Postcrossing is a free system for helping strangers exchange postcards. 1. You register with the site. 2. Then you request an address to send a postcard to. 3. The site gives you someone’s address and a postcard ID number. 4. You write and mail the postcard, with the ID number on it. 5. The person who receives the card enters your ID on the website, which is proof that you sent a card. 6. Then your address is given to the next person who requests an address, so you should receive a postcard soon. (Many people privately send a postcard back to the person who sent them one, but the official Postcrossing system keeps things fair.) By trading postcards in English with people from all over the world, you get practice reading and writing. You might even make some friends.
It sounds confusing, but it’s very easy when you register. Just follow the instructions.
Some people have scanned and uploaded the images from the postcards they’ve received on Flickr.
According to the website, there are
- 214,889 users in 204 countries
- 29,874 males, 125,506 females; 58,43 prefer not to say
- 6,214,658 postcards received
- 210,346 postcards traveling at this moment
It’s free to register, but of course you’ll have to pay for postage. I’ll have to see if I have any international postcard stamps!
Edited to be easier to read, and statistics updated, on January 26, 2010.