Sunday, February 13, 2011
One day, I woke up with the wish to have an international penpal. Years ago, I tried some mail exchange sites, but have seemed either too public or fizzled out since I last saw them.
I found http://postcrossing.com as an alternative and decided to try it out. It is an active site with lots of users. Here is how postcrossing works: you sign up and request an address. The site emails you the address of some person in the world (you can indicate if you want only international addresses or if you're ok with domestic too) and a little description that the person writes about his or herself. You also write a numerical code somewhere on the postcard. Once the person receives the card, they enter it into the website, and you get "credit" for having sent it. For every postcard you send, your address will be provided to another user so that you can get one.
So far, I have sent a postcard to someone in the Netherlands, and someone in Taiwan. By accident, I received 4 postcards in return, from Buffalo, NY; China; Finland; and Japan.
I like that the website doesn't publicly display your address but I also preferred being able to browse through people's profiles myself in order to find an address. I have found it kind of unsatisfying and limiting to just send postcards here and there to random people.
I might try to find another mail project, but I don think I'll request another address from postcrossing for now.