chance occurrences on the web

I built the ticketstubs site to fill a small personal need: give myself a way to easily write up little stories about the experiences I’ve had. A couple people have told me it was a noble project that could potentially create a rich database of collective memories among strangers. I’ve told those people that my goals were more simplistic, but if the unintended effects are to create a permanent place to share and something becomes of that, then so be it.

This high minded view of what the website could be didn’t really click until this week. Check out this story about a rock show that Scott Secrest went to. It tells the story of him noticing something odd — a person lying on the ground — that later turns out to be dead, and the impact on Scott and his friends. In yet another example of how even though there are billions of pages on the web, a chance occurrence connects people: the best friend of the deceased found the story a few days later and contacted Scott.

There’s something incredibly human about a course of actions that took place entirely online.

A guy goes to a show, and saves the stub to remind him of the experience that had an impact on his life. Then he shares it online, and someone else involved in the experience sees it, and they share each others’ perspectives. And then strangers from anywhere on earth can read about these memories and take something from that.

I can’t put my finger on exactly why, but there’s something both tragic and magical there. Beautiful and bittersweet, a universal human experience — that of dealing with death — was shared between people that otherwise would have never met, and it happened online.