Journaling project using Web to track its progress

Jan. 28, 2001



The Internet has become virtually a must-have tool for home and business use. I have a hard time imagining the world without e-mail -- and frankly, don't care to consider giving up my computer and the Internet.

It is the power of personal communications that makes the Internet and its resources so powerful. And its this powers that a privately funded social experiment is using to track its own success.

The 1000journalproject is a site and project that, as the name suggests, will involve 1000 paperback journals.

The project's goal is to distribute the journals and attempt to follow them wherever they go, who adds to each of them, and then what happens after that.

There are no guidelines for entering into the journals. They're for anyone and everyone who would like to share thoughts or opinions, and as the site proclaims, "to be part of something greater than the individual."

The 1000journalproject began last year, and over the past six months or so has enlisted volunteers from all over the world to help distribute the journals.

The comments in the journals tend to be a mishmash of ideas, plugs for personal projects and philosophies, and what have you. An area of the site is devoted to sightings, and these are updated regularly.

The project is seeking individuals to help pass out the journals. The highest number I've seen so far is No. 233, so there are plenty more to go.

For more information, visit

DEFINITION MISSION. This is a site after my own heart -- I love puns and word gags, and this one is tops.

I'm referring to, a site that offers new definitions for old words, and even new words for old definitions.

Sound confusing? Here's an example of what offers:

• totjectory - the path of a toddler as he or she careens toward you in a mall or grocery.

• pentropy - the tendency for the ballpoint pens on your desk to disappear. This phenomenon was formerly attributed to filching co-workers, though now believed to be attributable to the inexorable contraction of the universe.

The site is a side project of a couple of guys who do Web design and computer database work, so they don't add much of their own to it. They welcome contributions from visitors, and these invariably have added much to the site.

Visit to read more about the site, or contribute your own definitions.

MCKIOSK? What do you get when you cross a Happy Meal with a Compaq PC?

McCompaq? McPaq? Or how about McMagination -- specially designed interactive kiosks aimed at kids ages 4 to 7 and those 8 to 15.

The collaboration will combine Compaq PCs with kiosks that are shaped as Ronald McDonald and Grimace. Each will have up to 12 different games based on current software titles.

All the games will be age-appropriate -- expect no Quake or Half-Life to running on these kiosks. The software on the kiosks will be updated every six weeks (my bet is the software will tie into the current Happy Meal, but that just one man's guess).

Today's kids are being raised from kindergarten to use PCs, so placing them in restaurant that target youth are a natural move.

NO DSL@HOME. ExciteAtHome, one of the leaders in the cable TV Internet industry, announced its decision to scrap plans to enter also in high-speed Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) services.

ExciteAtHome teamed up last April with a Colorado company to sell DSL Internet access.

The beauty of DSL access is that no special cable or telephone lines are required -- the service runs over plain old copper telephone lines, just like your existing telephone system uses.

ExciteAtHome planned to deploy DSL in markets where it didn't have cable Internet access. That of course was before the big dot-com shakeout last year, and the closure or bankruptcy of several other DSL companies.

The decision is based on economics -- the company wants to move to profitability as quickly as possible, and analysts say that now may happen by the end of this year.

Also being cut is ExciteAtHome's commercial Web hosting business and its Enliven online advertising company. Both businesses will likely be sold to other providers.

Comments and questions about this column may be sent to, or visit on the World Wide Web.

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