Monday, March 10, 2008

SXSW: Frank Warren--PostSecret

Frank was Monday's keynote speaker. With PostSecret, he pioneered the idea that a website can serve as an anonymous online confessional. His story touches all aspects of humanity--it shows that courage is contagious and if you share, others will share. This touches on the relatively new but overwhelming interest in social networking. We all are intrigued to listen to other's stories, to know what motivates them, to hear their most innermost thoughts. Check out some of the videos that are on the blog (they're hosted on YouTube)'s one he showed during his presentation. He's published three books of postcards to date.

Frank started PostSecret as an art project by inviting people to mail back postcards he handed out. After the intial ones came back, he was surprised by the "soulful" artwork and the volume of secrets he's received...and astonished by the frailty and humanism of everyday people living their every day lives.

Two interpretations capture his presentation well. After he went through his agenda, he opened up the floor for people to share secrets. The first was a marriage proposal...and it took quite a while for the young lady to surface so the poor man was shaking (She said yes!). The second was a woman confessing she was scared for her sister, who has a disease no one knows about. And she wants people to support her through her blog...she mentioned it was debutante, but I'm having trouble finding it. Also, a woman who worked in healthcare thought these would be a great way for both people who work in the field to let go of some of the "secrets" they see and don't talk about as that is the environment they work in. But even better was to give a patient a postcard to fill in as to she felt it would be cathartic for them to let go of any baggage.

These two images are by Marilyn Martin (above) and Sunni Brown (below), official SXSW graphic recorders.

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