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, www.uncharted.net. 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.

4 comments:

Jen said...

Alan,

I really love your metaphor of throwing embers into the sky and cyberspace. It's a wonderful comparison. I'm so excited to be involved in contributing my travel stories.... many of which will be food related. Please keep me in the loop! And best wishes for your launch!!

Later,
Jen

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR said...

Thanks Jen. We're really excited and look forward to seeing your stuff. Thanks for the support.

Alan

Amanda said...

I am so excited to follow your blog. What a wonderful resource.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR said...

Thanks. We're glad you like it. Let us know what you think as we continue to move forward.