Amateur Radio is a very diverse hobby, with lots of different areas to be active in. While I don't do everything, there are quite a few areas that I am active in - here are a few of them for your review.
Amateur Radio Emergency Service, which has developed since 1935, is a part of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Field Organization. Amateurs have been involved with Public-service communications, emergency communications, since 1913. In the early days the involvement was unprepared and without any coordination. As stated in the PUBLIC SERVICE COMMUNICATIONS MANUAL, published by the ARRL, "As time progressed, the need for and value of organization became evident, resulting in the establishment of organized trunk lines and net systems; later the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and the National Traffic System (NTS) were formed to complete the organization."
...is an all-digital group of over 200 MOTOTRBO DMR repeaters in 18 countries with over 65,000 users. All repeaters on our network are connected all the time. TRBO radios have great voice quality, great coverage, and extended battery life all in LESS THAN 1/3 the channel bandwidth of a traditional analog FM repeater with TWICE as many voice channels!
Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) is an amateur radio-based system for real time tactical digital communications of information of immediate value in the local area. In addition, all such data is ingested into the APRS Internet System (APRS-IS) and distributed globally for ubiquitous and immediate access. Along with messages, alerts, announcements, and bulletins, the most visible aspect of APRS is its map display. Anyone may place any object or information on his or her map, and it is distributed to all maps of all users in the local RF network or monitoring the area via the Internet. Any station, radio, or object that has an attached GPS is automatically tracked. Other prominent map features are weather stations, alerts and objects and other map-related amateur radio volunteer activities including Search and Rescue and signal direction finding.
Local Clubs and Groups
Being involved in Amateur Radio usually comes along with being active in one or more clubs or groups. Meeting with fellow amateurs for comadarie, sharing of new technologies in the Amateur Radio world or just having fun!
EchoLink® software allows licensed Amateur Radio stations to communicate with one another over the Internet, using streaming-audio technology. The program allows worldwide connections to be made between stations, or from computer to station, greatly enhancing Amateur Radio's communications capabilities. There are more than 200,000 validated users worldwide — in 151 of the world's 193 nations — with about 5,200 online at any given time.
Not only am I an Echolink user, I also run an Echolink Conference Server, the USA Grits - N - Gravy Gang which is listed in the Echolink directory as *USA-GNG*.