An ongoing collection of anonymous journal entries collected in person and online—Stories of hope, loss, fear, love, and everything in between.
Quick Start: Want to jump right in? Read hundreds of the 3000 (and growing) journal entries at http://www.ehdom.com/strangers
One year ago I began asking strangers to stop share a story with me—anything they wanted—by writing in blank notebooks that I carried with me. Eventually, after the success of the handwritten entries, I began collecting stories online in addition to the handwritten stories. 3000 entries later I've decided to expand the project further. I am raising money to be able to collect stories in new ways (audio and video), share thousands of stories with the world through an interactive web experience, and to collect stories on a wider geographic scale.
This project has reached tens of thousands of people so far, and I'm certain that this is only the beginning of its potential.
What is Don't Talk to Strangers?
When I started this project, I had no idea of the potential for significant emotional connection with a complete stranger—connection through spontaneous intimate discourse. The project quickly became something more than I expected. It became something organic—something that connects us. People would laugh while they wrote. They would cry. The stories illuminated the strands that connect us all—The beautiful, dirty, scary, and exciting bits of humanity that we hesitate to show strangers.
We often feel alone—all six billion of us. We’ve learned, now more than ever, that being surrounded by people doesn’t keep us from feeling lonely. There’s an imbalance between the need we have to express ourselves and mediums for us to do so. Language allows us to take comfort that we, and others that share our burden of consciousness, have experienced life. The ability to share what burns in the hearts and minds of those around us is the one thing that makes us what we are; we need to remember that our lives, for whatever reasons, are worth remembering.
Why the project needs funding
The project has had an amazing and unexpected amount of growth and momentum over the past year. The website has received over 180,000 page views since it first appeared online, over 3000 individuals have shared their own story, and thousands have interacted with the project right on the sidewalk. So far all of this has been thanks to you—a community of strangers coming together to listen to each other, and to share our voices. If we come together to back this project, little by little, we can continue to see the full potential of this idea.
The money raised will go towards the following:
1) Creating a more immersive online experience to share the thousands of stories already collected, as well as future stories. The site will provide better access to transcribed entries, original handwritten entries, audio and videos entries, and other multimedia about the behind the scenes features for the project.
2) Obtaining hardware (a Zoom H4n Audio Recorder) and other materials to collect a wider range of stories via writing, audio, and video.
3) Visits to others states/cities to collect stories in person on a wider geographic scale.
4) Production costs of printed materials such as the book versions of the entries.
A few days ago I received this e-mail which sums up many reasons of why I think this project is important. I get these kind of messages daily from people that visit the site and people that interact with the project in person. I feel that they represent a side of the project I could never share in my own words:
"I StumbledUpon your Don't Talk to Strangers page, and instead of packing my luggage like I should, I read every single story that was listed. I giggled, and I sobbed, and I came to the conclusion that I need someone just to talk to. Someone who doesn't know me, who I have never met, who is just there to listen and to share stories of their own. Maybe that could be you."
You can read more about the project and read many of the entries (with many more added constantly) at http://www.ehdom.com/strangers
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $5,000 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on August 9, 2010.
Jun 28, 2010 - Aug 9, 2010
Pledge $5 or more
for a special mention on the website and a download link for a cover-to-cover PDF version of the book once it's ready.
Pledge $10 or more
for a special mention on the website, a link to your own website with your name (if you want it), and your (or someone else's) name printed in a thank-you section of the book.
Pledge $30 or more
for A copy of the book with a handwritten thank-you note + all of the above
Pledge $50 or more
for a mounted handwritten entry from a stranger (Approx 9''x11.5'') + all of the above
Pledge $100 or more
for a total of three copies of the book to give to friends, family, or strangers + all of the above
Pledge $250 or more
0 backers Limited (4 of 4 left)
for an entire original notebook full of hand written stories from the first version of the project. Approx 200 pages and filled with anonymous stories + all of the above. Only 4 available.
Pledge $1,000 or more
and I will collect stories in your city for at least 3 days, and possibly much longer. Includes all of the above. (Great for business owners seeing as the project tends to draw in large volumes of traffic)