How Postcards Are Making A Comeback
By Grashina Gabelmann
I’m really lazy when it comes to sending postcards. Before every trip I think to myself, “This time will be different. This time I’ll send cards to my friends and family.” I usually end up buying cards and writing on some, but I never get as far as buying stamps or sending one off. It simply overwhelms me. I’ve got a small written-on-but-not-sent postcard collection at home that is a nice reminder of my travels (and laziness).
But now I’ve come across a project that will hopefully heal my snail mail sickness: PostCrossing.com, a platform for sending and receiving postcards.
Started as a University side-project by Portuguese postcard lover Paulo Magalhães, it quickly grew into a world wide postcard-sending community: 214,217 users in 204 different countries with 6,747,608 postcards sent.
How does it work? You sign up and request to send a postcard. This is done through a random generator so you never know who you’ll get or where the person lives. You are also given a postcard ID that you must include on your postcard. When your recipient gets the postcard they register its ID online, making you eligible to receive a little square of goodness. The more you send the more you get. It’s a nice combination of retro and modern technology.
I sent two postcards from Tokyo’s National Museum to two girls living in Russia and Portugal, and a random postcard that had been flying around my room for years to a girl in Florida. Now I’m waiting for them to get registered. Then, hopefully, by the time I hit the road again, my postcard-sending fear will have been overcome and everyone back home will benefit.
About the Author
Features Editor of a London culture magazine:Flamingo Magazine, daughter of a pair of globetrotters and lover of men, gin and New York, Grashina is pursuing the only sensible career for a curious and wordy explorer . . . she’s agitating the gravel and you can read about it at AgitateTheGravel.com.
Published on April 21, 2011