Chosen Address

Hello Postcrossers

This is Sanjay, a novice Postcrosser from India. And as everyone knows novice brings novel ideas. I’m not sure whether Postcrossing family will welcome it or not. But fear of being rejected would not stop me at least to voice out my idea.

Since joining I’m really enjoying Postcrossing. So far my 20 cards have been acknowledged and 7 are in travelling mode. I have received 27 cards from different countries. What do I feel is that out of these 27 cards, there are more than 5 cards which have doubled or trippled my joy after reading it’s contents. Everyone might have felt the same for few of their received cards. It would not be fair if I don’t really acknowledge and thank the sender. Here is the gap I do feel in Postcrossing. I have to write everything what I want to convey in registration message or a new message to the user. I would prefer sending a return Postcard to the user if the address of the user is known to me. Because I know the difference between a message received in email vs Postcard. Though I have tried to fill up the gap by asking for address through personal message and then sending a reply Postcard. But this way I feel that I have half killed the surprise and the Postcard that I have sent was not counted in my sent. My extra sent Postcard for which I have taken equal efforts and paid equal postage gets label of “Unofficial Postcard”.

What do I suggest is that keeping it’s principal idea of sending Postcards to random users suggested by Postcrossing Team, there should be an option to get address of chosen user and Postcard ID for the same. The team may limit such requests in the term they find suitable i.e. One chosen address against five random. And I think this way the purpose of Postcrossing would be served more than existing system. The discrimination of official and unofficial Postcards will also be lessened.

Views from all Postcrosser are welcomed.

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Hello Postcrossers!
Yes i am agree with this idea totally. It will bring all world to more closer than now. Something interesting feature will be added in existing system of Postcrossing as one can sent reply postcard as acknowledgement to sender will work as gift to them in return.
Feel happy if this idea will become feature of Postcrossing.

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There are long threads on this elsewhere, but I can’t find them tonight where changes like this have been discussed quite frequently over the years.

The random assignment of addresses in the main site builds in a safety feature that people can rely on so that their privacy is not compromised. Many people do not want to do an exchange with those they send cards to.

If people want to do direct swaps or other exchanges in the Forum they are free to do so.

It’s quite a complex algorithm that balances out 800,000+ members in 207 countries on Postcrossing and has been running for 15 years.

Taking requests from 800,000+ members would not be logistically possible - remember Postcrossing has a very small staff of 2-3 people & some volunteers who are extremely busy with current duties to keep the site running.


Agreed. It’s the one-off nature of these communications that I like. There are plenty of other options for people who want to carry on pen pal arrangements, there is no need to change Postcrossing to that.


I comprehend your suggestion, but I have to say I disagree - Postcrossing feels safe just because no one can get hold of my address by purpose, only if it’s randomly assigned to them by the algorithm. If a member got my address, I won’t get theirs. That’s how it should stay. :slightly_smiling_face:

For me the charme and uniqueness of Postcrossing lies within the one-way exchanges. Each postcard is a surprise! And if one recieved card makes me especially happy, I also ask for the sender’s address in my hurray-message. It’s a really nice surprise to get such an offer, I don’t think it’s spoiled by asking for the address. And as it takes so much time for snail mail to travel, it’s a surprise again when you finally find the thank-you-card in your mailbox. :wink:
(But I don’t get an answer everytime when I ask for an address, so there are people not wishing to exchange addresses.)

You could mention in your profile that sometimes you like sending cards back and suggest that if they’re ok with that, they could write a return address on the card. I’ve seen this in some profiles!


As said before:

Mention it on your profile, that you ask for a return address.

So it’s up to the sender to do so if they feel comfortable. But it’s also up to you to decide to whom you’ll send a thank-you card.

It’s not only safety it’s also that some people don’t want to continue the contact. I think that’s totally okay. I have some people with whom I’m still in touch. That’s great. But I don’t want to keep in touch with everyone. It would be a full-time job :smiley:


I also find the one-time nature of the Postcrossing exchange fascinating.
I have penpals and regular postcard-pals which fulfill my desire for more personal interaction. The way Postcrossing is set up as a random exchange is, to me, a big selling point because it makes it fun.

I like that in the suggestion, you acknowledge that it should be limited (getting an address of a known person every x number of random ones), which has its appeal, but it still would completely change the nature of Postcrossing (and I totally feel that I wrote this very same thing elsewhere already so it must have been discussed somewhere :))


It also sounds like there’s a big potential for misuse in this idea. Imagine someone requesting addresses of people in their area to visit them in person. :flushed:


Is this suggestion that a member could choose to whom they send a card (back)? Like to one in each five they have received?

If it is, my vote is no. Sounds more like a service for a stalker.
(But I understand the op had good thoughts.)


Thank you everyone who have spared their valuable time and given their feedback. I heartily welcome all opinions in favour as well as in against.

What do I feel is that there is nothing permanent except change itself. And there won’t be any change without resistance. With respect to all the concerns against the features, I would like to invite more members and with consent of all, a set of rules, condition may be drafted for the purpose.

I would like to share the first opinion in this regard that “This feature should be optional”. As of now we have privilege of preferences while setting up our profile. Someone want to swap, someone doesn’t. Someone want to get Postcard from native country, someone doesn’t. Someone want to display age, someone doesn’t. For the the someone who doesn’t want to have some feature, may opt out of it while others may use the feature.

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I think the issue may be addressed by restricting user to let him request address of only such users who have sent a card to such user. The first user has already address of second user, if second user requests and first user have already given consent to share his address to whom he is sending Postcard. I don’t find any harm or security issues.

The very prime purpose of this feature as I have already mentioned in first message is that "Count all the cards sent by the user. And remove label of so called “Unofficial Postcard”. Willing users are already doing so, however without Postcrossing ID. If the Postcard gets an official ID, I don’t find any harm.

Another thought: For this to work it would be necessary to put a limit on how many such cards a user could receive. We already have the problem that some users get more cards than they send. If they’d get many cards from people sending them a “thank you” card, their count could completely get out of balance.


For me it would feel uncomfortable and if this feature would be used on Postcrossing, I would delete my account here. I love the one time thing and with the hurray message the"transaction" is concluded.


You need not to delete your account for the purpose, I have already suggested that this may be a optional feature. You may simply opt out from this. Your address won’t be shared to anyone without your prior consent.

Just because you’d don’t see any security issues doesn’t mean there aren’t any. At least 65% of Postcrossing members use female pronouns & I know from many discussions on here, the privacy & safety process of the existing system is very important to a majority of members.

Postcrossing has been carefully built over 15 years & while the team that founded it & owns it is always open to feedback, it’s not a democracy.

One of the things I have learned in my first year, is that what appear to be simple changes are in fact usually quite complex & there are often dozens of reasons for things being the way they are, most of which I have not thought of before and that there have been many exhaustive discussions that have examined these reasons long before I became a member.

So I have deep respect for the work that has gone in to build what what we have here that works very well for the vast majority of people.

You have the option to do what you are proposing now by doing what you are doing - going beyond that would be a significant change for Postcrossing & as I said before, it’s not even logistically possible - the amount of work to choose an address, get consent from everyone would take a large group of people who don’t exist.


I like Postcrossing just the way it is.


There are so many opportunities for exchanging cards within the wide range of fora, that it becomes unnecessary to open up the official exchange process. Try a few over the coming weeks and months and you will find additional communities (yes, plural) of writers to exchange with. Your card intake will grow rapidly. Friendships will develop.
Start on the Forum home page.
Browse for groups to join that fit your interests. Perhaps some of these will have particular appeal to you:

These, just for starters. So much more.
Have a look. Join a few. And the rules usually state that there are to be no ad or junk cards, so you don’t have to worry about that.
And have fun! :writing_hand:


Let Postcrossing be as it currently exist when majority of 8 lac+ from 208 countries do not find any necessity for change.Perioid (.)


What LC-Canada stated pretty much mirrors my feelings about this topic. I am always baffled why new members want to make changes?!? Let’s leave well-enough alone. My own view is: I draw the address, select a nice card, write a message and mail it. Done and done. All they need to do is register my awesome card. LOL


100% my thoughts!

Plus it would change the algorithm of countries because I can forsee most people, requesting addresses for not only particularly special cards (series, decorations, message) but the smaller countries will be inundated moreso than even now with people trying to write and start friendships with them, thereby leaving those who live in bigger countries, at no fault of their own, left to feel even less wanted.

So, although @Wernec2512 had good intentions with his suggestion, I say a big NO to the idea, and encourage him to just keep doing as he is with thanking in Hurray message, possibly requesting a return address, but understanding it won’t always be given and that’s OK.
The giver gave the card they chose, not expecting one in return. Be happy with that.