Postcrossing Blog

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

Posts tagged "postcrossing"

Can you feel the excitement in the air? Postcrossing 15th anniversary is coming up soon…

For almost a decade and a half, our community has been diligently mailing postcards and trusting that these will slowly but surely make their way into the recipient’s mailboxes… but what do these mailboxes look like? How does YOUR mailbox look like?

On Postcrossing’s 15th anniversary, we have a mission for you: show the world your own happy mailbox! Grab a camera and your postcards, and take a selfie with your mailbox (ie, the place where you receive your postcards). Then, upload it to our wall of awesomeness! 😍

Here, Paulo and I will go first:

Show us your happy mailbox!

Now we want to see YOUR mailboxes in their full, colorful glory… and your smiles as well!

📮 Add your mailbox!

You have until July 14 to join the fun – go go go! Upload your photo and join the celebration! 🎉

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Dear postcrossers,

It’s a little crazy out there, so we wanted to take a minute to check on everyone. How are you doing? We hope you and your loved ones are all healthy and staying cozy at home as much as possible. It’s been a weird week around here, mostly worrying about friends and elderly relatives, and trying to keep calm. But, truth be told, it’s also been a week of finding purpose and hope in the little things.

DE-8894293

This is in no small part due to the many postcrossers, who have written in to let us know how much receiving mail is cheering them up while self-isolating. Many of you are staying home with energetic little ones that you’re struggling to keep busy, others just need to feel connected with the world without the anxiety-inducing frenzy of social media. Whatever your situation might be, sending and receiving postcards seems to bring people a small measure of comfort in these troubled times, and we are thankful for that.

Now more than ever, we’re also thankful to the many mail carriers out there keeping people connected. Though most postal services are still working, the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and ensuing flight suspensions have forced many postal operators to divert or cancel some of their mail routes. This is something we’ve always kept an eye on behind the scenes… but lately, this information has been updated so frequently that it was becoming overwhelming to keep an eye on all the mail suspensions, as well as replying to your queries about them. So we created a platform to make this information available to the community, and called it the Postal Monitor.

Postal Monitor

The idea is that we have a dedicated place in Postcrossing that keeps track of all the ongoing mail route suspensions around the world, so that we can add them to the project’s algorithm. This page relies on the excellent work that postcrosser Chie (aka Chieusa) has been doing on the forum for many years now, carefully putting together all this information with the help of reports from the community. So if you know of any updates, please report them on the forum, so that they can be included.

You’ll notice on the Postal Monitor that delivery to China has been re-established in many countries, so Postcrossing is back to giving out addresses in China in the countries that can send mail there.

A few of you have also suggested the implementation of a feature that would allow exchanging postcards with your own country exclusively. This is not an easy feature to implement in Postcrossing, which is designed to be global by definition. We’re giving the idea some thought, and checking whether it would be feasible.

Lastly, let’s take a deep breath, stay calm and find ways to support and be kind to each other throughout this. Remember that we’re all in it together. 🌈

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Back in the beginning of 2018, I wrote a post about the site’s statistics in 2017. I meant to do one of those posts every year… but seem to have forgotten about it last year. Sorry, everyone! So, without further ado, here are some of the Postcrossing statistics for the year of 2019.

5,100,682 postcards received

For a few years now, we seem to have stabilized at around 5 million postcards exchanged per year, which is pretty neat and puts us on track to celebrating 60 million postcards in late 2020. Who’s looking forward to that party? 🎉

25.44 days (average) and 16.94 days (median) travel time

Do you still remember 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) tend to disproportionately distort the end result.

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. This number hasn’t changed much over the years.

26,836,704,573 kms (or 16,675,555,116 miles) of total traveled distance

That’s enough to go to Neptune and back 3 times! That number is so gigantic, it sure makes me happy that postage is no longer calculated according to the distance traveled

19,993 km (or 12,423 miles) was the longest distance traveled by a postcard

That’s CN-2803565, exchanged between jessicastier in Xian, Shaanxi and LalyVillablanca in… Wait, can you try to guess which country that postcard traveled to, without looking? Which country is most likely to be the antipodes of a city in central China? 🤔 To check whether you’ve guessed correctly, have a look at the postcard’s page.

964,324 postcards were sent from Germany 🇩🇪

No surprise here, Germany continues to be the most active country in Postcrossing with over 964K postcards sent from there. Here are the other countries and territories in the top 20:

RankingCountryPostcards sent
1🇩🇪 Germany964,324
2🇺🇸 U.S.A. 631,917
3🇷🇺 Russia600,844
4🇳🇱 Netherlands243,805
5🇫🇮 Finland 219,883
6🇨🇳 China206,578
7🇹🇼 Taiwan184,779
8🇧🇾 Belarus141,269
9🇯🇵 Japan135,628
10🇨🇿 Czechia135,115
11🇫🇷 France115,193
12🇬🇧 United Kingdom113,527
13🇵🇱 Poland89,051
14🇨🇦 Canada84,649
15🇭🇰 Hong Kong55,600
16🇧🇪 Belgium54,741
17🇱🇹 Lithuania48,795
18🇦🇹 Austria47,863
19🇦🇺 Australia47,293
20🇨🇭 Switzerland45,741

Sidolix sent the most postcards

That was close though! Once more, well done to our fleißig German members. To be fair, it’s easy to be an enthusiastic postcrosser in Germany, where postage is still reasonable and postcard shops are plentiful in most places.

RankingPostcrosserCountrySent
1Sidolix🇩🇪 Germany2,512
2uttia4a🇩🇪 Germany2,511
3hepman🇩🇪 Germany2,407
4ned44440🇮🇪 Ireland2,398
5Antje321🇩🇪 Germany2,374
6Matin🇩🇪 Germany2,365
7tullipan🇩🇪 Germany2,365
8Willi🇩🇪 Germany2,316
9Silke45🇩🇪 Germany2,312
10rosenbusch🇩🇪 Germany2,310
11Kekel🇩🇪 Germany2,264
12DJHK🇩🇪 Germany2,230
13Rehus🇩🇪 Germany2,207
14Emillio🇨🇿 Czechia2,205
15Bock🇦🇹 Austria2,194
16elbe🇩🇪 Germany2,192
17bas31🇨🇿 Czechia2,182
18TimSarah🇩🇪 Germany2,171
19ho-modellfan🇩🇪 Germany2,169
20Rosenquarz🇩🇪 Germany2,150

710 meetups organized in 54 different countries

Soooo many of you organized meetings to celebrate Postcrossing with other members of the community in 2019 — from Italy to Oman, Singapore to Iran, Seychelles or Isle of Man, postcrossers got together in all continents except Antarctica. Hurray!


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

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Some years ago, we published a different ranking for postcrossers, one that focused on the concentration of postcrossers per 100,000 habitants in the different countries. Essentially, this ranking answers the question: where are you more likely to find a postcrosser in the street?

Things have changed since the last time we’ve compiled these statistics over five years ago, so we thought it was time for an updated ranking. Paulo ran the numbers and here it is:

Ranking
(current)
CountryPostcrossers
(per 100,000 inhabitants)
Previous ranking
(in Feb. 2013)
Previous ranking
(in Dec. 2010)
1🇫🇮 Finland38211
2🇹🇼 Taiwan37166
3🇧🇾 Belarus30438
4🇱🇹 Lithuania29423
5🇳🇱 Netherlands23044
6🇨🇿 Czechia1941115
7🇪🇪 Estonia18752
8🇱🇻 Latvia16377
9🇭🇰 Hong Kong134919
10🇦🇽 Åland Islands12010>50
11🇲🇴 Macao11985
12🇬🇬 Guernsey1061912
13🇵🇱 Poland841216
14🇮🇸 Iceland70139
15🇵🇹 Portugal661510
16🇷🇺 Russia642129
17🇩🇪 Germany621717
18🇸🇬 Singapore591411
19🇸🇮 Slovenia581813
20🇺🇦 Ukraine571635
21🇱🇺 Luxembourg452220
22🇳🇿 New Zealand442014
23🇧🇪 Belgium422326
24🇸🇰 Slovakia413638
25🇨🇭 Switzerland382425
26🇦🇹 Austria342528
27🇮🇲 Isle of Man31>50>50
28🇯🇪 Jersey312927
29🇦🇺 Australia292618
30🇨🇦 Canada272724
31🇲🇹 Malta263021
32🇮🇪 Ireland253133
33🇳🇴 Norway252823
34🇬🇺 Guam2341>50
35🇬🇧 United Kingdom233332
36🇧🇲 Bermuda23>50>50
37🇫🇴 Faroe Islands22>50>50
38🇭🇺 Hungary223434
39🇫🇷 France224442
40🇺🇸 USA213231
41🇧🇬 Bulgaria194748
42🇲🇩 Moldova184249
43🇲🇾 Malaysia183740
44🇭🇷 Croatia173530
45🇦🇩 Andorra17>50>50
46🇸🇪 Sweden164036
47🇧🇳 Brunei163837
48🇪🇸 Spain153944
49🇹🇷 Turkey134847
50🇲🇪 Montenegro114543

But first, some disclaimers: some countries or territories on this list don’t have 100,000 habitants (eg. islands), so the number of postcrossers per capita there can be a bit misleading. And as with the last time, to calculate the data above we took into account only countries with more than 10 members and excluded countries for which we did not have reliable population data.

As expected, some things have stayed the same, and some have changed. Finland is still the place with more postcrossers per capita, although Taiwan is slowly making its way up to the top of the chart. Czech Republic is the only new country in the top-10, with a very impressive jump to 6th place.

Some newcomers to this ranking include the Isle of Man, Andorra, Bermuda and the Faroe Islands, all of which now have more than 10 members. Hurray!

From those countries which were already on this ranking, Slovakia climbed an impressive 12 places (from 36 to 24) and Guernsey and Guam both went up 7 places (from 19 to 12 for the former and 41 to 34 for the latter). Other countries that moved up significantly include Russia, France and Bulgaria.

The biggest slides down the ranking happened in Brunei (38 to 47), Spain (39 to 48), Croatia (35 to 44), the USA (from 32 to 40) and Malaysia (from 37 to 43).

And apart from Finland, Germany is the only other country that has maintained the exact same position over the past 8 years, with a firm grasp on 17th place in the ranking. 😊

Curious for more data? Check out the Explore countries page for all the numbers!

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April Fool!!!

April 2nd update: Sorry guys, just kidding! We’re not really changing from postcards to letters… we love postcards! But I’ve always wanted to do an April Fools’ prank and this year was the year I finally convinced Paulo to go along with it! 😜

Over the years, we’ve heard from many postcrossers on how they wished they could write a bit more on their postcards. Some people are able to use very thin pens and make their handwriting extra small… but often this is not enough for the more talkative members with plenty of stories to share. Communication should be encouraged as it is at the heart of Postcrossing, so in order to give these wordy members an outlet for their creativity, Postcrossing is henceforth changing its format from postcards to letters!.

Aren’t letters great? Plenty of space for the local news, the weather report, a lengthy update on affairs of the heart, or this month’s writing prompt on your favourite breakfast!

It feels good to expand beyond the constraints of the normal 10×15cm rectangle and just write to our heart’s content. Any message that fits on a postcard will also fit inside a letter anyway, so don’t let the extra space intimidate you — you can write as much or as little as you’d like, or even include a drawing to help you fill out the space.

Let’s put all that delightful writing paper to work — it’s time to write, write, write!

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