Does the algorithm choose addresses for each postcrossers fairly?

I was not aware until now that it makes a difference whether you send cards to users who have been here for a very long time and have naturally received and sent many cards, or whether you send cards to newcomers.

Everyone probably enjoys their hobby - each in their own way.


You’re absolutely right. And I’m allowed to enjoy my hobby in my own way, too. And to express how I feel about it.


Some of the most thoughtful and appreciative Hurray messages I’ve gotten were from people with received cards in the thousands, for cards I sent that had nothing to do with any wishlists. It completely surprised me. The first few times I was intimidated to send cards to such a person, I thought “they have seen everything already, for sure it is not possible to satisfy them”. I did not even expect proper Hurray messages since I thought at the rate they are sending and receiving no way do they take their time with single cards. I was proven really wrong.

All kinds of Postcrossers exist in all stages here. Just because someone has thousands of sent and received cards, it does not mean they don’t appreciate every single one of them. In fact some of those members are the ones that care the most, and invest much time and money into the hobby. And just because someone has only 50, 100 or 200 cards it does not mean that they are not just here to build a collection according to their specific wishlist, or that they care about what’s written on the cards at all.


I’ve taken to sending those members cards made from my own photos to minimize duplicates issue. Agreed that I have had terrific notes from those with thousands of cards.


What did I just read? :expressionless: Of course they deserve their postcards! People put money into this hobby.

Newbies are more unreliable, you never know when they will disappear and leave the cards unregistered, I feel. Those who are more experienced and have sent more cards do this less often.


That sounds pretty harsh. Of course, people with many sent/received cards deserve every card they get. Also, I’m pretty sure they still cherish every card that reaches them, otherwise they wouldn’t be here and invest so much money and time into that hobby.

As for sending cards to new postcrossers: I’ve sent so many to people who send less than 10 cards, maybe registered a few and then never came back. This leads to many expired cards that will never be registered, which is pretty sad.

Just some advise: Maybe you should ask yourself why you registered to Postcrossing. If it is to connect with people and for the joy the send and receive postcard, great. If not, than maybe this hobby just isn’t for you. Postcrossers with many sent/received cards make a huge part of cards being sent through postcrossing and keep the project alive. Having a negative feelings towards them for being more or longer involved in a hobby we all share really doesn’t seem right to me.



So they could send out cards if they feel to but don’t deserve a card in return for every sent card? You’re kidding, aren’t you?


I didn’t know anyone had sent 30k, wow! I sent a card to a 10k member once and they wrote a nice hurray. I draw quite a few new members for officials, but otherwise it’s mostly folks from 200 to 1000 like me. I’m almost at 900 and still enjoy receiving mail


I have received addresses for the full range of postcrossers; from an absolute newbie who’s never received a card all the way to long time members who’ve sent & received 10k or more.
When I have an address for a member who has received many cards, for me it is an opportunity to send them a card that’s perhaps different or unique, as they have most likely received many tourist cards already. When I get a new member, I send a card that reflects their profile or if they do not specify, a tourist card from my city, region, or country.
I recently sent to a member who had over 10k postcards, and his long profile said any postcard is a gift and is treasured. I sent him a slightly unusual political card, as I noticed he already had some political style cards in his favorites, and he had sent some politically theme cards too. He enjoyed it!
I don’t know how the algorithm chooses, but I haven’t noticed any pattern of getting more new members compared to old, or vice versa.


It’s random. Sounds like you’re frustrated with some of the recent members you’ve drawn recently? Trust me, I’ve been there. Many members come to the forum to express frustration with an experience they are having, hoping to gain more insight, receive understanding from others, or simply to share it because they are annoyed. Ride out the rough patches, I feel like there are many members who go through it, in their own time and for their own reasons.
I personally get disappointed by members whose profile says they are just here because they collect stamps. To me, PC is about postcards and connecting to others in the world through our love of postcards and possible other shared interests. But even then, sometimes the Hurray message just says Thank you, and nothing else, so who knows.


I don’t know if this is a thing or not but for me, I’ve noticed that when I request addresses in the mornings my time and the ‘received cards per hour’ number is lower… I am more likely to get varied countries. However if I request addresses at a different time and the received cards per hour number is more like 800-1000, I get USA and Germany addresses back to back.

This makes no sense to me because you would think a higher received cards per hour number would mean more variety in addresses to give me, but I have tested this multiple times and it’s always more variety when it’s lower! :woman_shrugging:


Probably not a bug, but this algorithm is somehow… strange!
Some people have been waiting for a card of Liechtenstein for years and this postcrosser was drawn 3x within a few hours by participants of the Vaduz meetup!
How can this happen?

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I’ve noticed that when several people draw an address together or at the exact same time, they get the same person. I’m not thrilled about it either and feel it causes further imbalance, but I guess it’s just how the system works.


Some time ago I received two postcards from Taiwan from 2 different postcrossers, written in the same handwriting. It turned out to be mother and daughter, with one of the two writing the card for the other one. :blush:


Yeah, the same thing happened to me. I was very surprised one day when I received three identical meetup postcards from three people at that meetup. The algorithm only distinguishes accounts. It doesn’t know that everyone is going to the same meetup.


My daughter received 4 identical postcards from the postcrossers meeting from Aland Island. One was sent to her twice, because it was on the way for a long time and the person thought that it was lost. Yes , yes , it’s rare place, but when the last postcard arrived, my daughter was almost crying.


But with a full random selection, such coincidences should actually hardly be possible according to probability calculations. The probability that the same person will be drawn several times within such a short time should actually be mathematically zero with this number of cards.

And the three cards haven’t been drawn at the same time => there was a time delta of more than an hour or two.


Maybe the algorithm doesn’t think “rare country”.
I for some reason think the “available address” -slot/s moves from country to country, but more like “open for this country for x persons take it or for x time”, when done, next country.

I would also add that I’ve recently received a card from a person with 4k+ cards. It was sent to my other account, designed for the children I teach. It wasn’t only a card children enjoyed, there was also a cool sticker, three beautiful stamps (so we learned “puffins”, “cave art” and other things, and it was really cool for my pre-teens), it was written in a beautiful handwriting that they could actually read themselves, and generally a great joy.

I’m very happy that person drew our account!


Maybe they selected “repeat country”? One sender sent many of these meeting-cards to Germany. At least that increases the possibility