Amateur Radio Messaging, alive and well in the 21st Century
Through the years, Amateur Radio has always been the original open-source project; and with “Hams” openly sharing ideas, tools, experience, and message traffic they continue to support it and their service community. Historically, the origin of the Amateur Radio service was intertwined with the idea of relaying messages. Back when telegrams and long-distance telephone calls were expensive, and not everyone even had a telephone, many people knew Hams and called upon them to get personal messages to and from distant friends and relatives. Today we have a robust and low-cost communications infrastructure available, yet the Amateur Radio tradition of "passing traffic", consisting of messages that are relayed between operators, persists, largely as an ongoing practice exercise for times when that infrastructure isn't working. (For example, after Hurricane Maria AT LEAST 7,000 "I'm OK" messages were relayed by Amateurs out of Puerto Rico and surrounding islands, often delivered to US relatives by common carrier.) Traffic handling has been undergoing a resurgence and transformation of late.