You’ve probably heard the term meme and thought, oh it’s some online gimmick that bloggers use to propagate ideas and promote each other. Well, memes can exist offline as well. Boing Boing mentions the 1000 Journals Project, where someone “propagated” journal-type books so that they’d make their way around the world. People wrote or drew in them and left them where they lay or passed them on to people.
These sorts of experiments always fascinate me. Back in my punk years of my mid- to late-20s in Toronto, I used to keep a stack of journals. One would almost always make its way with me when I went nightclubbing, and friends and acquaintances would add a little bit to the book. In more recent years, I came across a little downtown cafe, The Cornerstone, in the town I currently live in. In one of the windowsills, there’s a stack of unlined journals with some of the most fascinating text and graphics contributed by customers young and old – some regulars.
These types of memes just cannot exist online, and is one of the reasons – besides the tactility of books – why I think that paper will never go out of style. On the other hand, this meme can be facilitated online by making the existence of journals known on a website. So if you want to be part of this journal meme, check out the newer 1001 Journals, which lets you either sign up for a journal or send one out in a controlled fashion.