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Postcrossing Blog

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

lynda

This is our friend Lynda (aka LyndaC). She’s originally from Canada 🇨🇦 but travels abroad often and loves sending postcards from her trips, both to her friends back home and to others through Postcrossing. Sadly, it can be a bit awkward to send a postcard from somewhere exotic only to notice when it is registered that all the maps, statistics or flags of that postcard are wrong… so she used to refrain from requesting addresses in Postcrossing while traveling.

To make life easier for the many postcrossers that travel every year and want to send Postcrossing postcards from their trips, we’ve introduced a new feature called Travel Mode! With your account in Travel Mode set to your travel destination, you’ll be able to send postcards while in that location with a local Postcard ID (if abroad) and correct maps, statistics and flags that reflect the postcard’s actual origin.

While you’re busy exploring and writing postcards in Travel Mode, your account will be automatically set to inactive (since you’re not home to receive your postcards), but don’t worry — you’ll be sent all your due postcards as soon as you set it back to Active upon your return.

Lynda tested this feature on a recent trip to Portugal and France, and was happy to report that everything worked without a hitch! 👍

So the next time you travel somewhere, just switch your account to Travel Mode, find some local postcards and stamps, and you’ll be ready to share some nice memories from your trip! We’ve added a FAQ item about the new Travel Mode, but if you still have questions, feel free to ask below.

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On last month’s poll results, Maria (aka Maria_Castro) from Portugal suggested we asked everyone’s opinion about the postal services in their country… admittedly a very subjective (and perhaps touchy) topic. Still, we thought it would be interesting to get a feeling of the national reputation of postal operators. Which ones stood out? And would their domestic image match the perception we have of them from abroad?

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Overall, the results are pretty heartwarming! The vast majority of postcrossers think their post offices are doing a good job, with a fair amount going as far as saying they’re excellent.

But since the question was about each national post office, the important analysis comes on a country basis. So how do these results compare on a national level? To find out, we had a closer look at the results from countries with more than 50 votes (for more accurate results):

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The results more or less reflect the general trend described above, with a few exceptions.

For instance, Italy pops out immediately as the country with the highest number of unhappy postcrossers (80% rate their postal service as poor or fair)… which I confess is a bit of a surprise. Is it the stamp prices? Or perhaps problems in the mail delivery? Maybe some local postcrossers can enlighten us in the comments! Other postal operators with mediocre results were Brazil, Hungary, Poland, Russia and Sweden (around 60% on the same metric).

On the happy side of the spectrum, Japan's Post has an extraordinary reputation: 74% of Japanese postcrossers think their post office is doing an excellent job and further 23% consider it good, with less than 3% in the remaining categories. Pretty impressive!

Other Asian countries follow closely behind, with South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan all having roughly 90% happy customers (rating either excellent or good). In Europe, Switzerland has the most content postcrossers, also with over 90% satisfaction, with Austria, Germany and Latvia trailing closely.

Please keep in mind that the answers to this kind of “perception survey” are always subjective… so remember to take the results with a grain of salt. That said, what influenced your vote? And if you were in charge of your country’s postal operator, what would you change?

PS – Any statisticians in the house? 😅  If you’d like give us a hand in future polls, let us know!

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We have another exciting meetup report to share with you, all the way from Malaysia 🇲🇾 . The Postcrossing community there is super-enthusiastic and decided to do something special this past World Post Day. They had several simultaneous meetups around the country, took lots of photos and prepared this report to inspire you all to get out there and meet each other!

The 5th Malaysian Postcrossing meetup was held on October 9th 2017, at the Kuala Lumpur General Post Office, in conjunction with World Post Day 2017 celebration and stamp launch. The meeting was held at the hall of the post office building on the 3rd floor. A total of 46+ postcrossers from all over Malaysia participated in this meetup.

Postcard signing activity commencing and some of the meetup card produced by Malaysian postcrossers

Postcard signing activity commencing and some of the meetup cards produced by Malaysian postcrossers

The event start off at 10am with speeches by Mdm. Diyana Lean Abdullah (Head of Stamp & Philately Department, Pos Malaysia) and Dato’ Anuar Bashah (President of Philatelic Society of Malaysia). A short talk on “Development of Postcrossing in Malaysia & How to Promote Postcrossing” was given by Shaliza Atikah (aka Honeysha).

A postcard exhibition and competition was held at the same hall, with a total of 18 exhibition panels from 17 participants. The topics exhibited ranged widely; i.e. anime, maxicards, orangutans, postal related items, Year of the Rooster 2017, weddings, and many more. Each panel consisted of 16 A4-size frames. The competition was judged by fellow meetup participants and the President of Philatelic Society of Malaysia.

Postcard exhibition and competition

Postcard exhibition and competition

Meetup participants — big and small!

Meetup participants — big and small!

This year, the meetup was also joined by a group of students from the school SK Putrajaya Presint 14(1). They were introduced to the hobby of postcard collecting and participated in postcard writing activity and colouring competition. The event ended around 1.30pm with the prize giving ceremony for the postcard exhibition competition and school children colouring contest. A lucky draw event was also held with the prizes being postcards and souvenirs given by the participants.

Group photo of all the participants in the Kuala Lumpur meeting

Group photo of all the participants in the Kuala Lumpur meeting

Another meetup occurred simultaneously in Kota Kinabalu, the state capital of Sabah. The meetup brought together 9 postcrossers at a local restaurant and the Kota Kinabalu General Post Office. They visited the mail sorting area of the general post office and presented the staff with a cake to celebrate World Post Day.

Meeting in Kota Kinabalu with visit to mail sorting area at the post office

Meeting in Kota Kinabalu with visit to mail sorting area at the post office

A mini meetup also occurred at the post office in Tenom, an interior region of the state of Sabah:

Mini-meetup in Tenom

Mini-meetup in Tenom

The next day (10/10/2017), two Malaysian postcrossers (Shaliza Atikah aka honeysha85 and Kamaruzaain A. Kadir aka kamaruzaain) appeared on a segment of the TV programme “Malaysia Hari Ini” to promote Postcrossing and the hobby of postcard collecting. The programme also highlighted the World Post Day meetup, with interviews from some of the participants. The programme segment is available on this YouTube link.

Malaysia Hari Ini program interviews

Pos Malaysia and Philatelic Society of Malaysia were supportive of Malaysian postcrossing activities, providing the venue for the meetup, door gifts, competition prizes, etc. Also this year, we are able to collaborate with the Panda Post (China) which provided us with Panda Post cartoon postcards for the meetup participants.

Also, thanks to all the committee members who have contributed their time and energy to ensure the success of this meetup: Kamaruzaain A. Kadir (aka kamaruzaain), Khor Kok Keong (aka kkkhor), Matthew Lai KH (Matthew07), Nurulhuda Abdul Kadir (newrule), Shaliza Atikah (honeysha85), Tan Wei Loon (alansxi86), and Yoong Pooi Leng (plyoong).

Photo credits: Matthew Lai, Natasha Putri, Fiona Wong, Caroline Chia and May Anny.

Thank you guys, that was fantastic! 👍

No matter whether a meeting is big or small, it’s always nice to meet new friends and share the love of postcards with other like-minded people… so have a look in the meetups page for events happening near you, or feel free to organise your own on the forum!

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Do you also feel like the best postcards we receive are often the ones that are completely filled with thoughts? When the text is so long and interesting that words start spilling into the address side of the postcard, grabbing our attention for a moment longer… Those tend to be the ones that truly connect us to another place and another person, beyond the standard “Hello, my name is…”

That said, we know coming up with interesting subjects for writing on your postcards can be hard. Sometimes we’re not particularly inspired, or we’re tired at the end of the day or we might feel like there’s just not that much to say. If you struggle with what to write on your postcards, we’re starting an experiment today that might help — we’re calling them the “monthly writing prompts”.

Here’s how it goes: in the beginning of the month we’ll publish a post suggesting a topic, and if you’d like, you can use this topic as a starting point for the messages on the postcards you send that month. Please note that the suggested theme is 100% optional and meant as a suggestion only. If you already know what you want to write about or the recipient gives you some tips of what they’d like to hear from you, that’s wonderful… but just in case you need ideas, we’re here to help!

Ok, so here’s the topic for the inaugural month of these prompts, as suggested by ColourfulCourtney on the forum:

In November, write about something that makes you smile.

This is one of my favourite topics to write on postcards, actually! Things that make you smile have a big chance of bringing a smile to someone else’s face, so it’s nice to share them. Incidentally, this theme reminds me of Maria singing about her favourite things on The Sound of Music, which reminds me of musicals… which is one of the things that puts a smile on my face! 😊  I could definitely write about all my favourite musicals, and all the songs I know by heart…

You get the idea, right? Just pick something that makes you smile and share it with your recipient. Be specific and elaborate on it as much as you’d like. Let’s fill November’s postcards with stories and meaningful messages and spread some smiles all around. Have a great month, everyone!

PS – Have ideas for more prompts? Feel free to share them on this forum thread! Remember that the forum requires a separate login from that of the Postcrossing website, so if you have not created an account there, you will need to do so in order to use it.

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It’s been a while since we’ve had a spotlight interview on the blog, but we haven’t forgotten about them! Today, we’re happy to interview Courtney (aka ColorfulCourtney), who is the from the USA but lives in Germany and is a fan of archery! If you’ve been hanging around in the forum, you might have interacted with her already, as she’s quite active there, helping newbies and answering questions.

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

I was still living in the U.S. and trying to find Christmas postcards, which are not so common there. On Amazon I saw many reviews of cards where people said “These are perfect for Postcrossing, ” or something similar. I decided to find out what this “Postcrossing” was, and signed up.

I think it was the Forum and doing tags that got me hooked, because I was able to exchange more cards while I was still limited in what I could send on the main site. Now I hardly ever do tags, because I can have more traveling than I can afford to send, and I like the random element of the site.

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

I have made my mailbox into a postcard – the last time I sent it out was as DE-6420999. This postbox is across the street from the library. There is one closer to my house, but I do not use it as often. Also unfortunately the other postbox is routinely vandalized, which makes me both sad and angry.

ColorfulCourtney Postcrossing Spotlight

I store my incoming postcards in boring random boxes, I’m afraid! But I do display some of my favorite current cards in a mirror in my living room.

ColorfulCourtney Postcrossing Spotlight
What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?

That is also a really hard question. I love getting great postcards and messages, of course, especially when it is clear someone put a lot of time, effort and heart into them. Sometimes people send me amazing bookmarks for the library – I recently received some beautiful handmade ones that were so creative! I also like picking out cards, writing them, finding the right stamp and washi tape, etc. Over all, though, my favorite part is when I get a “Hurray” message from someone who especially appreciated what I sent to them. Then I feel super all day, and cannot wait to send more cards!

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

That is a super-hard question, because I like so many cards for so many reasons, often because of what is on the back or something someone slipped into the envelope. I have some of the cards on my “Favorites” wall where I actually do not like the image at all! But I love what the person said on the back, and seeing the image reminds me of that.

ColorfulCourtney Postcrossing Spotlight

If forced to choose right now I guess I would say for the front image, NL-3817868 from Aafjeknuffel. In my profile I say I like old cards and also ask people to tell me something that makes them smile. She sent me a beautiful vintage card, together with a self-painted postcard that illustrated the things in life that make her happy. It literally made me cry a little bit, it was such a happy card!

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

I was totally surprised that my first card came from Finland! I did not know at the time how active a Postcrossing country it is, and it seemed very exotic to me.

Is there anything that you are passionate about?

“Passion” is a pretty strong word. Postcrossing has made me passionate about our postal system. It makes me so angry when people intentionally under-postage cards, when vandals deface mailboxes, when the government wants to reduce mail delivery, things like that.

Outside of Postcrossing, my “think global” passion is about trying to achieve what I call the Star Trek universe, where the Earth is at peace, and poverty, oppression and violence on our planet are things of the past. I am especially passionate about women’s rights and I wish that women and girls all over the world had the rights and opportunities I have enjoyed growing up and living in the U.S. and now Germany. I worry a lot about the progress we are making as a planet, and about women’s rights, and the condition of people in general, slipping away in many areas of the world.

ColorfulCourtney Postcrossing Spotlight

My “act local” passion is our Gemeindebücherei, the town library. I was a librarian in the U.S. and after moving here I wanted to get involved in some sort of volunteer activity. Long story short, since 2016 I have been the town librarian, and work as a team with another volunteer assistant. We are both really passionate about reading and books, and about trying to get people to see the library as a vital resource to the community. You can see a picture of the library in DE-6500814.

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