We love a good community project and if it involves print too, well, then we’re sold. Postcrossing caught our eye a while back so we gave Ana there a shout and asked her to explain how it works:
Once upon a time…
Postcrossing started with a bored IT engineer and his (mostly) empty mailbox. Paulo Magalhães spent the summer of 2005 working on his internship, all the while rejoicing on the rare occasion when he received a postcard from his friends – who were all on their holidays, somewhere much sunnier.
While his friends weren’t bad at keeping in touch, Paulo found his joy at receiving a Postcard from somewhere unexpected was exceeding their travel budgets. He decided to take matters into his own hands and Postcrossing was born. Put simply, it’s a website where people all over the world can get together and exchange postcards.
How does Postcrossing work?
The idea is simple: Make your Postcard, send it, and receive at least one back from a randomly selected person somewhere else in the world. All you really need to get started is a pen, a Postcard and a stamp!
The first step is to register on the site and request an address to send your first postcard. The website will display the address of another member and a Postcard ID (e.g.: US-78886). Once you have an address, you write and mail a postcard to your new Postcrossing friend, always remembering to include the Postcard ID.
People send all kinds of cards, sometimes bought, sometimes home made. Some will feature the hometowns or interests of the sender, others the Postcrosser’s own photography. If you’re a keen photographer, why not upload shots of your hometown, and make some unique Postcards of your own? Or if you’re feeling a bit unsure for your first exchange, choose from a wide range of Ready Made Postcards, and personalise them with your own message, tagline or url on the reverse. It’s the unique, personal touches that make this so much fun!
Once your card is received in the mail, the recipient registers its receipt on Postcrossing, using the Postcard ID. At this point, you’re eligible to receive a postcard from another Postcrosser. Where that postcard comes from is a surprise! Initially each member can have up to 5 postcards traveling at any single time.
Perhaps this video from Postcrossing user oixxo will help easily explain it all!
It’s grand fun. I’ve been using my photos on MOO postcards with Postcrossing for about a year now (http://www.postcrossing.com/user/kerra). I get the MOO postcards printed with a general message of greeting and then space left to write something. The cards look really sharp and many of them, though I’ve sent only a couple dozen cards, have been selected as favorites.
I love that I can print photos of my area of life to send across the world. The other postcard you can get from shops always never quite capture life as I live it. Thank you Moo for doing postcards. Without them, I would have dropped off Postcrossing months ago!
(added bonus is Moo cards are cheaper than the ones in the stores here. No reason not to send my own Moo postcards!)
I’ve been postcrossing for over 2 years now (http://www.postcrossing.com/user/swissdoggies) and I love it! It is great fun and going to the mailbox every day really exciting. Photography is my other main hobby and so – with the help of MOO – I combined these two things and started to have my best photos printed. I love the quality of MOO postcards and so do many of the receivers of my cards Here can have a look at my self-designed cards http://www.swissmountainview.ch/postkarten-%C3%BCbersicht-postcard-overview/
I love Postcrossing and I love Moo – I’ve just taken the plunge and ordered postcards…where I live there are very few postcards showing the local countryside or buildings, I plan on taking some photos of my own and printing them with Moo. To start with I have ordered prints of some of my photos of local wildlife…oh, and a few personal postcards to send to family and friends!
For those wondering “Why?!” – I can think of many wonderful things I get from Postcrossing. The most important is my family and I get to see a glimpse of a foreign land/culture and my little ones find where the card came from in the atlas and we learn a little more about the world with each card – it’s a wonderful way of combining high tech with low tech, it’s a breath of fresh air and a chance to slow the pace of modern life even if just for a few minutes.
Moo provides the perfect solution for Postcrossers who have a chronic shortage of local postcards. Thank you Moo, and Happy Postcrossing!
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