I’m back from California and I’ve got a huge post to talk about it, but first, I’d really like to finish a thought/post I started more than a week ago. As you may know, I am a huge fan of PostSecret. I have two of the books and bought my boyfriend another one of them last year for Christmas because we both love looking at this genius website. I don’t think that 25% of them are real, but I do believe that 100% of them relate to someone in some way. From time to time, I’ll even repost one on herethat I like & want to share (find the category “PostSecret”). Like she usually does with most of the things I’ve come to love (cough cough Fiona Apple cough cough), Cassidy sent me in the direction of this site probably a good 2 or 3 years ago. New “secrets” are posted each Sunday on the website linked to above. I actually sent in one myself earlier this year, but it was never put up. Perhaps I should keep trying.But anyway, my love of the website has been thrown out there. And that’s what makes me so disturbed about what I found when I visited the site bright and early on Sunday, December 7, 2008:
Seems innocent enough, right? Until I started thinking. Why would a website that’s hosted by BLOGGER a FREE Google-owned blogging website that I host THIS very blog on need to start begging for donations? I absolutely love this website, but right now, I’m starting to feel like this is the blogging website equivalent to the Catholic Church’s Bishop’s Annual Appeal. To make matter’s worse, every 5 postcards or so, these appeared:
Frank originally claimed to be wanting to donate money to the suicide prevention hotline “Hopeline,” but why would he need to beg for money to keep a free website running? They don’t even have archives on PostSecret; sometimes you’ll get lucky and the previous week’s “secrets” will be up, but most of the time, if you don’t catch them within the first week, you’re out of luck and have to wait until the $30 book is published. And as someone pointed out in an email he posted to the website, “I would prefer any cash donations be directed to the suicide prevention hotline; HopeLine (not PostSecret).”
I can’t help but get the suspicious feeling that Mr. Warren is really only trying to pay for his book tours. We’re in and have been in for the last 12 months a bonafide recession. These are tough economic times and someone who spends their week reading postcards with people’s darkest secrets and deepest fears and insecurities on them should realize this, too. This almost seems silly to question, since the answer is 98% “DUH!”, but is Post Secret really just a business opportunity for Frank Warren?
There is truly nothing wrong with asking for help, but trying to guilt someone with the excuse, “I am desperate to keep paid ads off this site…” is really shady. Do you get some sort of tax break if it comes from donations and not from paid advertisers?
I guess there really is no such thing as a completely unselfish act and Frank Warren & PostSecret are swept up in the money-making tide. But why am I complaining? I’m still gonna visit the site every Sunday and probably buy the books I don’t have eventually.