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Cowbird is a public library of human experience. Our mission is to gather and preserve exceptional stories of human life, so the insight and wisdom we accumulate as individuals can live on in the commons, as a resource for others to look to for guidance. We offer a simple set of storytelling tools, designed to encourage contemplation and depth — for free, and without ads. Currently, 135,086 authors from 186 countries have told 89,680 stories on 28,318 topics. We invite you to join us and contribute your stories.

Watch “Universal Love” — a collective Cowbird life story:

Contribute your own stories to the library:

Combine pictures, text, and sound to create a beautiful record of your human experience.

Engage with a vibrant global community of storytellers:

  • Sprout stories from seeds or other stories to respond with a story of your own.
  • Love your favorite stories to express your appreciation.
  • Comment on stories to express your reactions.
  • Send private messages to authors you find intriguing.
  • Join the audience of authors you admire to receive their updates.
  • Embed your Cowbird stories on any website.
  • Collect stories into shareable collections, like editing a magazine.
  • Retell stories to your audience to promote the ones you really love.
  • Share your stories on social media and with the rest of the Web.

Find guidance on thousands of topics, including:

Read our story:

Cowbird was created by Jonathan Harris, an artist and computer scientist known for his projects — like We Feel Fine, The Whale Hunt, and I Love Your Work — that use technology to experiment with new forms of storytelling. In 2009, when Jonathan turned 30, he began a simple ritual of taking a photo and writing a short story each day, and posting them on the Internet each night before going to sleep. He called this project Today, and it ended up being the basis for Cowbird.

Cowbird took two years to build, and came to life at a series of art residencies in Iceland, Oregon, New Mexico, Vermont, and California. Cowbird launched on December 8, 2011 with hundreds of stories about the Occupy Wall Street movement, and a global community of storytellers soon sprung up around it. Cowbird received widespread media attention from places like The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and TIME Magazine, which named Cowbird one of the “50 Best Websites of 2012.” That same year, we decided not to accept outside investment money, so Cowbird could operate as a public service and maintain its independence.

Today, Cowbird continues to pursue its mission by providing a warm and welcoming environment for storytelling, which is home to a global community of storytellers. Cowbird is run by a small team, and is entirely supported by its Citizens — we’re grateful for their support.

Meet our team:

Contact us:





Love letters:

P.O. Box 235
Shelburne, VT 05482

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