Midi Onodera

home sweet home

Every house has its’ ghosts.


Generally classifieds are straightforward: something for sale, looking for a specific item, job postings, etc. Then there are classifieds that are anonymous sounding boards, a place to air one’s opinions. Since beginning this project I have established some guidelines for my selection process. I would not pick ads that I felt were too personal, I would not mislead people who were looking for work, and I would try and find a diverse selection of ads from various categories. The “right” ad would need to be unique and perhaps a bit thought provoking. As the months progressed I have found that finding the “right” ad has become more challenging.

The text for “Home Sweet Home” was based on a classified found in the Community Listings section. I was startled by the tone of the post and could sense the desperation of the woman who had written the message. There was no request for help but as a reader my first instinct was to reach out to this person. Although there was an email link, I wondered about her email access. If I emailed her would she alone read the message? Was her account shared or monitored by her cheating husband? Was this a physically abusive relationship and would my message put her in jeopardy? In the end, I decided not to contact her but to use the text, keeping it in its’ original form. The ad for the video was placed in the Real Estate section of the classifieds. We received 88 views with 54.5% returning and 45.5% new visitors. The average viewing time lasted the entire length of the video. The most viewers came from Toronto and Austin, Texas.

Posted September 1, 2013