I've been greatly disappointed.
Instead of finding a welcoming venue with encouragement for budding constesters like myself (albeit still very much a little pistol), I've found a mostly closed society that seems intent on bickering amongst themselves over issues that apparently have swirled within the contesting realm for years. Quite frankly it's a shame because there seems to be several level-headed contributors, like K1TTT and K5ZD (and many others that I'm not bothering to mention). Unfortunately the words of these hams are offset by many others who seem hell-bent on taking the opposite side of any argument.
Not that the aforementioned hams are always right in their viewpoints, in many cases there's not a 'right or wrong'. But to read the constant back and forth has become taxing and certainly isn't enjoyable. And I believe in self-policing and self-regulation, as well as freedom of speech, but it's gotten ridiculous. The latest big argument is over making submitted logs public and whether operators can gain an unfair advantage by scrutinizing the logs of stations that are competitors. While I can understand that this may be crucial to some, I've come to the realization that I've got better things to do.
I've also concluded that I simply don't want to take contesting (or ham radio for that matter) as serious as some seem to. It IS a hobby, after all. It should be something that you enjoy and don't argue over relentlessly. I've also realized that I'm out of my league when it comes to all the issues surrounding contesting.
Still, more troublesome was the unwillingness to welcome new posters, offer encouragement, and the tendency to point out the lack of knowledge of someone just getting started in contesting. I don't see the purpose in tearing someone down in order to make yourself look smarter or more capable. I should add, I never posted there, but I witnessed this behavior several times over the last few months.
So with that, I'm pulling the plug on the CQ-Contest emailing list. I'll keep contesting, of course, but definitely with a different perspective now.
There's been a growing amount of chatter on many blogs concerning the 'Future of Ham Radio' and what we, collectively, can do to shape that and encourage more younger operators. Well, here's a suggestion. When you go to form the committee, don't invite those guys. You'll just end up arguing and they certainly won't roll out the welcome wagon.