Monday, August 16, 2010

Storytelling on a postcard

Anonymous comments rightfully have a bad reputation these days. But a guy in Maryland created what amounts to a storytelling project by asking for just that.

Frank Warren passed out self-addressed postcards with a request that people write a secret on the postcard and mail it back. The response he's gotten is a fascinating look inside each person's life. Some secrets are simple and declarative -- "I could be homeless next month" -- and some are mini-stories -- "I'm jealous that my brother got to save someone's life. I hoped that she would stop breathing again so I could have a turn saving her life."

All are evocative, and visually, too, because people paste or draw pictures, or create a little work of art on the back of the postcard. The project's website is here, where you can see lots of examples.

And in the small-world department: I found out about this because Frank Warren's former mailcarrier is married to one of my brother-in-law's brothers, and she blogged about the backstory of PostSecret here (she and her husband are now living in the UK for three years, as his job took them there, and I've been checking out her blog). And then I was on the PostSecret website, and scrolled to the bottom where it says 826,661 people like it on Facebook, and pictures some of those people, and one of them is Joan Concilio. Nice call, Joan.