Back in 2004, Frank Warren, a small businessman (as in the business was small, not Frank himself) printed up 3,000 postcards and dropped them in public places asking people to share a secret that they’d never told anyone, write it on the postcard and send it back to him.
He not only got all the postcards back, but people started making their own postcards and sending them in. He started a blog to display the thousands of postcards he was getting every week. His blog has had over 250 million hits. He’s written 5 books. He’s established a fundraising foundation for suicide prevention. And now he he’s creating an art project to pay tribute to all the people who’ve shared their good, bad and ugly secrets with him.
And the very coolest thing is that the only thing he has commercialized (e.g.: made any money on) is his books.
The main reason this struck me as interesting was that for a while now I’ve been thinking it would be fun to do an interactive post about “messages not sent” where people could share a little message to someone dead or someone they’ll never meet or never meet again. Something they wish they’d said, but never got a chance to. Or messages to people still around that you know you’ll never deliver.
Dear Jim: I know you’re probably old, fat and bald now, but for 2 weeks, when I was 20, you were a god.
Dear Mom: All those years you kept telling me and everyone else that I was the only kid you knew who’d never needed a mom from day one, it might have been nice if you’d still sort of made yourself available just in case.
Dear Miss Davis: You were a psychopath, but you certainly managed to instill the fear of bad spelling and bad grammar in me forever. Yay for phonics and The Strap!