SXSWi: Monday Keynote: Frank Warren

Hugh introduced the keynote by saying that yesterday’s keynote proves that SXSW Interactive is indeed interactive.

Frank Warren from PostSecret. He said he was amazed by the number of post cards he gets. He also said he was impressed by the frailty and heroism of every day lives. He showed a film of some of the post cards sent to the site. He read from secrets that he received at SXSW.

He talked about being trusted with secrets. He mentioned two themes in Post Secret. One is that secrets actually keep us. They undermine us. The other is that writing it on a post card can be liberating and freeing.

He started Post Secret by handing out post cards and asking people to send in secrets. He put them on a wall in a gallery. He thought that was the end of the project, but he kept getting post cards. So the blog.

He talked about how blogs allow a community to grow and organize itself organically. He likes the idea that the blog is sharing living secrets. Secrets that people are experiencing in real time. He talked about how he got started putting them in the books. He showed the “secret secrets” that weren’t allowed in the books.

He told a story a 1-800-SUICIDE. They asked for financial help and he posted a post card about it on the site, and raise $30,000 in one week. It saved the suicide prevention hotline.

He explained why he leaves on the bar code stickers. He thinks it adds to the post card, showing its journey. And it creates a challenge.

“All of us have a secret that would break your heart if you just knew what it was.”

He considers post secret art. There’s an artist in us all. Courage can create art that moves people.

He opened the discussion to the audience at that point. The first guy who came up proposed to a girl in the back and she said yes.

I watched it in one of the simulcast rooms and didn’t get any photos. Lots of SXSWi photos at Flickr.

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