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Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

Alan (aka MindYerCar) from the UK sent us a tip to a radio series from BBC4 that aired some years ago. The People's Post is a 15 part series of programs on everything Royal Mail: from the early history of the postal service, to reforms and modern day challenges. Most of the episodes are still available on BBC4's website for everyone to hear though, so we thought it was worth sharing with you.

The People's Post

If you have a bit of time, give it a listen! And as always, we appreciate your tips on all-things related to mail β€” if you know of interesting stuff we should check out, leave a comment or shoot us an email. πŸ“¬

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Dear Data book

Early last year we mentioned a project called Dear Data, in which two ladies across the Atlantic exchanged drawn infographic postcards every week, detailing one specific aspect of their lives. Things such as complaints they uttered or compliments they've received, or even very specific things like animals they saw or doors they went through were all counted and sketched into white postcards, and then posted to each other. They kept it up for a whole year, collecting data and turning the experiment into a weekly ritual of discovery.

The project was so popular that it didn't surprise me to discover it was edited in a book format recently, and I think it's even better to browse the postcards this way,Β in an analogue format equivalent to that in which they came to life.

The postcard images remain intriguing and unreadable at first glance, inviting further investigation in order to decode them. The legends on the back though are super detailed and often contain several layers of information to add to their complexity... it's astonishing to realize how much data they must have collected over the year!

Dear Data - laughter week

The pages in-between postcards are also funny and often provide insights or little anecdotes into Stefanie and Georgia's lives... like how they both discovered their love for Haribo gummy bears on week 17!

Slowly, throughout the book, you also realise how a conversation is happening between the designers through their correspondence, how they're getting to know each other and thinking a bit more about their lives through the analysis that is taking place in real time.

All in all, Dear Data is a remarkable book, inspiring us to slow down and really observe what is happening all around... and then grab our pens to put all these interesting details into our postcards!

Spending time with data

PS - Sadly, it's also very noticeable on the book how badly US machines treat their outbound mail... Why, USPS, why?! 😠

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Happy New Year, everyone!

We're starting the year with excellent news: Belpochta (the Postal Operator of Belarus) has launched a second Postcrossing-themed stamp on January 3rd β€” almost exactly three years after their previous stamp launched. Here's what it looks like:

Postcrossing stamp from Belarus

The design, by Marina Vitkovskaya, mixes traditional Belarusian elements (like the folk embroidery and the blue cornflower) with a Happy Postcrossing message.

Victor (aka victorzenin), Evgenij (aka the_52cond), Maria (aka Ukurka) and Marina (aka Nelie) sent us some photos of the meetup that took place yesterday, to commemorate the stamp launch in Minsk:

Postcrossing stamp from Belarus meetup Postcrossing stamp from Belarus meetup Postcrossing stamp from Belarus meetup Postcrossing stamp from Belarus meetup

Looks like everyone was busy writing dozens of postcards and maxicards... hopefully they'll soon brighten many mailboxes around the world! 😊

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Although we've never met Luzia (aka Luziaceleste) in person, we know she's a generous postcrosser. Sometimes, she'll send postcards in advance to participants in meetings across the world... just to say hi and share a bit of the joy of Postcrossing! How nice is that? 😊 To discover more about Luzia, we asked her our usual round of questions:

How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked?

It happened in seconds. A work colleague, next table to mine, mentioned he intended to join the project. I checked it out and registered before him!

Reason is simple: I have been always fascinated by mailing postcards. Every travel in my life has these moments where I shop, write and go after nice stamps before mail them. It a sort of proof that I've been on the place, and besides, sharing the experience with dear people is wonderful.

Postcrossing took me a step forward: exchanging postcards is also the exchange of culture and individual points of view.

In the very beginning, I used to send one postcard at a time. After asking for the direction and reading the profile, I searched the best postcard and then sent it. Soon, I realised that storing postcards would be handy, and I slowly asked for more addresses. Now I have two collections: the received postcards and the blank postcards to send. I am constantly being hooked by Postcrossing. Frankly, this an endless world. The more you get into, the more possibilities you discover: decoration, swaps, collections. If you wonder how this is true, go to Postcrossing Forum! I made many virtual friends there, that are not that 'virtual' after all, as postcards are very physical stuff.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

I love the Tea Ceremony. Have been practicing for decades. It helps me to understand Japanese aesthetics and ethical views. It is very handy for postcards too: space for writing is minimal comparing to letters. Getting the most out of a few words is an art. And a goal.

Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your postoffice or the place where you post or keep your postcards!
Postcrossing Spotlight: Luziaceleste from Brazil!

I store postcards in boxes β€” not in albums. I love the contact with them, having them on my hands. Periodically, I rearrange the classification. With the growing in my collection, I see sense in ordering them in more refined ways. For instance, the 'heart-themed' postcards are under sub-classification of 'Nature oriented'. Blank postcard are also stored in boxes according to the theme, to help me find the best postcard. I have no idea how many of each one I store... I don't mind the figure, I enjoy the fun and the possibilities.

Postcrossing Spotlight: Luziaceleste from Brazil! Postcrossing Spotlight: Luziaceleste from Brazil!
Have you inspired anyone else to join Postcrossing or start collections of their own?

Some people are enthusiastic when they see my postcards arriving and also the joy I have in sending them. A cousin, a niece, a friend and some people felt motivated... but quit after a while. Attendants in the Post Office are very curious, but language in a barrier in Brazil.

I like to support newbies, to ease their steps, helping them to cope with the difficulties we face at the start. Unfortunately, Brazil is a country with a lack of production of decent postcards, picturing the local scenario.

What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?

The matching point! I love sending a postcard that I know the person will be pleased to receive. It is surprising when we get something that took someone's time and effort... This is the magic!

Show and tell us about your favorite received postcard to date, and what makes it special.

What a difficult task. It is so unfair to all the other postcards... Let's say that a good sample of nice postcard I got are:

Postcrossing Spotlight: Luziaceleste from Brazil!

A tasty, fresh and inspiring heart

luzia A mailbox, on a very peculiar street. This postcard came from a swap with Japan via the forum's 'stamp related postcard tag'. Postcrossing Spotlight: Luziaceleste from Brazil!

A special eye chart!

Have you been surprised by any place that you have received a postcard from or sent a postcard to?

The postcard I got from Tuvalu was a touching one for me. Thinking that the country is in danger talks deeply to my heart.

Of course, we also value the rare... but, I do value every postcard. From time to time, there is a huge number of postcrossers in one country and I send to and get from this country more than others. Still remember when Finland was a frequent country! This is a good opportunity to see personal differences. How people communicate, what they are able to express in their profiles or in the postcards. Every person is a single person, and even further, every postcard is unique.

Have you met any other members in real life?

I dream with meetups. And yes, there was a mini international meetup here some time ago. I was glad to join martinha, vbformig and andreaeiko for a nice chat. Now, we are doing efforts to do more local meetings with postcrossers. Let's see!

Is there anything that you are passionate about?

I live in a crowded business city, so, every opportunity I have to escape, here I am, ready to get into Nature. Travelling is for me the best way to learn about others, through food, drinks and cultural production (in this order, please) and learn more about myself through relaxing and enjoying life. Travelling is also related to postcards... but this is no longer travel dependent, hahaha!

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We all like to look at pretty postcards in each other's walls... but sometimes the hassle of getting the scanner out or finding the right the cable for the camera is a bit too much work, right? We definitely understand.

Enter the new Google PhotoScan, a very simple "scanning" app which promises to take care of a few of the steps for you, such as removing glare, aligning corners and cropping the extra stuff β€” all right there on your phone. Have a look:

It's advertised for photos, but works really well for postcards too, of course! Five clicks and you end up with a great photo of your postcard, trimmed and ready to be uploaded to the site. Pfeww... so much easier than the scanner! πŸ˜…

If you a have a smartphone, look for it on your Android or Apple app store!

PS - Thank you Danny (aka wildernesscat) for the tip!

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