Breaking up with his girlfriend forced one lonely guy to take drastic action - and he ended up reaching out to thousands of people all over the world.
When a devastated Jeff Ragsdale, a stand-up comedian and actor from New York, was left 'near suicidal' after breaking up with his girlfriend, he realized he felt like the loneliest man in the world in a city of more than eight million.
So Jeff decided to do something drastic - he put fliers up all over the city saying: 'If anyone wants to talk about anything, call me (347) 469-3173. Jeff, one lonely guy.'
The response he got was overwhelming.
'Immediately, New Yorkers started calling in overwhelming numbers and after a week it went viral and people from all over the world were calling,' Jeff said.
In the first day he got 100 calls and texts. One week later it was up to one thousand. It is now more than 70,000 and the calls and texts are still coming thick and fast even after eight months.
People have been calling from all over the world, as far away as Vietnam, England, Saudi Arabia and Japan.
Around 40 per cent were people calling from New York ranging from pimps to prisoners to a Wall Street trader.
Jeff, 40, said he is still in touch almost daily with about 20 people he clicked with.
Many people called him just to say he wasn't alone, others gave him advice, others vented at him, other counseled, he counseled others.
So touched was he by the experience he decided to write a book about it.
Along with two other collaborators, he transcribed the conversations, text messages and voice mails and the result was the memoir entitled Jeff, One Lonely Guy was released in March this year.
It chronicles tales of celebrity spotting, of crimes committed, loves won and lost, advice, dreams and hopes.
He told the New York Observer: 'It’s kind of like being in a David Lynch movie. Half of the calls I get are blocked, so I never know who I’m going to get on the other end.
'I think New York can be a particularly lonely place. It’s hard to meet people here.'
Speaking to the BBC he said: 'I found myself isolated and lonely. New York City can be a difficult place to meet people, you have to have your guard up.
'I was walking around thinking, "how can I just talk to people".
'My first reaction was "wow", it became like a confession book. I was a relationship counselor, sex counselor, I spoke to prisoners. I learned that people did care.'
Asked what the whole experience taught him, he said: 'The two main things that have given me a different perspective on life that I've learned is forgiveness. You should forgive everyone no matter what they did as it frees up your energy.
'When people say they are lonely, I tell them you have to reach out and get out in order to fulfill yourself.'
He revealed his favorite calls are when 'a person is completely candid and we help each other out by venting and listening'.
'One of my favorites was a call by this disabled mother in the U.S.
In 45 minutes she passed on a lifetime of wisdom. She taught me that I’m never going to be happy until I love myself. I have not liked myself in the past. For me this was revolutionary, trying to start to like myself. Happiness, she said, must to come from inside.'