What’s the big idea?

boyreadiQ. Where did the idea of jot101 and ‘jotting’ come from?

A. From a collector of esoterica who wrote notes and comments about his reading which he called his ‘jottings.’ The information is not necessarily amusing, interesting, quirky or strange – but a ‘jot’ is new and original information or an advance on existing facts.

Q. So you would like jot101 to be a place where people archive research and notes from their readings?

A. Yes, but also information that they have come across in their work, in travel, from friends, in anecdote, in their family and in old books, periodicals, pamphlets and letters, manuscripts, notebooks and ephemera. Also obscure data, eyewitness reports, documents, photos, snapshots, press cuttings, diaries, biographies of seemingly unimportant people etc.,

Q. How does it differ from something like Wikipedia?

A. Much of the material is too minor and outside of the scope of an encyclopaedia. It is more about the preservation and curation of documents and ephemera; much of the information is beneath the Wikipedia radar (not notable enough) – it is closer to material referenced in their numbered footnotes …or the kind of information on which an encyclopaedic entry is based, part of the infrastructure, the building blocks… Jot101 is nearer to a mix of YouTube and the Victorian journal Notes and Queries in the way that people simply upload or record things they have found which are then in categories and searchable. The spirit of Notes and Queries is relentless curiosity and thirst for knowledge – however abstruse. Everyone has a jot in them, some people have many..

Q. Have you considered building a website and attracting contributions?

We already have a few contributors. We envision, in this century, a site where people seamlessly upload new information that they have found without having to create a website or a blog. Also where it is automatically codified along the lines of (say) the great Melvil Dewey and available for all eternity. No less.