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Express yourself with Fray

It isn?t surprising how the Internet is empowering people to do their own thing and providing them with a platform for creative expression. It is powering the growth of like-minded communities that engage in animated conversation on the Web.

india Updated: Oct 27, 2003 10:56 IST

It isn’t surprising how the Internet is empowering people to do their own thing and providing them with a platform for creative expression. More than that, being an interactive medium, it is powering the growth of like-minded communities that engage in animated conversation on the Web.

In 1996, in the early years of the Web, was started Fray. Its objective was single-minded: to promote the art of personal storytelling and to create a place where real people tell real stories.

I first discovered Fray in 2000 when Wired magazine hailed its creator, Derek Powazek, founder and self-titled 'grand poo-bah’ as a 'New Media Renaissance Man’.

Wired described Fray as an online, and sometimes offline, coffeehouse that features highly confessional accounts on universal subjects like fear of commitment, friendship, sex, and family. Log on to www.fray.com and you will know why it’s a place for people who believe that the Web is about personal expression and a new kind of art.

I revisited Fray after three years and was glad to see it evolved and wearing its attitude on its sleeve. The design is avant-garde, the look and feel is youthful and the website is loaded with zing. One thing that remains, however, is that its content is more than just the coffeehouse variety.

The site puts up a new feature story about once a month and each ends with a posting area where you can tell your story right back.

The site has primarily four story sections: Criminal, Hope, Drugs and Work. Essentially, Fray is a community of people who believe that everyone has a story to tell. It believes that ordinary people tell extraordinary stories.

Take a look at a typical Fray story called Bitter by Rebecca Eisenberg. This is how it goes: “Everyone wants to know why I am so bitter. They call me rude names, such as `antagonistic’ and 'hostile’ even though I can come off as pretty floozy, even dippy, on face-to-face meeting.

“Hell, I am even known to wear floral polyester lounge minidresses and put weird cutesie things in my hair. Nonetheless, bitterness is a quality that no lounge mini or platform plastic shoes can hide. The bottom line is yes, I am bitter. And, indeed, sometimes I am even antagonistic and hostile.” And thereby hangs a tale.

You too can submit your story to Fray. All you need to do is follow these three simple rules:

“1. Make it personal. (Use the word "I" or don't write at all.) 2. Be honest. (Only true stories will be accepted.) 3. Keep it under 1000 words (Please).”

If you believe that in the mad rush of life, there is a need for personal expression, sharing, and emotional reflection, do join the fascinating gang at Fray.

Carry on surfing!