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Dirty Little Secret

The "Dirty Little Secret" of rock band All-American Rejects is their love and respect for the awesome site PostSecret.

Personally, I'm not a fan of the All-American Rejects. But as of today I have new respect for the multiplatinum-selling band, after finding out that they are fans of PostSecret--and that they used (with permission) some of that awesome site's postcard secrets in the video for their song "Dirty Little Secret."

That may be old news to some--especially Rejects fans--so call me slow on the draw. But the beauty was it actually came straight from the mouth of PostSecret founder Frank Warren, during his keynote speech today (Monday) at South By Southwest Interactive (iSXSW)--which had to be one of the most emotionally raw moments in keynote-giving history. Over the course of an hour, Warren ran through many of the secrets he's been sent over the years; how they affect him; and how he (and by turns, we) can turn these often-painful confessions into something truly positive.

His preferred method? Donating time, energy, and money to 1-800-SUICIDE, a suicide-prevention hotline. Getting back to the All-American Rejects, he noted how they originally offered him a grand for use of some of "his" postcard secrets in their video; he countered by asking them to instead donate $2000 to 1-800-SUICIDE. And to their credit, they did just that. So big props to the band.

And props to Warren, too, for what's a simple yet truly amazing site. That he's succeeded in breaking through to even the most jaded of irony-infused souls was in full affect during the keynote. Among the evidence: an on-stage marriage proposal, several confessions during the Q&A (one from a sobbing woman worried about her blogger-sister's serious illness), hugs (between said woman and Warren, who functioned during the whole event almost like a shrink leading a large group-psychology session), and, finally, a standing ovation (first I've seen at a SXSW conference). And these feelings weren't fake: the emotions touched almost everyone. I know, the word 'touched' sounds gross--and like a favorite moment in a book or film, it's possible you had to be there, as the experience may not fully translate out of context. Still, one thing's certain: this kind of connection is something people, rock stars and cynical iPhone-wielding hipsters included, truly crave.