Thursday, December 18, 2008

Uncharted featured on KVNU web page

KVNU radio station's (610 am) "For the People" show has featured Uncharted's launch on their web page today. Check out the article.

Note - the "For the People" show is a great program for keeping abreast of some of the most important issues facing the community and nation. You can listen to their show online at

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Uncharted has launched!

The adventure has begun. Uncharted is now public! The site was unveiled at 7:35pm MST - 17 Dec 08 (0235 hrs GMT - 18 Dec 08). Several staff members and beta testers got together in Logan, Utah and online to celebrate the launch.

Congrats to the staff, beta-testers, and other Uncharted supporters everywhere. All the hard work has created this:

Feature stories for the launch include a Michigan adventure race, Spud Days in Shelley Idaho, and Alligators in the Snake River, Idaho. Some of the content submitted by registered Explorers includes Malaysia, France and California features. Great start!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lighting the Sky

Legend tells the tale of a young girl, who, in the dark of night, grabs embers from a glowing fire. She throws them high into the night sky, creating the Milky Way, full of formations of flickering stars, allowing navigation to the uncharted regions of the world.

Now, if only illuminating cyberspace were that easy.

That’s what we’ve been working on––mapping cyberspace with those little-known, less-traveled places of the globe, full of people, culture, moments and stories otherwise lost to time.

And it hasn’t been easy. Bringing a team together with the skills and experience necessary to pull off a project this complex and widespread was a formidable challenge. Over the past four years, we’ve worked, in some cases, across five time zones. All of our team members hold full-time jobs in a variety of disciplines, anything from journalists to officers in the armed forces, to programmers, artists, marketers and teachers. They speak a variety of languages and have lived and traveled around the world.

And they’re all volunteers. They’ve worked with minimal funding and scavenged resources. Their ingenuity and ability to come together in difficult situations sets them apart from any other team I’ve ever worked with. And while, at first glance, it seems an unlikely group to be working together, the mix has yielded unique results.

It has been my privilege to serve as director of this incredible group, who have labored, often into the late hours of the night and well into the early morning, sacrificing vacations, free time and other opportunities, on a project aiming to bring the world together one journey at a time.

Tomorrow evening you’ll get to see the first glimpse of all that hard work and sacrifice as we unveil, for the first public view, our project, We’ll share with you our first three stories highlighting some of our favorite people and places. And while much of our efforts have been close to home, our vision stretches into your backyard and beyond.

But more importantly, you’ll get to help us throw some embers into the sky as well, because Uncharted, after all, is a community of friends, our friends and, yes, most importantly, yours. We look forward to seeing the places you’ve been and the interesting people you’ve met. We look forward to getting to know each of you as we journey from place to place. We can’t wait to explore, live and feel the world through your eyes and show you the things we’ve seen as well.

So, wherever you are, however far away you might reside, come join us tomorrow evening for this historic moment in our project’s history, the beginning of many journeys to come.

Alan Murray is Executive Director of Uncharted. He enjoys snowshoeing and likes seahorses and likes to leave the country frequently.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Uncharted -- Your Digital Memory Box

I admit it – I’m a pack rat. I have saved, in various boxes, jars, bags, drawers and shelves just about everything from old TAB soda cans to rocks shaped like pig noses, newspaper clippings, photos, books, trinkets, beads and baubles, ties and, in a cardboard apple box underneath the stairs, ten years’ worth of handwritten journals.

Oh. Allow me to introduce myself. You've already met GeoJoe, our capable communications director. Now meet MisterFweem, the company's creative content director. Now, back to that collection of mine:

Fearful as any collector is of a disaster or misfortune that would rob me of my collection, I’ve spent the last several months laboriously scanning every scrap of paper I can find into the computer, in order to preserve a digital copy of the junk I’ve collected (except for the soda cans, of course, They’re hard to put on a flatbed scanner).

Scanning the journals and photos has been especially rewarding. As I’ve separated the yellowing pages, as I’ve read the words and looked at the photos and bits of flotsam that I’ve pasted in these books, I’ve been reminded of all the interesting places I’ve been, and the soaring and humbling experiences I had while I was there.

I remembered Montsegur – sitting atop a lonely mountain in the Pyrenees mountains dividing France and Spain, atop the ruins of an ancient chateau that was built on the ruins of an even older castle where men, women and children lived, herded their sheep, and were killed in a fit of religious persecution.

I remembered Holy Island – wandering the beaches, looking at the overturned boats turned into sheds, the ancient monuments, moss-covered gravestones and the seagulls screaming and crying above the salty waves, a sound that still says England to me.

I remembered Amsterdam’s Anne Frank House – the stilt-tall, narrow building where this family and others hid in vain for so long from their Nazi persecutors.

And I remembered Idaho’s Horseshoe Lake – fog-bound, surrounded by pines lit by a three-quarter moon, with the elk singing and shrieking and bellowing their mating calls through the night.

Uncharted is going to be a place like this. Like these. Uncharted is going to be my digital memory box – this time, shared with the world, not tucked away in cardboard boxes or forgotten on a shelf. See you other pack rats there.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Pink Bunnies Explained

I've mentioned on a few occassions the issue of "Pink Bunnies" which may have left you scratching your head if you aren't savvy to the inside joke. Funny as it may be, I'm totally serious in saying that Uncharted's fate has rested with pink bunnies. Allow me to explain this curious circumstance.

Our designer, Andrew, has quite the creative mind. Out of that creativity sprang the idea to manufacture and sell authentic pink bunny suits as seen in the movie A Christmas Story. Before he could even finish a business plan however, interest was pouring in. The orders were literally multiplying like - well - rabbits! Meanwhile, Andrew faced no mass-production capability. Temporary solution: mobilize the grandmothers! But the situation grew out of control with more work than Andrew could handle alone if he was to still manage Uncharted's design tasks. And if Uncharted had to go without Andrew's expertise while he sorted out the pink bunnies, our project would be delayed further. The fate of Uncharted rested with Pink Bunnies.

As result, our team decided to hop to it and give Andrew some much needed help with bunny control. It took no time at all, and we are happy to report that hundreds of Americans across the country will have pink bunny suits under their Christmas trees this year, plus an innovative and upgraded Uncharted website.

The new Uncharted site is coming soon, but in the mean time, if you're just inching to give the gift of pink bunny warmth, comfort, or humiliation this Christmas, visit and place your order.