The secrets that you keep

PostSecret's cards are posted anonymously, which is no doubt the only way Warren could get the kind of intimate disclosures he does.

An artist from Germantown, Md., has embarked on a collective art project about secrets. But be careful what you tell him because he won't keep your secrets private. Instead, he'll post them online for all the world to see, just like a bad friend in junior high school.

Dubbed PostSecret, the project began at the Artomatic art exhibition in Washington, D.C., where 40-year-old Frank Warren left over 3,000 postcards and invited people to return the cards to him, decorated and bearing a secret they had never told a soul. As the secrets started pouring in, Warren posted images of the cards online, and the results are fascinating.

Cards are posted anonymously, which is no doubt the only way Warren could get the kind of intimate disclosures he does. The project has helped break up the monotony of life's routines, Warren told the Washington Post earlier this month.

And judging from a list of comments posted to the site, he's not the only one benefiting from it. Many readers seem to think the site helps them tap into memories they would otherwise suppress. "Putting [a collage] together, I cried like a baby...Something very therapeutic about [the] idea," wrote one person who submitted a secret from New York. But perhaps the reason the site has gained such widespread popularity is more about what it brings to the people who read it, not just those who make submissions. "I was glad to see there were several secrets similar to mine. Which means I'm not so weird!" wrote a fan from Ohio. Another reader says it all in two words: "Less alone."

Tech Culture
About the author

Jennifer Guevin is managing editor at CNET, overseeing the ever-helpful How To section, special packages, and front-page programming. As a writer, she gravitates toward science, quirky geek culture stories, robots, and food. In real life, she mostly just gravitates toward food.


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