Friday, September 6, 2013

The lost art of letter writing...

Last evening I had the great pleasure of hearing Drew Bartkiewicz here in the Washington, DC area.  Drew is a co-founder of Lettrs, who are 'building a post office in the cloud.' The basic idea is to re-introduce letter writing as a nearly-lost art form and foundation of personal communication.  The software is elegantly simple, yet compelling in its power to help us reach out and connect with others, be they grandparents who love receiving a physical letter in the mail or someone far way who may have never received a letter in their life.

The fledgling company also has a social mission of helping young people learn the art of crafting a letter and as such offers a counter-point experience to the superficiality of communication media based on 140 characters (of which less than 20% are ever read, much less cherished).

Cool features include being able to send calligraphic letters on Japanese rice paper from your smartphone, and being able to post letters on your fridge, archive old boxes of letters, and so on.  As for the company's business model, my take is that the check may already be in the mail.

For more on the value of personal letters, see my post on Richard Harper's book, Textures.

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