Postcrossing Blog

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

Yup, you read that correctly: postcards are celebrating their 150th anniversary this year! Hurray!! 🎉

October 1st, 1869 was the day the Austro-Hungarian Post decided to implement Dr. Emanuel Herrmann’s recommendations for a practical and cheaper means of sending short messages. Up until then, letters were the norm, but they were expensive and filled with formal etiquette, taking some effort to write. So postcards were born to simplify things… and the rest is history.

For some months now, we’ve been busy behind the scenes researching the history of postcards and putting together a special website to commemorate the anniversary of our favorite means of communication, and to encourage the whole world to re-discover the joy that is finding a postcard in a mailbox.

150 years of postcards!

We know that October is still some months away, but a sesquicentennial anniversary is a pretty big deal and it definitely deserves a party — which is where YOU come in!

Your mission, if you wish to accept it, is to plan a meetup with other local postcrossers to celebrate the 150th anniversary of postcards. Meet new friends, make some postal-themed activities, or just send postcards together. It can be as small or as big as you’d like — the important thing is to have fun and celebrate the postcard. This is a birthday party, after all! 😉

If you’ve never organized a meetup before, don’t worry, it’s easy! Reach out to other nearby postcrossers via private message or on the forum, and when you’re more or less set on a plan, make a post about it on the forum (here’s a quick how-to guide to meetups). There are already a few meetings being planned for this special celebration, and we look forward to adding lots more to the events page.

This next part is optional, but in the spirit of connecting the world, it would be super cool if these meetings were connected with other meetings happening simultaneously, or with other postcrossers celebrating the day. If internet is available in the place where you’ll meet, consider livestreaming or reaching out to other meetup hosts in advance, to set up a video chat so everyone can say hi! Let us know what your plans are, and we can help spread the word about it.

Ok, I think this is all for now! We’ve written a bit more about these meetups on this forum post, where you can ask further questions.

Come discover the history of postcards on 150yearsofpostcards.com, and spread the word about this remarkable #150yearsofpostcards anniversary — let’s make it a party that the whole world will remember!

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Hurray! 🎉 It’s Postcrossing’s birthday! 🎉

On this day 14 years ago, Paulo typed a command on his computer, and just like that, the Postcrossing adventure had started. Fast forward fourteen years and nearly 53 million of postcards later, we now have many happy mailboxes filled to the brim, and smiles all around. As Uncle Alex used to say, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is”.

On this day, we are feeling especially warm and fuzzy inside, so please forgive our sappiness. We’d like to take a moment to say thank you to everyone of you out there, who joined us on this journey.

lmcshappybday14

Thank you for your trust in this big idea, for every postcard that you send to a grandparent, or a child, or a stranger that you don’t know much about. We firmly believe that all these postcards, small as they might be, have an important role to play in helping us see our common ground, while simultaneously broadening our horizons.

Thank you to our forum moderators as well, and to everyone who puts in the time to help postcrossers on the forum. Thank you to our Ambassadors, for coming up with new ways to spread the word. And thank you to all our supporters as well! You keep our servers running, and the project moving forward.

Thank you also for the many messages of support that we receive every day, through your emails, comments, tweets and posts, testimonials or postcards. Your words of encouragement and joy are what fuels us to keep going. Thank you, thank you, thank you. ❤️

Our fresh year that starts today is going to be an exciting one, as we’ve been busy working on some big projects behind-the-scenes. So stay tuned for some good news soon!

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The writing prompts invite 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!

July is here and temperatures in most of Europe lately have been sizzling… (45°C/113°F in France! 😰) It’s way too hot to think about complicated writing topics, so this month we’re keeping it simple and suggesting a refreshing escape with an icy treat.

In July, write about your favorite ice-cream flavor!
Ice-cream!

Though super popular in the summer, ice-creams are a hit in all seasons, so whether it’s summer or winter where you are, it’s always a good time to consume one.

Among the team, our taste choices go to carob and orange for Paulo, coconut milk and corn for me, and Ben and Jerry’s fairy floss for Vicki in Australia. That Unicornetto on the right was a thing of beauty though… have you ever tasted an ice-cream made of unicorns? 🦄

So what about you, do you have a favorite ice-cream flavor? And are there perhaps some flavors that are specific to your country? We invite you to write about them on the postcards you send out this month!

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Have you ever imagined what it would be like to live on Mars? Maybe the question brings to mind flashbacks of Matt Damon cultivating his crop of potatoes on The Martian… but what about other important stuff, like mail? Who will deliver our postcards from Mars to our friends back on Earth? And how will mailboxes on the red planet look like? 🤔

We might not be able to send postcards to space just yet, but with the help of Matthew (aka COSmatthew), some families in Colorado Springs, USA enjoyed a fun space & postcard-themed afternoon this month! He organized a workshop at the Space Foundation Discovery Center that helped everyone sign up for Postcrossing, and send their own space-themed cards to people all around the world. How cool is that?!

Here is Matthew’s report of this event:

Greetings from the beautiful city of Colorado Springs in the United States of America! Our City is a large hub for the space industry in our country, so it’s no surprise that we have the Space Foundation Discovery Center, a top-notch space museum here for which I oversee Guest Relations.

Postcrossing workshop at the Space Foundation Discovery Center!

This Summer, the Space Foundation Discovery Center is exploring the topic of what it will be like to live and work on Mars. One of our activities is a station where you can create your own postcards to send to others to let them know what you’ve been learning. This station has been so popular that I knew adding in Postcrossing would be a natural fit.

Postcrossing workshop at the Space Foundation Discovery Center!

With the help of the Postcrossing staff, our Programs Team went to work learning how to use the Postcrossing platform and how we could best teach our guests how to get the most out of the experience. By the time the “Postcrossing to Mars” workshop came and went, we had a lot of smiling faces and kids (along with adults) who were positively giddy at the prospect of receiving postcards from around the world.

And who knows? One of our custom postcards that was made in the workshop might be coming soon to a mailbox near you!

Postcrossing workshop at the Space Foundation Discovery Center! Postcrossing workshop at the Space Foundation Discovery Center!

Well done Matthew for this very cool workshop, and for bringing Postcrossing to the Discovery Center. Those big monitors make it look like a command center, and it’s really neat to see the website up there! Who would have thought that putting two cool things together would make something even cooler?!

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Åland Islands Postcrossing stamp

Today is the day the Åland Postcrossing-themed stamp makes its debut! Hurray! 🎉

Lots of postcrossers have made the trip to the archipelago to participate in a large meetup organized by the Finnish Postcrossing Friends Association, taking place to celebrate the stamp launch. If you’re curious to check out the event as it happens, there will be a livestream today (June 7th) at around 2pm Helsinki time (UTC+3), on the Association’s Facebook page.

This is the 392nd stamp issued by Åland Post and the first metallic, heart-shaped Postcrossing stamp ever, and we cannot wait to hold it in our hands!

To commemorate this special occasion, Åland Post has kindly offered to give 7 postcrossers one of these fantastic prizes:

Sounds brilliant, right?

For a chance to grab one of them, all you need to do is to discover something new about the Åland Islands, and leave a comment below to share that fact with the rest of the Postcrossing community. Make it a good one — we want the comments to be filled with interesting facts and bits of history about this place that so few people have heard of!

The comments will be open for one week, and around this time next week, Paulo will run a bit of code that will pick 7 random postcrossers to receive their prizes. We’ll announce them here on this blog post.

Good luck, everyone! :) We hope you enjoy learning more about the Åland Islands, and that a postcard with their shiny new Postcrossing-themed stamp will land on your mailbox very soon.

And the winners of this giveaway, as chosen by Paulo’s random number generator are… carlafed, saanattaja, Tutubi, gibsonpark, BevV, bhumika and JayKnit! Congratulations everyone, thank you for your participation and for sharing so many nice facts about Åland!

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