Post Secret, lolcat and the Australian election.

Flickr: TimNorton
This is a background discussion to what I think will be the “killer” viral social networking competition of this Australian election. LOLPOL. Flickr group here. And some meme stuff in general.

When I first came across in 2005, I thought it was one of the most powerful user generated content sites around. Sorry, consumer generated media. Whatever.

PostSecret came about because Frank Warren asked people to physically post him postcards of their confessions -usually one liners – and he put them up on a blog.

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.

Here’s the wikipedia background. Postsecret has one a tonne of Bloggy awards over the years.

The fourth book has now been published by Amazon

Frank Warren’s Introduction to A Lifetime of Secrets

When I told my father I was collecting secrets from strangers for an art project, he didn’t know what to think. I tried to explain how the thousands of secrets that had been mailed to me were more than mere confessions. They could be beautiful, funny, sorrowful, inspiring.

“But, Frank,” he asked, “why are you soliciting secrets from strangers, and why would anyone tell you a real secret?”

I invited my father to fly out for a PostSecret art exhibit in Washington, D.C., where hundreds of the postcards were on display. More than 15,000 people came to see the secrets, and my father was there, day after day, to hear many of their transformative stories. Some people told me they recognized a hidden part of themselves on a stranger’s postcard. Others shared personal experiences of how talking about a painful secret had helped heal a lifelong relationship.

The exhibit came to an end and I took my father back to the airport to catch a red-eye flight home. During our drive we passed through a long dark stretch of highway when my father broke the silence by asking me, “Do you want to know my secret?” He bravely recounted a traumatic childhood experience. When he finished, we had a true talk that gave me a richer understanding of my father and recast our relationship.

This is the power of community. Of sharing. Of connecting. Of discovering. Of creating. Of communicating. This is who we are online, in our social network, by ourselves and with others.


Why don’t Amazon have embed widgets by the way?? *puzzled* I can link to the Amazon web page by normal URL embeds, but no useful little YouTube-y embed widgets. Silly Amazon – don’t understand distributed consumer marketing I guess. A widget with the book cover, and some other little nugget and a link back to the site would be lovely, kthnxbai.

Talking of “kthnxbai” or l337-speak, the lolcatz community have a version of PostSecret called lolsecretz. (hat tip: ross hill)

secret by Alden photo by jennsters.

LOLcat (wikipedia) is a combination of an old developers meme to do with cats combined with photos. Here’s the original site.

Explanation of what a meme is:

A meme, (IPA: /mi:m/) as defined within memetic theory, comprises a theoretical unit of cultural information, the building block of cultural evolution or diffusion that propagates from one mind to another analogously to the way in which a gene propagates from one organism to another as a unit of genetic information and of biological evolution. Multiple memes may propagate as cooperative groups called memeplexes (meme complexes).

Now ya know. 😛
meh, it’s a fad – think of Chuck Norris jokes, The Hoff stuff, lolcatz, leet speak, 10 things I want to do before I die and just about anything viral.

Flickr: TimNorton

For Australians here’s the Election version of lolcats. lolpols – from GreensBlog – the official blog of the Australian Greens Senators.
Flickr Group here. Don’t forget to use Creative Commons attribution – if the mainstream media DO pick up on this, you want to be attributed, right? Even though we are mashing up political photographers fotos. 🙂

EDITED a million times because YouTube and Flickr have a conspiracy against me, corrupting both technology and my peace of mind in insidious ways. I think Blogger are in on the act too. *paranoid glances*

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  1. hahaha – I love LOLCAT (I know not everyone is as amused by them), there’s even a Facebook app that gives you a new kitteh at push of a button! LOLPOL is a great idea but not sure if I want a new one on Facebook every day?

  2. I is laugh uprudiously. If you can’t laugh at Pols as an Aussie there is no hope. Thanks for that very interesting and useful post.

  3. @kate, I’m not a cat person but I kinda like lolcat too. Just don’t overdose on ’em, ok?
    @colin you are welcome sweetie. 🙂

  4. Others shared personal experiences of how talking about a painful secret had helped heal a lifelong relationship.interesting post.

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