Handwritten Stories in a Digital Age: PostSecret.com and More


In our digital age, we interact with new technologies each day, yet some of us also pine for the past: we cherish handwritten things and value — even fetishize — physical objects. Posts like “Diaries and Connections to the Past” and “Found Objects and Books” reveal a collective nostalgia.

Consider a diary hidden in a shoebox. Postcards from your best friend, traveling around the world. Or a stack of letters from a secret lover. We view messages crafted by hand as more personal and meaningful — check out Cristina Vanko’s handwritten texts as modern-day snail mail. Words from our pens stand the test of time, and are viewed as more intimate — and meant to be shared and carefully considered by you, the reader.

PostSecret: Now on WordPress.com

We’re happy to announce that PostSecret, founded by Frank Warren, has made its home on WordPress.com as one of our newest VIP sites. A popular online community art project for many years, PostSecret is an outlet through which people anonymously mail in their secrets via postcard. It’s the largest ad-free blog in the world — and a perfect example of our appreciation and fascination for handwritten forms of communication.

Secrets are preserved in their analog glory, further creating a sense of intimacy:

Image via PostSecret, Sunday Secrets: November 23, 2013

Image via PostSecret, Sunday Secrets: November 23, 2013

Image via PostSecret, Classic Secrets: November 22, 2013

Image via PostSecret, Classic Secrets: November 22, 2013

PostSecret is a longtime favorite blog for millions on the internet — we’re thrilled it’s now part of our community. Secrets are posted weekly, on Sunday.

Mixing analog and digital: other cool blog projects

Other blogs on WordPress.com experiment with found objects and handwritten letters and messages. Some bloggers have ongoing projects bringing their ancestors’ journals and scribbles to life, like A Hundred Years Ago and Home Front Girl Diary.

Over on Hope Street, Kurt Blumenau blogs about his grandfather, who kept month-to-month calendars on which he recorded events that affected him — everything from presidential assassinations to late-season snowstorms. Every Monday, Kurt picks an interesting calendar entry and writes something about it.

Image via Hope Street, September 1970: Spells

Image via Hope Street, September 1970: Spells

Likewise, the preservation of family history is the focus at Save Every Step, which archives family photography, childhood memories, and even World War II-era letters, like this one from 1944 from the blogger’s uncle Joe:

Image via Save Every Step, Joe's Letters, WWII: “Final, Final, Final Exams”

Image via Save Every Step, Joe’s Letters, WWII: “Final, Final, Final Exams”

Choncey Boddington, a “traditional lady in a digital society,” publishes handwritten posts and messages. Her About page, too, is clever and creative:

Choncey Boddington

From the postcards at PostSecret to the letters, diary entries, and handwritten messages on these blogs, it’s evident the WordPress.com community tells important stories about our pasts and histories in creative, clever ways.

Follow other interesting blogs that publish handwritten posts and other found materials? Let us know.

Finally, if you’re interested in keeping up with what’s abuzz in the community — from a collection of top reads to featured topics curated by our editors — subscribe to WordPress.com Weekend Reads, which we’ll deliver right to your inbox.

Filed under: Admin Bar, Community, VIP, WordPress.com

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