I recently teamed up with a great designer by the name of Ray Hernandez to build a new product that bills itself as “a platform for private, long-form, one-on-one communication.” In a way, it’s a rejection of the idea that we’re only supposed to speak to each other in 140 characters that are only visible for 10 seconds.

It’s bringing the old pen pal tradition into the 21st century. Say hello to Reeed.co.

This is my first personal side project since launching The Democratic Travelers, over two years ago. The original idea came from a system that Ray and his wife use to diffuse heated arguments before they even have a chance to heat up – instead of raising their voices, they write what they’re thinking and feeling in a composition notebook, and take turns passing it back and forth. With each party free to read and respond in private and on their own time, tempers never have a chance to flare up and arguments are resolved with level heads.

We both realized that a digital version of this bring the benefits of this more measured communication to anyone in any kind of long-distance relationship. Just a few of the scenarios we’ve thought of include mentors & proteges, active-duty military folks & their families, prison inmates & their families, high school sweethearts at separate colleges, or just two strangers who want to be pen pals.

There are so many other uses we haven’t thought of, so if you have ideas on how you might use Reeed, let me know in the comments!