POST SECRET BLOG REVIEW

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As you sit on your computer at work deciding what website you can visit that will be most entertaining, the biggest distraction to you and the best way to waste 15 minutes whilst creating the illusion of being productive, it is hard to go past postsecret.blogspot.com. This online confessional blog offers an enticing alternative to the latest Youtube video, the newest Facebook application or that blog on how to be an instant celebrity without any actual talent or money (see ….)  

 

Post Secret is a fine example and tribute to the wonders of the internet and the way it is shaping and challenging our world. Starting as a community art project in America, this blog runs off the quirky idea that people send a post card, anonymously, with their deepest, darkest secrets to a postal address. These secrets are then posted online by the blogger for the world to see.

 

Whilst the idea is far from revolutionary, it is still a definitely interesting one and you can see why Post Secret, which blogs in English, Spanish Dutch and French  has a visitor count reaching well into the millions.

Hats must go off to creator Frank Warren, whose careful deliberation and vision has lead to one very famous blog, four successful print publications and thousands and thousands of dedicated fans.

 

What distinguishes Post Secret from hundreds of copycat online confessional sites (some of which have the audacity to CHARGE you to ‘unburden yourself’ anonymously online) is the aesthetically pleasing format of the blog, the simplicity and the well planned content. 20 carefully selected secrets are uploaded each week, and each is artfully presented in a pop art style format using bold colours, collaged photographs and postcards and different prints against a simple black background.

 

The secrets themselves are mixed bag. Some range from the mundane, vain and narcissistic such as “The real reason I broke up with my husband is because people voted him ugly on Facebook” to the downright depressing “I always wanted to be a cop but became a teacher because I was afraid that if I owned a gun I would turn it on myself.” Some secrets are absurd, melancholy, enlightening, perverse, conceited and sometimes tacky but like a bad 80’s song, always additive.  My pick of the week is “Over the years I have discovered that Star Wars fans make the best lovers”.

 

One downside of online confessional sites that are obviously very public is they tend to attract the self indulgent posters hiding under the veil of anonymity but secretly wishing to be recognised, generally to recapture or spurn past lovers. Thanks to Frank Warren’s careful selection, these sorts of posts that are reflective of the drivel that is produced en masse in many of the aforementioned inferior confessional websites, appear infrequently.

 

The joy of this blog is the weekly updated content, which to me, makes it a more worthwhile (and cheaper) alternative to buying one of the lucrative ‘best of’ Post Secret coffee table books. The RSS feeds also ensure that you will never miss out on the latest batch of secrets and the inability to look at secrets from past weeks make reading them weekly more fascinating. Post Secret also provides hyperlinks to the its Myspace and Facebook pages, but these sites aren’t nearly as interesting as the blog, and are mainly filled to the brim with comments from people declaring their praise for Post Secret in droves.

 

Aside from being an excellent time waster, this blog delves into the depths of the human psyche, revealing aspects of personalities usually left hidden or camouflaged under normal circumstances. Post Secret provides an outlet for people to express themselves in a forgiving medium. The results of this can be confronting, dark, and disturbing inviting the likes of many people with obvious mental illnesses and suicidal tendencies. The secrets can at time also hit close to home, and I believe that it is this aspect of the blog that makes it so compelling. The recognition that millions if not billions of people restrained by what is deemed socially accepted behaviour and moral and ethical standards dictated by civilization are hiding desires, dreams, angst, fetishes and feelings.

 

So whether or not you have had an affair with a famous married author, pretend to drink coffee at work to fit in or just have a secret fetish for masturbating into socks, chances are there is someone out there who feels the same to you, and you may find that (anonymous) person on Post Secret. So whilst you are wasting that 15 minutes at work you may stumble across someone’s secret that will make you feel maybe a little more normal, may make you understand that the perversion or guilty pleasure you may be hiding may not be as bad as someone else’s and help you realise that in the end, everybody has secrets.

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