What is From A Birdie?
FromABirdie allows a group of people to write thoughtful and meaningful letters for a common friend.
We originally built it for birthday letters, but we've seen it used for many other occasions: graduations, illnesses, to say good-bye to an office mate that's leaving, and even for letters to welcome a new family to a neighborhood. In all these cases, there's a person who creates a new Album of Letters and invites others to post their thoughts and photographs for a common friend. We keep the letters and pictures on a private website, so that only the intended recipient can see them. The album is kept as a surprise for the recipient until a specified date, when we send them an email and invite them to retrieve their present.
Most of the letters that people write are long, detailed, thoughtful, personal, and loving --such a great surprise and a memorable gift, that many recipients of the albums started asking us for hard-copies of their letters, which we now create as hardcover and paperback editions.
And that is, in fact, our goal: we are trying to solve a problem that didn't exist 30, 20, or even 10 years ago. These days our communication is dominated by cell phones, email, chat, Facebook, Twitter, and SMS: all instant, quick, pervasive, and in most cases of low quality. FromABirdie is our attempt to restore, in a tiny way, the time when it was common to sit down and compose a letter carefully, focusing more on quality and depth than on instant delivery. We believe that even in the fast-paced world of today there are many occasions that demand this kind of thoughtful writing and, because the medium is the message, we are trying to create a medium that encourages carefulness, deep communication, privacy, and permanence.