Data collection - Trends or Luck?

I’ve been curious about something since starting Postcrossing. While I know that the country you receive from or send to is due to many factors, I’ve been wondering if there are any trends that can be seen that can somewhat give a guesstimate as to when you might expect to send to/receive from certain rarer or more common countries. I’m wondering if the amount of time or the amount of postcards sent has any predictive effect.

For this, I think the following information will be needed:

  1. How many total you’ve sent and received (retrieved from your profile)
  2. The ranking (by number of sent postcards) of the most common country you’ve never sent to/received from, as well as the ranking of the rarest country you have sent to/received from. (retrieved from the stats at https://www.postcrossing.com/explore/countries)
  3. The date you joined Postcrossing

Below is my data (and feel free to copy/paste the table):

Category Total Missing Common Rarest
Sent 238 9 :czech_republic: 61 :guernsey:
Received 234 10 :ukraine: 50 :denmark:
Joined (MM/YY) 09/19

I suppose then I could take the data from people and use the magic of Excel to see if any trends develop!

Current Stats with 13 participants (27/nov):

Sent by Total Sent

Received by Total Received

Sent by Date Joined

Received by Date Joined

Current conclusion: There seems to be a greater correlation when it comes to number sent/received, as opposed to when you joined the site, especially when it comes to getting more of the common countries.

3 Likes

Interesting but I have question.
What is the definition of common country and rare country in this survey? Top 50? Denmark is in top 50 with only 61k sent. Is Denmark common or rare?

Thanks for the interesting post! Love to analyse stats :heart:

Category Total Missing Common Rarest
Sent 709 33 :estonia: 67 :aland_islands:
Received 712 47 :greece: 152 :christmas_island:
Joined (MM/YY) 05/17
Category Total Missing Common Rarest
Sent 773 45 :bulgaria: 86 :montenegro:
Received 774 44 :south_africa: 100 :bahrain:
Joined (MM/YY) 02/11

Where are you all getting the stats from?

I can say to you it is mostly just luck.
Why I have this conclusion?
I was recently in a “rar country” also known as San Marino, which has less than 400 sent postcard. And I sent a bunch of postcards in travel mode. Under the recipents of my cards was also a person which has had only 1sent postcard. He or she was the lucky one who got ad hoc a rar country postcard. And this person itself wasn’t of a rar country.
Therefore you have just to sent more postcards and you will be one time also lucky!

2 Likes

I agree with @linos203, it’s more luck. And some ‘rare’ countries can became more active from time to time.

Category Total Missing Common Rarest
Sent 248 21 :es: 51 :moldova:
Received 251 30 :singapore: 100 :bahrain:
Joined (MM/YY) 08/10
1 Like

And on the other hand common countries can become rare ones. When I started Postcrossing back in 2013 Denmark was not a very rare country, but then they raised the postage very much and Denmark became rare. As far as I know their postage for cards abroad is now 30 dkk (4.03 Euro, 4.80 US$), that is really expensive!

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i remember a topic like this on the old forum. some people requested 20 addresses at a time, some only 1. some people at midnight, some in the afternoon. there’s rarely any difference. just luck. or no luck, depends how you look at it. if you send to a rare country the chance that you’ll receive from that country becomes smaller.

I joined recently (08/20) and therefore have only 49 sent and received so far.

Category Total Missing Common Rarest
Sent 49 16 :australia: 40 :sweden:
Received 49 10 :ukraine: 96 :guadeloupe:
Joined (MM/YY) 08/20

Is that so? If you interact with a rarer country in one way, it becomes less likely for the other direction to be completed? Interesting.

Yes, I agree with you.
My 2nd recd card 8 years ago was from Saint Pierre et Miquelon Nr. 129 :st_pierre_miquelon:

well. you can never receive from someone you’ve already sent a card to, and the other way around. so if i have to send a card to a country with, say, 500 people, i can only receive from 499 people from that country.
realistically i wouldn’t know if that really makes a big difference, but technically that’s how it works.

now that i think about it i don’t believe i’ve received from and sent to the same rare country. but is that a coincidence, i don’t know.

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Yes, because the user to whom you sent the card can’t draw your address.
And if that country has only a few users so your chance to receive a card from there is a little bit smaller.

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@Bille, @mchay True. Although then there is also travel mode which may increase the potential number of users from a country. :slight_smile:

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There’s no definition. It’s just what is the most common/rarest based on number of postcards sent. For me, Denmark/Guernsey are those, given the countries I have interacted with.

While there is definitely a fair amount of luck involved, the point of this exercise is to see if there are any trends that underly all of this, which can only be seen with data. :slight_smile:

There’s a link in my initial post. Some come from your profile, and some come from the Postcrossing Explore Country page. You can organize the table in that page by number of postcards sent.

That may lead to time in Postcrossing being an important factor, which is why I’ve asked for when you joined. That’s the fun of research…you never know what you’re going to find!

Thst is the reason why I’ll probably never send a card to Burkina Faso: The only user there drew my address and sent me a card.

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