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Postcrossing Blog

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

On our open poll, many of you asked to see more statistics on the blog, so we thought we’d introduce a new series of posts all about Postcrossing and numbers. And what better way to start than by looking at some of the data from the year that just ended, right? Let’s do this!

5,425,005 postcards received

That’s right — almost 5.5 Million postcards were registered last year, which was pretty neat! We’ve just passed the 45 million milestone a few days ago, and are on track to celebrate the big 50 later this year. Woohoo!

25.7 days (average) and 17 days (median) travel time

Do you know the difference between an average (or mean) and a median? To calculate the average of a set of values, you sum all the values in your set and divide them by the total number of items in that set. This is great if your values are more or less well distributed, but outliers (both large and small) often distort the end result disproportionately.

Enter the median, which can be roughly described as the “middle” value of a data set. If you put all the travel times in a looong ordered line, 17 days would be the value in the centre of this distribution. This is a more reliable value to determine how many days most postcards travel before reaching their destination. Some will be quicker, some will be slower, but on the whole, postcards seem to travel somewhere around 17 days.

27,380,992,088 km (or or 17,013,759,698 miles) of total traveled distance

That’s… yeah. I don’t have words for it neither. We’re way beyond Pluto at this point!

19,985 km (or 12,418 miles) was the longest distance traveled by a postcard

Below is the postcard that traveled the longest distance last year. Can you guess between which countries it was exchanged?

It’s a trick question because of the content… but if you guessed New Zealand and Spain, you’d be right! Postcard NZ-155857 traveled between a pair of antipodal points: from the north tip of New Zealand to the south part of Spain.

916,800 postcards were sent from Germany 🇩🇪

Germany was the most active country last year, with almost a million postcards sent from there! Here are the other countries and territories in the top 20:

RankingCountryPostcards sent
1🇩🇪 Germany916,800
2🇷🇺 Russia776,853
3🇺🇸 U.S.A. 606,439
4🇳🇱 Netherlands307,189
5🇫🇮 Finland 247,153
6🇹🇼 Taiwan239,432
7🇨🇳 China221,390
8🇨🇿 Czechia204,019
9🇧🇾 Belarus178,794
10🇫🇷 France152,051
11🇯🇵 Japan132,546
12🇵🇱 Poland108,721
13🇬🇧 United Kingdom102,245
14🇺🇦 Ukraine89,283
15🇨🇦 Canada85,731
16🇭🇰 Hong Kong70,432
17🇧🇪 Belgium61,333
18🇦🇹 Austria53,435
19🇲🇾 Malaysia53,050
20🇦🇺 Australia52,137

hepman sent the most postcards

Dedication and a speedy postal service helped the Germans climb to the top of the charts, where they took most of the top spots! Here are our 20 most avid postcrossers:

RankingPostcrosserCountrySent
1hepman🇩🇪 Germany2,586
2DJHK🇩🇪 Germany2,547
3uttia4a🇩🇪 Germany2,533
4Willi🇩🇪 Germany2,506
5rosenbusch🇩🇪 Germany2,473
6Klausdiemaus🇩🇪 Germany2,471
7gremlin1🇩🇪 Germany2,456
8tullipan🇩🇪 Germany2,411
9Antje321🇩🇪 Germany2,395
10Marcii🇩🇪 Germany2,385
11ned44440🇮🇪 Ireland2,384
12Minna71🇫🇮 Finland2,348
13mapcardcollector🇬🇧 United Kingdom2,336
14Matin🇩🇪 Germany2,316
15fisherman🇮🇪 Ireland2,314
16chrissybaby🇮🇪 Ireland2,309
17Bock🇦🇹 Austria2,272
18marie61🇩🇪 Germany2,255
19radiofan🇦🇹 Austria2,249
20TimSarah🇩🇪 Germany2,199

And that’s it for last year’s numbers! If you’re hungry for more, Postcrossing has a group of pages dedicated to statistics where you can find more data to explore.

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Remember Marina’s Scarf of Friendship that we mentioned here on the blog last year? Marina (aka 167marina) from Russia had been collecting bits of yarn from all over the world to knit a super scarf that embodied the unity and friendship between different nations.

It took a whole year, but she finally finished this project late last year and took some photos with her friend Dasha, to show you the result. We thought the photos looked so lovely, we had to make another post about it! Have a look:

Marina's Scarf of Friendship Marina's Scarf of Friendship 39

Isn’t that amazing? 😍 The colourful creation ended up being over 10 meters long and including all kinds of yarn, from wool to mohair, angora, cashmere, acrylic and even bamboo…

Marina's Scarf of Friendship

As well as postcrossers, she asked for help from all her friends and ended up with bits of yarn from 60 countries and 6 continents! Marina says:

“Each thread that I added to the scarf, was associated with a different country. I imagined the hot Bahamas, rainy London, night in Hong Kong, ancient palaces of Osaka, vivid festivals of India, the rock art of Egypt… Knitting is like traveling the planet! This scarf is a string of the Brazilian jungle, African desert, from the cold of the North Pole (Spitsbergen archipelago) and South distant Antarctica. They did the long and hard way: they were taken by snowmobile, helicopter and boat, by ship, by plane, by rail and finally by road.”

That sounds really inspiring — bravo Marina!

What about you? Planning any cool postal projects in 2018? Do share in the comments!

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January is the month for planning and resolutions, so we thought we’d start off 2018 with a different kind of survey: we wanted to ask YOU (the Postcrossing community) what kind of articles you’d like to see featured here on the blog this next year.

Over the past 10 years, we’ve covered lots of different topics on the blog. From cool postal projects to giveaways, news related to Postcrossing (stamps, school activities, meetups), good causes, interviews with postcrossers or stationery makers, historical facts, the intrepid Little Mail Carriers… The list goes on and on.

But what would you like to see more of? Is there anything postal-related that you find fascinating and would like to learn more about? What are your favourite types of posts so far? What are we missing? Leave us some ideas in the comments about things you’d like to see more often in the blog, and let us know! We’ll be reviewing your feedback and hope to make the blog extra interesting for all postcrossers in 2018. :)

If you’d like to have a look at what we’ve covered in nearly 600 posts so far, check out the Blog Archives.

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Happy New Year! May it be a brilliant one!

Last month we invited everyone to write about a famous food from your region in the postcards you were sending out. So… what new delicacies did you learn about? 😋 Are you going to give them a try?

(For those that are new to them, the writing prompts are an ongoing experiment that invites postcrossers to write about a different topic on their postcard’s messages every month. These are just suggestions though — if you already know what you want to write about, or the recipient gives you some pointers, that’s great too!)

This month’s writing prompt was suggested by Jetske. Here it goes:

In January, write about a typical day in your life.

Sounds simple enough, right? But wouldn’t it be interesting to know how your typical day differs from someone else’s across the world?

For instance, my commute is probably the shortest out there, as I just work from our home office on my laptop all day (not in pijamas though!). A typical day around here is filled with emails, posts, research and coffee… as well as occasional visits from the neighbourhood’s cats! 🐈

What about you? What does your typical day look like? Are you strict about schedules or tend to go with the flow? Do you have a long commute? And do you interact with a lot of other people (or cats)?

You can choose to give the recipient of your postcard a broad overview of your days, or focus on something specific if you feel that would be more relevant. Whichever approach you choose, I’m sure it’ll be interesting to read about.

Have a good month, filled with lovely postcards!

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A few postcrossers might remember that a long time ago, Flickr had a series of interviews with photographers, in which they always asked the same five questions. One of them was this one:

"When we interview peeps for employment here at Team Flickr, we always ask: “Kittens, babies, sunsets or flowers? Pick one.”

We thought this was a good topic to break the seriousness of last month’s poll and try something different. So… kittens, babies, sunsets or flowers?

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Turns out, it’s sunsets all the way with the Postcrossing crowd! Almost half of us prefer sunsets to any of the other options, followed by kittens, then flowers … and babies always seem to come last! Why is that, i wonder? 🤔

The results are very consistent from country to country too, with South Korea and Lithuania going a bit against the trend and preferring kittens to sunsets.

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So what do you think? What motivated your pick, and how do you interpret these results?

PS: We’re always looking for new poll ideas! If you think of something cool to ask postcrossers (and that would fit in a poll), let us know in the comments.

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