Event report plus: Post Secret 5/10/06

Frank Warren, the creator and curator of the PostSecret project, appeared today at the Elliott Bay Book Company.

I'm a big fan of the website. I read it every Sunday when he posts new secrets. It's a fascinating community project and one of a number of websites dependent on user-generated content.

Secrets posted range from the humorous to the tragic and are often miniature works of art, a little glimpse into a stranger's soul.

Warren spoke for about thirty minutes to a standing-room-only crowd. He discussed the origins of the project (originally conceived of as local and short-term). He read some of the postcards he had to omit from the PostSecret book for copyright reasons, and some of the stories people have told him about their experiences with the project. He talked about the therapeutic value of having secrets and sharing them.

Warren has become heavily involved with a national suicide prevention hotline; many of the postcards he receives deal with depression or other mental health issues. 1-800-SUICIDE has star billing on the blog (which is otherwise free of ads) and PostSecret sponsored a fundraiser for the hotline a few weeks ago when it was in danger of closing - within days over 900 donors had raised $30,000 to ensure the hotline's continued existence. Impressive.

The PostSecret book is as beautiful a volume as its contents deserve, really wonderfully designed and produced. HarperCollins did a great job with it. It's fascinating; the same appeal as Griffin and Sabine. You are reading other people's mail, but more so.

This would make a great gift for the goth teen in your life.

A Crappy Drawing of Frank Warren at Elliott Bay Book Company on May 10, 2006

1 comment:

Lynne W. Scanlon said...

Thanks for sending me over to that site. It was fascinating, but also very, very disturbing.

AKA The Wicked Witch of Publishing