"Free Your Secrets and Become Who You Are" The best of PostSecret in a 9 minute TED talk

EDIT: This was my first AMA and it was a blast. Thanks for all your great questions and for your patience. Let's do it again soon! Or come visit at PostSecret

Comments: 2248 • Responses: 22  • Date: 

FrankWarren953 karma

All the Sunday Secrets this Sunday will be Mother related due to Mother's Day here in the US. Here's a sneak peek at one. "My son just turned 21. He still believes I'm his sister. So does my husband."

FrankWarren887 karma

Today I received 77 secrets in my mailbox. Here is one, "My wife had gastric-bypass surgery. My biggest fear came true. She reached her goal weight and asked me for a divorce. I love her for every pound!"

FrankWarren718 karma

Q: "Have you ever posted a secret of your own?"

A: Yes, I have one of my own secrets in every book.

FrankWarren639 karma

For me the most disturbing secret was a photograph of a young girl who had cut her face so that it appeared as though she was crying blood tears. (I just remember that image not the secret.)

Another time I was contacted by the FBI about a secret. I am unable to share the details of that secret.

Of course, another kind of disturbing secret I get often is; "I pee in the shower" <grin>.

I will be back a 2PM EST to answer more. . .

Thanks, -Frank

FrankWarren382 karma

Q: "How do you decide what to put in the books or omit?"

A: I get hundreds every week and try to select secrets for postsecret.com that I have not seen before or that express a common secret in a new of visually interesting way. I always try to include secrets that touch on the full range of human emotion. So there will always be at least one secret that's funny, shocking, erotic, controversial, hopeful, etc. I also try to arrange the secrets so they tell a story.

FrankWarren372 karma

This is not an answer just a "thank you" to all of you for your support of PostSecret - you are the most important part of the project. -Frank

pyjamatoast342 karma

The best way to do an AMA is hit "reply" under each question that you're replying to. It's easier for everyone to find the questions/answers that way in the future.

FrankWarren633 karma

Got it. Thanks.

FrankWarren288 karma

Q: "Is there any realistic chance of the PostSecret App coming back in the near future."

A: Sorry no, the App had a short but brilliant life. One weekend it was the most purchased App in the Apple store. But it's popularity and some design flaws on my part sunk it. Like the Blog I wanted all users to have complete anonymity. And ultimately that did not work. We are looking at the possibility of bringing the best App secrets and stories back as a book or creating a keyword searchable database for all 2,000,000 secrets. So the App is like a zombie, it's not dead yet.

FrankWarren238 karma

Q: "Do you ever regret starting PostSecret? Do you ever feel so overwhelmed and just want to forget the whole thing? (I hope not!)"

A: Not yet, I still feel like a kid Christmas morning when I check the mailbox.

FrankWarren236 karma

Q: "On an unrelated note, when you're not sifting through secrets, what are your favorite hobbies outside the books/website?"

A: I like to travel with my daughter and wife and go on hikes with our dog Shadow. Tonight I want to go to the "This American Life" special movie event but it is sold out in my neighborhood. So I'm going to try to sneak in...shh, my secret.

FrankWarren219 karma

Q: "Did you know that people add their own secrets via ripped pieces of paper and napkins by slipping it into the collections at book stores? I'd check every week or so at the store I worked at and there was always something"

A: Yes, we even made a video about people doing that >> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwxqSlbfv3A&feature=player_embedded

FrankWarren141 karma

Q: "What goal do you have for Post Secret which you are yet to achieve?"

A: We are working on a PostSecret Play now and my recent TED Talk was something I'm very proud of.


[deleted]136 karma


FrankWarren165 karma

We are glad you are here and thanks for your story. For anyone else looking for hope it is real and out there. 1-800-SUICIDE or visit the Kristen Brooks Hope Center or Active Minds. -be well

FrankWarren128 karma

I also got a graduation invitation in my mail today, thanks Jennifer. This is the PostSecret address if you want to release a secret on a postcard: 13345 Copper Ridge Rd., Germantown, MD 20874

FrankWarren111 karma

Q: "How old are the secrets we see on the site? Are they all ones you received in the last week before posting or do you put in older secrets as well?"

A: Most of the secret posted every Sunday are about a week older or less. Sometimes I keep secrets though that may show up years later. Secrets that are most likely to be posted are funny, or tell a secret act of kindness. They are most likely to get posted because I receive so many of the heavy ones.

FrankWarren108 karma

Hi All,

Thanks for all the questions! My friend Melissa is going to help me get through as many as I can in the next hour. Let's start the party!

J_Jammer54 karma

I have no question. I just like to say that your idea has a place in internet history and that's cool.

I liked reading them and just like life it made mad, sad, and laugh.

I enjoyed the creativity of the people who sent stuff in.

Thanks for making that all possible.

FrankWarren80 karma

Thank so much for the kind thought. I think one of the most important things we can do while on this planet is give voice to the unheard. I hope PostSecret does that.

FrankWarren42 karma

Q: "Have you ever received a post card from someone who is incarcerated?"

A: Yes, those secrets are easy to spot because of the cancellation mark, as are the secrets from soldiers overseas.

xsome1elsesarmsx32 karma

Have you read through a majority of the postcard you have gotten?

FrankWarren79 karma

I have read every single secret on every postcard that has been mailed to me. I will post a rarely seen picture of all the secrets at the end of this AMA. So watch for that.

RNs_rock22 karma

Hi Frank. PostSecret has been my first-thing-on-Sunday-mornings tradition for years. It amazes me how such a unique idea has exploded into a project that means so much to so many. However, I'm sure it's a huge responsibility for you. Two questions... do you ever struggle with continuing the project -- is it ever just too much sometimes? And how do that changes in the US postal service would affect PostSecret?

FrankWarren49 karma

I am a big supporter of the US Postal Service as you can imagine. My carrier gets a very big Christmas bonus. I don't know how the project will end. I would rather it die quickly than sell-out.

prettyprincess9015 karma

Have you ever read secrets that made you want to contact authorities?

FrankWarren19 karma

I have never contacted an "authority" about a secret. Although I have leaned upon my friend Reese Butler who is the founder of HopeLine, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, for help with some painful secrets.

FrankWarren12 karma

Q: "Why not come to the UK for a PostSecret Event."

A: We are working on a "PostSecret Live" UK & Canada Tour now. For me PostSecret Events are the best part of the project. Showing secrets that were banned from the books, telling the funny and inspiring stories behind the secrets and listening to audience members stand and in front of sometimes a 1,000 classmates heroically tell they confessions. So special. To invite me to your college or university just contact my speakers bureau: Keppler Speakers.