Some say ham-chatrooms on the internet like that of ON4KST were necessary for GHz-contesting to find enough QSO-partners, because those antennas with high gain lobes of extrem narrow horizontal width don´t allow to find qsos in the normal way of CQing or S&P. Chats were only a "more effective" way of skeds made on the bands. They were only soliciting but not exchanges.
Others say, in an amateur radio-contest qsos should only be made and solicited via amateur-radio means, like asking on 70cm to qsy to GHz. Any soliciting via Internet should be disallowed like in nearly all HF-contests.
Learning about this after some years of enjoyable but hardware-wise humble experience (10 W with 64 Ele in a topografically challenged area at 155m asl) I looked into the review of a chat after the contest. To know what we are talking about a few snippets from this internet-conversations. All lines come from different stations (parts originally in german roughly translated).
08:49 pse agn, qsb here
08:49 still sending, pse lsn
08:53 do not hear anything from you in the monent - are we still in sked?
08:55 pse give me report and serial number in cw
08:59 I received all did u hrd me?
09:02 we heard u weak and short did you copy us?
09:04 heard something again
09:06 Pse only rst. Nr is ok
09:13 very weak hr... pse loong call
09:16 copy you well but no response please cw
09:23 is it you answering me? sig is vy weak
And then my favourite (now the same two "QSO"-partners repeatedly)
09:53:10 PA... (DL...) complete I guess ...lot of noise hi
09:53:30 DL... (PA...) cannot copy you anymore
09:54:31 DL... (PA...) NIL NIL NIL NIL NIL here
09:54:37 PA... (DL...) try agn
09:55:40 PA... (DL...) sri strong cw clicks form PA0 station here
09:56:04 DL... (PA...) not complete here
09:57:15 PA... (DL...) tnx patience hi
09:58:03 DL... (PA...) I had everything else long before :-)
So, what is soliciting now and what are essential parts of making a qso? Feel free to make your own opinion. Mine is: That looks like participants of a marathon run who wear skates but argue that they were real marathon runners.
How about that: To react to the antenna needs on GHz, the interest of non-contesters to look for interesting qsos AND to maintain the basic amateur radio character of an amateur radio contest let´s have a basic score reduction of 33% or more for everyone logged into a chat. Additionally it were helpful to have a set of easy rules what are integral parts of a qso not to be exchanged via chat. Every chat posting like "couldn´t copy, pse agn" would make a "qso" worth zero points in the contest. Both stations are free to send a "confirmation" of this event by QSL.
Update March 2011
I couldn´t resist to check the argument that chat were only a GHz-thing because it is due to the narrow antenna patterns. So I had a look at the chat during the march contest for 2m/70cm, too - and could stop quickly after looking through only half an hour of spots. But judge by yourself (extracted are only DL-stations and not all the selfspots):
2011-03-06 10:35:34Z DF0.. Df0.. on 342 on 2m
2011-03-06 10:31:44Z DL8.. i calling cq your direction pse lsn 432285 ssb
2011-03-06 10:30:55Z DM1.. pse ssb I copy you
2011-03-06 10:28:54Z DK3.. 144.140 cw pse cfm
2011-03-06 10:27:11Z DH6.. listen for me, i copy you good
2011-03-06 10:26:44Z DK0.. any copi on 257 70cm ?
2011-03-06 10:26:44Z DM7.. probiermer nochma 432.180?
2011-03-06 10:25:57Z DF7.. qrg? pse ant to jn48..
2011-03-06 10:25:56Z DM7.. pse sked 432.180
2011-03-06 10:25:50Z DF0.. 432.195 - sked 70cm?
2011-03-06 10:25:46Z DK4.. 750W 4*4 ok now your dir 144.200 jo31..
2011-03-06 10:25:28Z DK0.. 144335
2011-03-06 10:25:10Z DF0.. 144.190 can you listen on .190? beaming your direction
2011-03-06 10:23:06Z DM7.. Hi pse sked 432.180
2011-03-06 10:19:13Z DL0.. pse lsn .235 on 70cm. tnx
2011-03-06 10:16:17Z DK0.. wir rufen 257 70cm
2011-03-06 10:15:31Z DM7.. S51XXXXX I call .180.7 (on most urgent request of S51XXXXX call abbreviated - reasons for it be in the creavity of the reader)
2011-03-06 10:15:07Z DF0.. 432.195 wir rufen auf .263
2011-03-06 10:14:33Z DK4.. 750W 4*4 <<< Any sked 144.200 jo31.. >>>>>>>>>
2011-03-06 10:11:41Z DG6.. rdy 4 ur call
2011-03-06 10:11:34Z DG6.. ?? CQ 144,219,5 dir west JO31 JO32 ??
2011-03-06 10:11:23Z DL8.. cant hear you
2011-03-06 10:10:53Z DL6.. maybe other qrg for a sked on 432MHz, big gun close to ur qrg
2011-03-06 10:10:52Z DL8.. ich rufe auf 285 ..jo43 ....loc?
2011-03-06 10:10:41Z DM7.. Hi Dxxxxxxx pse 432.180
2011-03-06 10:09:20Z DH6.. pse 144325.4 pse look for me
2011-03-06 10:09:16Z DL0.. pse .235 auf 70cm.
2011-03-06 10:08:52Z DL8.. hi Martin, pse ant JO43.., i hear u
2011-03-06 10:07:12Z DM1.. +++cq OK OM HA 432.313 from jo61.. +++
2011-03-06 10:05:34Z DK0.. we call 432257 ur dir
2011-03-06 10:05:10Z DH6.. pse sked on 144325.4
2011-03-06 10:04:43Z DH6.. pse 144325.4
2011-03-06 10:03:50Z DJ1.. hrd 55 strong qsb im waiting
2011-03-06 10:01:33Z DM7.. Hi i call nw cw .181
2011-03-06 10:00:42Z DL6.. now big gun close to ur qrg. maybe later agn
I don´t want to here anymore the "only GHz because of the narrow gain lobes"-argument. Boys - stand to your habit and at least admit that it is sooo comfortable to call CQ via internet, nicely arrange the qso, etc. So why don´t you go and exchange numbers if only comfy "fun" is the name of the game?
Flame suit on.