ARRL management re-assigned the software developers who'd just finished adding WAZ support to LOTW to work on Personify integration (and re-implementation of the DXCC system, which evidently failed). Had those developersinstead been allowed to continue to work on LoTW, we'd likely have support for IOTA, USA-CA, JARL, and DARC awards, support for on-air activities like NPOTA, Centennial, and Grid Chase, and would have early iterations of a new user interface that could be localized to languages other than English, just as TQSL has been localized to ~15 languages.

The Personify roll-out was terrible. User IDs were silently changed to email addresses without notice, much less approval. ARRL staff were not trained to answer obvious questions; the false "ARRL Drops FireFox" meme is but one example. The user community has been given no explanation of the benefits of incorporating Personify; my request for this explanation on the ARRL-LoTW group has gone unanswered.

Software is eating the world, and that includes amateur radio and the ARRL. Providing high-quality information and services to members are table stakes. The ARRL's current management clearly needs help, but defensively rejects it when offered. On its current path, the ARRL is headed for a slow, ugly descent to oblivion - the bungled Personify acquisition and roll-out being just the latest episode . Don't like it? Engage with your ARRL Director.

     73,

            Dave, AA6YQ

 

 

 

 

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