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"Snail Mail My Email" Marries Romance of Analog with Convenience of Digital "Snail Mail My Email" Marries Romance of Analog with Convenience of Digital

"Snail Mail My Email" Marries Romance of Analog with Convenience of Digital

by Zak Stone
August 11, 2011

Email may be faster than the U.S. Postal Service, but it's not quite as romantic. (Seduction involves patience, after all.) That explains why thousands of people have submitted correspondence to a month-long public art project called Snail Mail My Email. The project seeks to bring back appreciation for the art of letter writing by letting participants submit emails, which are then transcribed on paper, tucked into an envelope, and dropped in the mail. The project even pays for your postage, and they offer "one custom option" per letter, ranging from a doodle to a lipstick kiss.

"We move in such a fast-paced world that, sometimes, that world can feel kind of cold and impersonal," project founder Ivan Cash told CNN. A designer based in San Francisco, Cash noticed that letter-writing became less a part of his life with the ascent of Facebook messaging and texting. He started the project as a fun way to reconnect with an old hobby, but soon found himself drowning in submissions: 1,000 emails on the website's fourth day. To keep up, Cash took the crowdsourcing route and recruited 134 volunteers from around the world to help him transcribe and mail. A volunteer from China is now the project manager.

If you want to snail mail an email to a friend or lover, keep it short and sweet—they only take submissions under 100 words—and act fast because the project ends on August 15. According to Cash, love letters have made up  90 percent of the total volume shipped out.

Image via Snail Mail My Email's Flickr

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