He’s part author, part secret collector, with a dash of therapist.
Last Friday, PostSecret creator Frank Warren spoke at Binghamton University’s Anderson Center at an event hosted by the SA Programming Board, Late Nite Binghamton and Hillel.
PostSecret is a Web site in which hundreds of people send creative postcards containing their deepest, darkest secrets. Each Sunday 20 new postcards are put on the site. They are raw, funny, emotional and honest.
People started lining up as early as 7 p.m. to wait for the doors to open. Aaron Cohn, the Student Association vice president for programming, said the event was successful.
“It’s sold out,” Cohn said Friday. “There are 1,150 people here tonight.”
Warren spoke with Pipe Dream before the show to discuss his experiences with PostSecret.
Pipe Dream: How did PostSecret originate?
Frank Warren: Well, I think I always felt like I’ve had this rich interior life that I didn’t get a chance to express all the time, for different reasons. I felt that other people had that too and I thought it’d be great if somehow I could create this safe, non-judgmental place where people could share, kind of the jokes and fears and hopes that otherwise they might not.
PD: When did you first create the site for PostSecret? Did you have the books or Web site first?
FW: The site started first and the Web site drew a vast audience. So I was getting millions of hits on the Web site and publishers noticed that. I was contacted by publishers and literary agents. That led to the books.
PD: How many postcards do you receive per week?
FW: About 1,000.
PD: Are there ever any secrets you don’t feel comfortable sharing?
FW: There are, we’ll talk about a few of those tonight in the show.
PD: I’ve heard that sometimes you post your own secrets, is that true?
FW: I used to post my own secrets on the Web site, I don’t do that anymore. However I do have one of my secrets in every book. In fact in the latest book I have two secrets. That’s coming out Oct. 6.
PD: I’ve read that you are doing work with 1-800-Suicide; could you tell us a little bit more about that?
FW: Yes, when I started the project I was actually a volunteer answering phones. So I knew firsthand the work they did. When I started PostSecret and noticed the attention the Web site was getting I wanted to make sure I used that forum to publicize the hope line, which is a great resource for suicide, and also raise funds for one. I thought that was more important than selling ad space.
PD: How did it feel to have the subject of your site on the “CSI: NY” episode titled “Dead Inside”?
FW: Well that was interesting to hear about, that’s all I’ll say about it.
PD: Last but not least, where can us Binghamton students send you our secrets?
FW: My home address:
13345 Copper Ridge Rd.
Warren’s latest book, “Confessions on Life, Death and God,” will be available for purchase starting today.