Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sharing Secrets in Public

By Cassie Michelotti

          “Hi, my name is Frank and I collect secrets.”
          Collect secrets? Secrets are the type of thing you do not share, and for it to be collected it would have to be shared. Strangers everywhere have been trusting a man, a complete stranger to them, with their deepest darkest secrets for almost eight years.
          Frank Warren is the founder of Post Secret, the most visited advertisement-free blog in the world. The blog collects and posts postcards where people have artfully disclosed very personal secrets for the whole world to see. The idea started when Frank handed out 3,000 self addressed post cards with one side explaining what to do with the postcards. The idea spread and soon Frank was receiving postcards from all over the world. Frank recently gave a speech at a TED conference explaining how the idea got started and sharing some of the secrets he has received.
            Some of the secrets Frank shares are funny, like a disgruntled barista admitting they give decaf to rude customers. Others are sad, strangers share their feelings of loneliness. One man even proposed via postcard knowing that his girlfriend and he visited the site together every Sunday.
            The last secret Frank shares reads, “When people I love leave voicemails on my phone I always save them in case they die tomorrow and I have no other way of hearing their voice ever again.” He said that this secret led to an influx of people sending in voicemails from people they had lost, that they had saved for years. He plays one from a young girl from her grandmother singing her a birthday song. Secrets have a way of connecting people like nothing else can, something that can be a once in a lifetime opportunity.

          This speech can be seen at or the TED website (

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