Wednesday, 15 January 2014

POSTSECRET

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project online where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard, hence the name. Since starting up in 2005, PostSecret has gained popularity, especially in the United States, and uses the secrets received in their published books, weekly updated blog/website and exhibitions. 


Examples:









The concept of the project was that completely anonymous people decorate a postcard and portray a secret that they had never previously revealed. No restrictions are made on the content of the secret; only that it must be completely truthful and must never have been spoken before. Entries range from admissions of sexual misconduct and criminal activity to confessions of secret desires, embarrassing habits, hopes and dreams.The secrets are meant to be empowering both to the author and to those who read it. Frank Warren claims that the postcards are inspirational to those who read them, have healing powers for those who write them, give hope to people who identify with a stranger's secret, and create an anonymous community of acceptance.
PostSecret collected and displayed upwards of 2,500 original pieces of art from people across the United States and around the world between its founding on January 1, 2005 and 2007.
The site, which started as an experiment on Blogspot, was updated every Sunday with 10 new secrets, all of which share a relatively constant style, giving the artists who participate some guidelines on how their secrets should be represented. It recently began posting approximately 20 new pieces each Sunday after a week when Warren mysteriously did not post any new secrets for one week.
From June 24 to July 3, 2007, the "Comments" section of the site was enabled. While a comments feature is frequently present on blogs, it had been previously absent from the PostSecret site. Many visitors viewed the presence of a comments section as out of character for the site, which was previously distinguished as a non-judgmental space for participants to reveal personal secrets. Many visitors felt that the new section contradicted the purpose of the site, as evidenced in numerous comments criticizing a postcard in which the author claims to have fed bleach to her cat.
In October 2007, the PostSecret Community was launched (www.postsecretcommunity.com). Since its inception, more than 80,000 users have registered for the online discussion forum.
According to Youth Trends' February 2008 "Top Ten List Report" PostSecret was the 10th most popular site amongst female students in the USA, with 7% of those polled naming the site as their favorite.
In April 2008, Warren teamed up with 1-800-suicide to answer some of these anonymous cries for help through peer run crisis hotlines on college campuses.
In April 2011, it was announced that an app would be developed by Bonobo, and released for iPhone and Android later in the year. Launched for iPhone on 3 September 2011, it quickly reached the top-selling spot. Over 2 million secrets were shared over the next few months, but malicious entries became widespread and uncontrollable. The app was closed in late December 2011.
Warren hosts events at numerous colleges to speak about the many different secrets of today's society. An art exhibition also travels the country, showcasing many of the hundreds of thousands of secrets he has received.
In his book, My Secret, Warren talks about his experiences with encounters with people all around the world who were inspired by the postcards, and how it got many people addressing things that they would otherwise never discuss. In this book he said, "I have been inspired by the stories they have told me, stories that begin with a secret and end with a hope."
In an article for USA Today, Maria Puente wrote "Evan Imber-Black, a family therapist and author of The Secret Life of Families, says telling secrets has no meaning except in the context of family relationships. We live in a time where people have the mistaken idea that you tell a secret to the multitudes on TV — and move on," she says. "But opening a secret is just the first step. (Posting on PostSecret) might offer some measure of relief, but I'm not sure how long it lasts. When a secret opens, it usually takes time and relational work to get a new equilibrium."




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