Time spent on PostSecret allows me time to think. Time to reflect on the secrets I see and the meanings behind them as well as the vast online community Frank Warren has created. Here are some impressive statistics:
- PostSecret is the largest advertisement-free Blog in the world with the visitor count surpassing 300 million
- There are over 600,000 fans of the PostSecret page on Facebook
- Over 235,000 Twitter followers are tuned into PostSecret's daily updates
What I find most intriguing about PostSecret is the outlet for communication it offers to anyone looking to make a connection. Individuals typically have a difficult time revealing their secrets to others. One man decided to take a new approach to the art of secrets, and rather than keep them hidden, he chose to put them into a medium for all to see. As something that began as a community art project, Frank Warren invited individuals to mail in their secrets on one side of a homemade postcard. Frank explains that secrets could be about any topic, "Your secret can be regret, fear, betrayal, desire, confession or childhood humiliation. Reveal anything – as long as it is true and you have not shared it with anyone before."
PostSecret provides the opportunity for users to publicly release something covert in their lives while remaining annonymous at the same time. This allows them to acknowledge what they never wanted to before since their privacy is completely protected. The site is updated each Sunday with a listing of new postcards filled with secrets that range from comedic to lustful and from inspiring to depressing. Visitors to the site can simply observe the secrets or they can become involved in the dialogue. The PostSecret Community invites visitors to share stories, build connections and even interact with Frank.
PostSecret takes its message on the road visiting colleges all over the country. I was fortunate to attend one of these events in a packed auditorium at the University of Illinois last spring. Even in a crowded auditorium I felt like Frank was speaking directly to me. He spoke of secrets shared, his personal experience with the project and invited anyone to come forward to share a secret of their own. Frank took the time to meet attendees after the event, and from our brief conversation Frank's truly genuine character shone through. I believe PostSecret supplies a vital online community that can transfer to the real world through similar events to the one I attended in addition to the conversation that inevitably ensues whenever I come across another PostSecret fan.
A recent secret reveals the importance of just knowing there's someone out there who is listening and can relate.
What do you think? Have you ever shared a secret? Is PostSecret a way to connect or only for a certain kind of person?