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Postcards From the Edge

March 19th, 2010 (08:32 pm)

current mood: cheerful

Have I mentioned Postcrossing in this space before? If you're following my blog on Facebook, you've seen the frequent automatic Postcrossing updates when I send or receive a Postcrossing postcard. But I don't remember ever including an explanation of it all on my LJ page.

Postcrossing is a cool way of making the whole world your pen pal. You register for free on the Postcrossing website, which has members all over the world. You include your name and address, but that information is not available except when someone needs it to send you a card. Your profile can include whatever you choose: a bio, your hobbies and interests, professional information, family status, a description of your town, or suggestions of the kinds of postcards you like to receive or the kinds of things you'd like people to tell you about where they live.

When you want to send a postcard, you ask the site for someone to whom you can send one, and it generates the name, address, and profile of another member, anywhere in the world, as well as a unique ID number to write on your postcard. You buy or make a postcard -- whatever you want, though you can follow any suggestions in the bio if you'd like -- and write a note to your recipient. Add the ID number, stamp it, and stick it in the mailbox. When it arrives at its destination, the recipient registers it as received. Sender or receiver can upload the photo, if desired, so that the image appears on the website.

A formula determines the maximum number of postcards you can have out at once, based on how many you've sent before. I'm currently allowed to have eight out at any one time. As soon as one is registered as having arrived, then I can ask for another address if I'd like. You're also free to wait weeks or months before asking for another address, if you don't want to be as active, though then you'll receive fewer cards, too.

I love finding these cards in my mailbox! I regularly receive postcards from countries all over the globe. For instance, I've received them recently from Russia, China, Finland, the Netherlands, Japan, Guadeloupe, Taiwan, and Canada. I get them from different regions of the United States, as well -- though you can also set your account for only countries outside your own. I've been able to teach my son about different parts of the world by showing him the pictures and reading the descriptions of people's lives in other parts of the world.

Stay tuned for some Postcrossing images. I think I'll start uploading some of my favorites on occasion, and posting them here.


Posted by: Tim W. Burke (timwb)
Posted at: March 20th, 2010 03:01 am (UTC)

I was wondering what that was.

Pretty neat!

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