Postcrossing Blog

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

Posts tagged "poll"

When we’re talking to other postcrossers at meetings, we often hear about their long term penpals, and how some people have kept up a steady correspondence back and forth for years. So it got us curious… how many postcrossers had or still have penpals? And if they never tried it, how many would be interested in giving penpaling a go in the future?

To find out, we ran a poll on the front page last week, and collected 8351 votes. These are the results:

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As our own suspicions hinted, postcrossers are naturally fans of letter writing, with most people either having one at the moment (32%), or having had one in the past (33%). A further 24% of the respondents had never tried, but are eager to give it a go someday, and only 11% of participants stated that they were not interested.

The breakdown of the results by country can be seen below, but please take these numbers with a grain of salt. The average age range of postcrossers varies wildly in places, with Asian countries typically being home to much younger postcrossers, while things are more evenly distributed in the Western hemisphere. Naturally, this has an indirect impact in the results, as younger people might not have had the time to try penpaling yet. That said, here they are:

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It’s always tricky to make conclusions from these kind of informal studies, but Japan seems to be the reigning champion of penpals at the moment, with over 50% of postcrossers still keeping in touch with theirs, and only 19% having given up over time.

Finland stands out as well — can you spot it on the graph? Over 97% of postcrossers have either tried, still have or are interested in penpaling. This does not come as a surprise, knowing their top spot on Postcrossing’s per capita ranking!

Which countries have more people looking for penpals for the first time, you ask? That would be China, India, Taiwan and Ukraine, all of which have over 40% participants in that category. (By the way, if that’s you, did you know that there’s a section in the Postcrossing forum dedicated to finding penpals?)

And Portugal, the birth country of Postcrossing, appears to be the one where people are least interested in penpals at all… Both Paulo and I have had penpals before, so I confess this is a somewhat surprising result for us. 😅 Perhaps other Portuguese postcrossers want to chime in on the topic?

In any case, how did your own country fare? Are the results more or less in line with your experience and expectations? Let’s discuss it on the comments below!

PS – As usual, only countries with more than 50 votes are included, so that the results can be more meaningful.

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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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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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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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I remember writing my first postcard: I was seven, spending the summer vacations of first grade by the sea with my family. That year, my dad decided to delegate the holiday postcard writing to me, since I had just learned how to write and had “such a nice handwriting”. Honoured, I took the task very seriously, drafting a short text to tell my grandparents about all the sandcastles my brother and I had built, how many ice-creams we had eaten… and how much we missed them. I did my best calligraphy and was very mindful of the small space as my dad dictated each line of the address. The sense of pride as I arrived weeks later in my grandma’s home to see the postcard proudly displayed on the fireplace mantle was huge. 😊

So I wondered… is this a common experience? On average, how old are people when they write their first postcard ever? To find out, we decided to do a poll! Over 13000 of you responded, and here are the results:

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Like me, the majority of postcrossers seems to have had their first postcard-sending experience earlier on, when they were 10 or younger, with progressively less people in each of the following age groups. That seems logical, as postcards are quite a neat way of practicing writing for the little ones and to get them excited about mail.

But we all know that some countries have more of a mail culture than others, so we were curious to discover how these statistics differed around the world. Let’s have a closer look at the countries with more than 50 votes (for more reliable results):

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Interesting! Seems like there’s a clear start 'em young trend in Europe, where the majority of people write their first postcard in their primary school years. Finland takes the cake, with 77% of members writing their first postcard before their 11th birthday — which isn’t very surprising, given the fact that they were always the country with more postcrossers per capita! Switzerland, Netherlands and Germany are close behind, all with more than 70% of postcrossers also sending their first postcards early on.

Shifting to Asia, Japan’s numbers seem to be similar as those in Europe, but they are the outliers of the region. People in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and India share the experience of writing the first postcard in their teenage years… and on the other end of the spectrum, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand are the latest starters of the group, with the majority of people writing their first postcard when they’re already adults.

So… what do you think? Were these results in line with what you expected for your country? And if you remember writing your first postcard ever, who was it addressed to? 🙂

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

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