Posts in Category: Yours Truly

All about me, me and more me :-D

Book Review: A Lifetime of Secrets: A PostSecret Book by Frank Warren

I have secrets. So do you and everyone else. We keep secrets out of embarrassment, fear of hurting others or importantly hurting ourselves. But a lot of times we keep secrets because we just do not know how to express our feelings – elation, hurt, sadness, love. The liberating effect of letting a secret out is the focus of the community powered and supported PostSecret project.

In 2004 Frank Warren launched a social experiment in community art, inviting strangers to mail him anonymous homemade postcards with their secrets written on them. The only rule is that it has to be a true secret that you have never before shared. Be creative he told the masses. The response he received was overwhelming.

The PostSecret idea is to ask the community to send their deepest secrets anonymously, written on postcards, decorated (usually as a collage) however the sender wants. Of these, Frank, as the editor of the PostSecret project selects the ones that touch him, and posts them on the blog, in a book (four books so far) or on the traveling exhibit. Warren doesn’t select for any particular theme just those which touch – some are happy, some sad; some are humorous, some morbid and some just of desolation. Almost all secrets are personal, many times an incident from the sender’s life, while some are just how they feel towards the world and life. Most times, those that connect the most with readers are the simplest (like “I still love you” or “I am stuck in my marriage”) and the most profound.

Each Sunday the PostSecret blog is updated with all new secrets sent by readers from all over the world. Each week it’s different set of secrets, which make the blogs readers laugh or cry, feel happy or sad and almost always empathize with the sender. PostSecret has become a social phenomenon in such a short time that it is one of the most widely visited blog on the Internet. The popularity of PostSecret can be explained by its therapeutic effect on the reader, the connection they make with the sender and most importantly the realization that others have deep, dark secrets too and hence they are not alone. Over time, the project has gained a cult following of readers of all ages – angst ridden teens, mid-life crisis affected women to the aged who miss their lost loved ones.

Over the course of the project, Frank has released four books containing a selection of the postcards sent to him over the years. The latest book, “A Lifetime of Secrets” is the most different. In A Lifetime of Secrets, Frank says “I’ve selected postcards that show how secrets can reveal a momentary impulse or haunt us for decades and arranged them by age to follow the common journey we all take through childhood, adolescence, adulthood, maturity. Stretched over a full lifespan, the secrets expose the meaningful ways we change over time, and the surprising ways we don’t.”

This fourth PostSecret volume, like the blog, is a collection of postcards. “A Lifetime of Secrets”, however, approaches the secrets a little differently, in that they are arranged chronologically, approximating the stages in one’s life. While the previous books were arranged thematically, this book is literally an attempt to present a progressive story — of life, a lifetime of secrets. Starting from childhood, the book span a child’s fear in the kindergarten, to the teen who wants to spill their love, to the elderly who “Just wants to die happy” The predominant feeling, while reading this book, is like taking a journey through life, and simultaneously going through the changing experiences as we grow older.

I have been following PostSecret since 2005 and have always found it to be thought provoking and on many occasions therapeutic. The connection that I made with many of the PostSecret writers, the feeling of “I feel the same as you” when reading any of the cards is sometimes just overwhelming. When I received this book, I lent it to a cousin who had just gone through a traumatic experience in life. As she read it, she found comfort in reading the secrets and a little peace of mind connecting with the others. I heartily recommend this book to any and everyone, of any age!

While I have not written any secrets myself, if you have a secret, Share it! Let it go, write to the project and I’m sure there will be someone out there who will identify with your secret, or come to the realization that they are not alone nor life as unforgiving as it seems. Liberate yourself and send your own secret to

PostSecret
13345 Copper Ridge Rd
Germantown, Maryland 20874

It’s about time

Well it’s about time I posted. It’s been a long break. Have more than a few topics I want to blog but just cannot motivate myself. To add to it, the lack of time keeps me away as well.

I’d typed out a fairly long description of what I’ve been upto over the past few weeks but then removed it. Did not feel like rambling so much.

Anyway, several important events have happened in life. Some for the good and some I’m not that bothered about.

Life is a lot more simpler right now. Am quite busy with work (am volunteering for extra projects) which provides me with a reason to avoid people.

Anyway, more coming up. Soon. Hopefully.

Bad week… Good ending?

Elephant herd, Nagarahole WLS, Mysore DistrictImage from WikipediaSo it’s been a fairly bad week. Met with an accident on Wednesday. Hurt my leg. Was limping for 2 days.

Earlier today, stomach started hurting terribly and has been feeling uneasy the whole day :(

Going on a trip to Kabini, Nagarhole and surrounding tomorrow. Return on Sunday. That should be good provided my stomach gets better..

Hope to see lots of Elephants but even more a Tiger or a Lion (if luck holds)

Will update when I return.

Lame April Fools!

Today is April Fools day (like you didn’t already know!). In the recent years this day of the year is usually when a lot of lame April Fools pranks are played out across the Internet and blogs. This is getting so old and lame that its irritating, let alone humorous.

This sentiment is shared by others who are tired of the crap being passed off as April Fools day pranks. We need something really good and funny. Not the same prank rehashed year after year. Come on. It’s the Internet which has so many talented funny people creating loads of good stuff. Let them get more coverage than those listed above!

Update: Another one from Gmail

Duncan Riley – You should take a break

and maybe grow a thicker skin at that..

It all started over the weekend – a bitching match going on at Techmeme started apparently by Louis Gray who replied to Duncan Riley’s post on Techcrunch. The comment by Louis Gray

TechCrunch’s Duncan Riley checked in with a quasi-analytic comment this morning

prompted a response from Duncan Riley where he calls Loius Gray a cunt and a wanker. Duncan Riley also says in his post

Notice the put down with “quasi-analytic,” lets not fight on ideas, lets denigrate the messenger.

And on his response, Duncan Riley does exactly that. He describes Louis Gray as

I say A-List somewhat lightly, because the guy who’s come after me is someone who’s called Louis Gray. I’ve been blogging a bloody long time and for a lot of that time I’ve been reporting on the movers and shakers in blogging, and until a couple of months ago I’d never heard of this guy. His about page is as useful as tits on a bull: he does PR for a Silicon Valley technology company and found blogging in 2006. He’s talked about now at the same level as Calacanis, Scoble and Arrington, and yet he’s reached the lofty heights of 735 subscribers in Feedburner; probably more than this humble blog but this isn’t my main outlet.

Which is the opening of his post linked to above.

I found this quite ridiculous and hypocritical of him and said so through a comment on his post (Ah, Duncan was kind enough to delete the comment but I happen to have a copy of it reproduced below)

You say that Louis Gray attacked the messenger? What have you done?
With this idiotic post you have done exactly that.

Practice what you preach hypocrite

To this, Duncan responds in a classic teenage fashion (after deleting the comment). He emailed me with this:

Seriously, fuck off.

Well, that is the background so far.
What are you Duncan? An A-lister? You think you are so great that you can try and thrash anyone and if someone calls you out, you go down to teenage expletives. Grow up dude.
If you cannot take comments and disagreement, then get off the blogosphere. You are being a jerk and behaving like a child.
And Duncan, don’t denigrate the messenger, discuss the idea. Oh, you already do not follow what you yourself write. Mea culpa

A very good analysis if also provided by Matthew Ingram.

2.5 Decades

Decades.. Long time. Another year gone past. Don’t feel wiser, older, mature or accomplished.

Heck I don’t feel too very different. Ah well, here’s to me ;)

Ps. Thoughts in another post

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Twitter and its role

I’ve started to use Twitter increasingly and find it to be a great tool. I joined Twitter when it was quite young, a couple of months after it launched but never used it much (my tweetstats graph) but have started using it more often in the past couple of months.

The main point of Twitter is the conversations it fosters as well as meeting new people. The advantages of Twitter over other forms of communication? Short 140 character messages and the ability to follow someone’s “tweets” without them having to follow you, which in my opinion is a good system.

But it is also flawed. As I stated, Twitter is the new medium for quick conversation outside of email, IM etc. Now the web-interface of Twitter is designed such that if someone posts a tweet to you, it comes in your replies tab but not in your message timeline. For those who have many followers, friends on Twitter, they will get a lot of @replies so can easily miss this.

And this has been a frustration. Many times I have tweeted someone but received no reply. No I guess it because they missed my tweet (and assume that they are not ignoring me ;) ) . I think is fundamentally due to the design of twitter. There should be a way for the recipient to know that someone tried to contact him/her. Not necessarily in their normal timeline but somehow, distinguish that someone who is not on their friends list said something to them. In this manner, twhirl/snitter etc are much better because they show all @replies to the twitterer.

Anyway, I have also come to decide that I will only start following me those who follow me. (with a few exceptions of course :D ) If I follow someone and it is not reciprocated in a few days (a week or two maybe) I will un-follow. I think it is just a matter of courtesy if s/he feels that we can, at some point share a good conversation.

My twitter profile is here. Add me if you want to follow me there :)