Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Time of Unprecedented Choice and Opportunity

It was just over a year ago that a very good friend encouraged me to live out my passion by putting words to virtual paper in the form of the blog you now read. As much as I recognize anniversaries around here, I did not feel inclined initially to even mention that September 20th would mark the first birthday of 2719 Hyperion.

But Walter Cronkite changed my mind.

Well, not directly. It was actually a Walter Cronkite of twenty years ago. Let me explain.

While waiting in the daily agony of what is typically known as the after-school car pool line, I decided to dig into my iPod and listen to an mp3 file of the late 1980s incarnation of Spaceship Earth, which featured veteran journalist and famed network news anchor Walter Cronkite as the attraction’s audio host. It was Cronkite’s concluding comments from his SSE narration that suddenly made a persistent muse materialize and land with a loud ker-plunk on my left shoulder and subsequently begin to whisper in my ear. My son ultimately jumped into the car with much fanfare, breaking me away from my sojourn to the EPCOT Center of 1987, but not before I was able to briefly reflect on the other Uncle Walt’s then very prophetic words:

"Today our search for understanding is unbounded by space and time. Centuries of information stand ready to reach us in an instant. Our link with the past; our hope for the future. In the information age, our knowledge and tools of communication will continue to grow and improve. We’ll discover new ways to share our ideas and dreams, to create a better world for today, tomorrow and tomorrow’s child.

"Yes, tomorrow’s child. Embodying our hopes and dreams for the future. A future made possible by the information age. The technologies of this new era with extend our reach, expand the capabilities of the human mind, and help us shape a better tomorrow.
"Ours is a time of unprecedented choice and opportunity, so let us explore and question and understand. Let us learn from our past and meet the challenges of the future. Let us go forth and fulfill our destiny on Spaceship Earth."

So how does an old EPCOT attraction spiel somehow relate to my waxing sentimental over the first anniversary of 2719 Hyperion? Hang in there folks, I promise the dots will all connect in the end.

But first I need to do a little Meet the Robinsons quote highlighting.

Today our search for understanding is unbounded by space and time. Centuries of information stand ready to reach us in an instant. Our link with the past; our hope for the future. In the information age, our knowledge and tools of communication will continue to grow and improve. We’ll discover new ways to share our ideas and dreams, to create a better world for today, tomorrow and tomorrow’s child.

Yes, tomorrow’s child. Embodying our hopes and dreams for the future. A future made possible by the information age. The technologies of this new era with extend our reach, expand the capabilities of the human mind, and help us shape a better tomorrow.

Ours is a time of unprecedented choice and opportunity, so let us explore and question and understand. Let us learn from our past and meet the challenges of the future. Let us go forth and fulfill our destiny on Spaceship Earth.

Since that very exciting day in 1987 when I first visited EPCOT Center, and more specifically Spaceship Earth, I have certainly experienced this wonderful future made possible by the information age. But while in the last ten years or so since I became a traveler on the World Wide Web and have used that connectivity to great benefit, I had never perceived an opportunity to pursue my passion for all things Disney in any type of online incarnation. My own total (and likely genetic) ineptness at anything HTML-related always pretty much put a damper on any Internet-related endeavors I might have considered.

But in 2006, two significant events happened to me: I purchased an iPod, and, my aforementioned friend introduced me to the world of blogging.

Via iTunes, I was quickly introduced, not to just the world of podcasting, but Disney podcasting. In short order, I discovered a very tangible, albeit one-sided link, to others as equally passionate about the Mouse and who led very similar Disney-centric lives. Somehow the actual voice connections seemed to provide a more direct contact than the often impersonal and generally anonymous communications found within forum-based Internet communities. Suddenly, I wanted to be involved. I wanted to in some way meet and interact with all these other like-minded individuals. I wanted to share my love and passion and accumulated Disney knowledge, and even engage in a debate or two. But how?

“Why don’t you start a blog,” my very good friend Jennifer casually suggested one evening last September. My HTML fears immediately charged forward, to which Jennifer quickly reassured, “Don’t worry, it’s easy.”

And to my surprise and delight, it was. I was suddenly able to share my ideas and dreams, extend my reach, and even resurrect a bit of destiny fulfillment that I had long ago abandoned. It was just like Mr. Cronkite promised some twenty years ago. See, I told you I would connect the dots.

To employ an overused but still appropriate Disney cliché, the last year has been one wild and exciting E-Ticket ride. And one with many unexpected twists and incredible surprises. The most recent being the evolution from a blogger url to 2719hyperion.com.

I have met so many friendly and welcoming individuals within the Disney online community, and have been recognized and acknowledged by both esteemed Disney scholars and well known enthusiasts whose works and efforts I have long admired and respected. I have forged what I consider to be lasting friendships, and was especially fortunate in meeting many of these new friends in person when I attended the MagicMeets fan gathering this past July.

My deepest thanks go out to all the faithful readers here who have supported and encouraged me these past twelve months. Heartfelt gratitude is also extended to my fellow Disney bloggers. We have formed a community of sorts within the larger Disney online community, and the support and camaraderie we often share is something I enjoy and value very much.

18 comments:

Lillian said...

Hey Jeff.

Congrats! I listen to the WDW Radio Show weekly and visit this blog weekly as well. Keep up the Disney digressions. Disney geeks ROCK!

Jessica said...

Happy anniversary Jeff! What a wonderful post - congrats on everything that you have accomplished this past year. And here's to another year full of crates and trash cans!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on a year! Your site has so much info and detail. It is just great for someone like me who is always interested in learning even the smallest of details about Disney and WDW. I don't remember which I found first, Lou's podcast or your site, but they are both great and thanks for all your hard work. Keep it going.

Cliff
MKEPCOTMGMAK at wdwradio

Greg said...

Congratulations Jeff on your 1st year. I am new to the Disney blogs but can say that yours is one of the first I look at each morning, hoping to see something new. I'm a Disney park veteran (a lot of trips for someone living outside of Florida) but your posts hvae compelled me to look at the parks in a whole different way. So, I am back in Central Florida next month, looking forward to seeing new things. Hooray for DSLR cameras and several gigs of memory. Thank you and again, congrats.

John said...

It's amazing how one circle around the sun can seem to pass so quickly. This last one was made much richer by having you a part of the Disney Blogging community. Here's to many more trips around the sun with 2719 Hyperion

-John
www.thedisneyblog.com
by fans, for fans

Lainey Schallock said...

blimey! let's uncork the champagne! Congrats friend... what a sad world this would have been if a Disney enthusiast like myself didn't have 2719 Hyperion to read daily. Thanks for all your hard work! Best, Lainey

Biblioadonis aka George said...

Congratulations, Jeff.

Not much else to say, except that 2719 was the inspriation for what Andy and I started many moons ago. You keep ratcheting that bar higher and higher--quality content and awe-inspring graphics.

When people ask me what I want to be when I grow up, I proudly exclaim, "Jeff Pepper!"

Or is that a little too much brown nosing?

I am definitely looking forward to the second year of 2719 Hyperion.

ROB RICHARDS said...

Hey Jeff,

Congratulations on the milestone, your first anniversary! You have a great blog. I read it every day, and look forward to visiting for a long. long time.

All my best!

Grumpwurst (Ray) said...

Jeff,

Congratulations on making it one year. From what I've read that is a major accomplishment in the blogging world. Many die on the vine before their first anniversary.

2719 Hyperion, as well as, The Disney Geeks (d/b/a Imaginerding) are two key motivators for my own foray into blogging.

Keep up the good DSI work of all things Disney

-- Ryan P. Wilson said...

Hip Hip hooray for Jeff and 2719 Hyperion! My most sincere thanks from all those you inspire to blaze new trails, and all of us who daily stand in awe of your omnibus of all things Disney. And here's to many more happy years!!

~Ryan
aka McDisney
mainstreetgazette.blogspot.com

Mr Banks said...

And you're Re-Imagineering's friend! Keep the torch of quality lit! Happy birthday!

John G said...

Congrats on your first of many milestones, Jeff. You make the day better for many of us!

RadioCarla said...

Congratulations! I listen to you and Lou religiously. How much so? You and Lou were on my iPod as I was doing my laps around the ship Celebrity Infinity during our Alaskan Cruise. Nothing like a podcast about WDW to warm you up in the Inside Passage!

Love your blog! And your segments on WDW Radio!

Carla

sdav10495 said...

Congrats! I'm certainly glad you decided to let us in on the anniversary. I check 2719 Hyperion every day and couldn't imagine making my Disney blog rounds without it. Keep up the excellent work!

Jeff Pepper said...

Thanks everyone!

Your kind words and support are so very much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Jeff - I found you through Lou's podcast. You two as a duo are simply the best! Keep up the good work on this site and I look forward to hearing you again on the WDW Radio Show.

P.S. why no picture or Bio?

Lou Mongello - DisneyWorldTrivia.com said...

Jeff,

I'm a little late catching up on your blog posts, but I wanted to also take this opportunity to thank you four amazing work here, and what you bring to the show. Your knowledge, insight and most of all, passion come through in all you do, and you have quickly become a bright light in the online Disney community. I'm proud to have you as a part of the podcast, and wish you all the continuing best of success with the blog!! Thank you for all that you do.

Viva la Pepper!! :)

Geek on, my friend.... geek on...

www.bigbrian-nc.com said...

Congrats on the one year anniversary Jeff great blogs like your are slowly making me change my internet surfing habits and eventually I'll figure out a good way to keep track of these great Disney blogs that keep popping up.