To the Moon and Back: A Personal Retrospective

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To boldly go…
The Quest…
Man’s calling…
To boldly go…

As simple as opening the door to a strange room.

As complicated as unlocking the key to a new science.

The urge impels us all to take that first step into unchartered terrain.

Some would rather give others the initial chance.

But there comes a point when human nature drives us to follow those pioneers into a new land of innovation and invention.

That’s when we undertake The Quest.

The Quest.
To discover the undiscovered.
To explore the unexplored.
To know the unknown.

*          *          *          *          *

I wanted to write something special, something personal, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of mankind’s greatest voyage of exploration since Columbus… so far. It didn’t take me long to realize I had already written it and it had already appeared in The Sentinel. This Commentary originally appeared as “The Thrill of Beyond” in the July 20, 1989 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel to mark the 20th anniversary of America’s lunar landing. Here it is in its entirety. (Click the link in the title to see the original in text form.)
Continue Reading “To the Moon and Back: A Personal Retrospective”

Who Owns Your Data?

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Towards the end of the day, I finally rediscovered how to use Twitter on my Blackberry. Then I discovered I could retweet faster than I could type. Since a lot of 965897_88613402_data_stock_xchng_royalty_free_300folks had similar ideas to mine, retweeting became the most efficient method for me to get those ideas out of my head and into the Twittosphere known as #SMACSRIT.

#SMACSRIT was the hashtag for the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Social Media and Communication Symposium (SMACS) II, a lively, entertaining and enlightening event held on – at least what started out as – a rainy Thursday on September 29, 2011. I could write about each session, but, perhaps bowing to the behavioral phenomenon called “recency” – the tendency to overweight the last thing seen – I’ll focus on the final keynoter, who posed an intriguing question while Continue Reading “Who Owns Your Data?”

RIT’s Self-Publishing Advisor Tool

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We’ve written before (“University Offers Free Tools for Authors,” July 6, 2010) about the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) superb author resource Open_Pushing_Guide_logo copy_300called the Open Publishing Guide (OPG). As part of RIT’s commitment to an Open Source approach, when solutions are developed, the university releases them to the public free of charge through the OPG lab’s web-site The site includes reference sources, public domain graphics and a whole slew of other interesting and extremely useful tools.

Perhaps the most unique aspect of OPG resides in its “Self-Publishing Advisor” tool. This on-line application helps an author narrow the list of print-on-demand (POD) service providers to the most appropriate ones. I’ll  show you how it works by using an actual Continue Reading “RIT’s Self-Publishing Advisor Tool”

University Offers Free Tools for Authors

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In June during the 2010 Future of Reading Symposium at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), attendees received a hands-on demonstration of a powerful free Open_Pushing_Guide_logo copy_300tool for authors and self-publishers. The Open Publishing Guide, relaunched in April of this year, offers rich resources ranging from marketing, copyright and references, to public domain sources, free software tools and instructional booklets to forums, author communities and the latest news.

I was fortunate enough to attend this interactive breakout session, hosted by Rachael Gootnick, Content Manager of the Open Publishing Guide (OPG). Rachael explained the Continue Reading “University Offers Free Tools for Authors”

Has Chris Anderson Crossed to the Dark Side?

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Last week, Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief for Wired Magazine and author of The Long Tail and Free, took a trip to the Dark Side. In doing so, he introduced a 689354_27523471_gothic_stairs_royalty_free_stock_xchng_300cavalcade of fascinating concepts, revealed an insider’s secret fear and scared the you-know-what out of a cadre of faithful fans. What did he say? More importantly, why did he say it? Most urgently, does this portend a change no one wants to see?

Speaking at RIT’s “The Future of Reading” conference, Anderson offered no apologies for the apparent decline in the publishing industry – he pointed out Conde Nast, his employer, had sales growth in 2009 despite the record industry downturn. Further, he added these two choice morsels: “books still work” and “the web FAILed.”

Actually, in the case of the latter, Anderson referred to his own magazine’s site, which generates precious little cash flow for his company. You could envision him shudder as Continue Reading “Has Chris Anderson Crossed to the Dark Side?”

Day 20 – December 3, 2009 (Thu): Have Fun!

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Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 128 Followers: 102 Listed: 5

Missed yesterday? Go here to read what happened on Day 19 – December 2, 2009 (Wed): Try a Different Sequence

twitter_power_joel_comm_150Have fun! Have fun? Well for fun, I pretty much took the day off from Twitter. @erichnwise congratulated me for hitting 100 followers. Of course, eclipsing this mark no doubt had help from my following a slew of new folks (mostly Buffalo-oriented).

I started to really worry if I would have the script for the presentation at the Strasenburgh Planetarium Friday evening ready for this afternoon’s rehearsal. I didn’t. Fortunately, the kindly tech guys for the Planetarium and RIT assured me we could run everything through my computer. What a relief. I also learned how to do a podcast today. This was all fun, believe it or not!

How many followers do you think I’ll have after 30 days? Click here to enter your guess on my Survey Monkey survey “Chris Carosa’s 30-Day Plan to Dominate Twitter Experiment.” There’s no prize, but the fan who guesses the closest correct number the earliest will “win” and I’ll mention you if you want me to.

Find out today’s results on Day 21 – December 4, 2009 (Fri): Do Some Off-Twitter Marketing

Day 17 – November 30, 2009 (Mon): Post an Action Tweet

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Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 107 Followers: 88 Listed: 5

Missed yesterday? Go here to read what happened on Day 16 – November 29, 2009 (Sun): Post a Discussion Tweet

twitter_power_joel_comm_150Today’s the first day I’ve been really disappointed with this experiment. Although I admit I’ve been busy this weekend, I didn’t totally ignore Twitter. I followed a number of folks back. I did continue to do as Joel Comm suggested and I even got a big bounce in activity on my blog – at least as judged by Google Analytics.

But, given all that, I wake up this morning to find only two more followers. I’m beginning to formulate a hypothesis. I’ll call it the “Twitter Churn and Burn Hypothesis.” Here’s how it works:

Continue Reading “Day 17 – November 30, 2009 (Mon): Post an Action Tweet”

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