How to tweak your profile description

Dear all,

There are so many discussions about profiles, does, don’ts, wishlist, biographies, demands. I thought I bring my 5 cents [or 5 kopeek? or 5 rubles?:thinking:] to the topic.

I edit my profile quite a lot, tweaking really little things to make it more inviting and less demanding/intimidating, and still receive more surprise postcards of the themes I like [or might unknowingly like]. As I saw from discussions here, postcrossers have a whole spectrum of opinions about profiles/wishes/biographies, and I would like my profile to be universally accepted as “easy to choose postcard for” both from a person who wants to see my detailed personality description and from a person who thinks I’m a random stranger and wants to pick postcard fitting my wishlist/collections with ease.
On a sidenote: I described two like that a bit on purpose. When I was a newbie I felt that most postcrossers are “from Jedi or Siths” [more interested in people or more interested in postcards]. Now I think it’s not that simple, don’t be offended! :crazy_face:

While reading about behavioral and social psychology as a hobby, it’s entertaining to see some dependencies and causations in what you put in your profile and what you receive right after.

So here are some of my observations:

  1. Putting antiwish list or any “don’t” in your profile increases the probability to receive an unwanted type of postcard.

  2. Putting the source of where to get postcard increases probability of receiving a “smash hit” surprise postcard.
    [for me putting “postcard from any museum” brought in 2 month more anthropology related postcard than in 2 years before, same for adding publishing house, which prints weird postcards, instead or just generic “weird and ugly” preference]

I have more less formulated ‘rules’, but maybe anyone has noticed similar things?
Do you ever reflect on what phrases and formulations on profiles make you relate to them more or put you off?


  1. Feedback on profile texts
  2. Hard to Please?
  3. Why are people becoming so difficult?
  4. A profile without postcard preferences
  5. Profiles which you love to get
  6. V.e.r.y L.o.n.g Profiles
  7. How often do you edit your profile?

Well, I’ve got at least three cards in my stash which would do for you, if I ever draw your address. :smile:

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I don’t agree. I’ve never received an official card depicting any of my anti wish themes. Maybe because they are easily avoided and popular for many other postcrossers (like royals or cards with glitter)


I judge from more than one comment from users with phobias, who received such (and one horrible case of person making a handmade with spider for arachnophobic user, which I witnessed)
Could be coincidence, could be consequence, this rule is not from my own experience.

From reading topics I referenced, I figured out many people find any don’ts offputting. So even if I wouldn’t receive any of my hypothetical don’ts, then I would receive worse postcards in average, because people would feel uninspired by my demands

EDIT: Your don’ts formulated in one of the gentlest ways possible, maybe that’s the reason? No reverse psychology triggered?

Maybe :woman_shrugging:t2: I’m not good at saying this in English, but I’ve read that combining no / don’t + X might result in the opposite because the no / don’t is not recognized well.


Sometimes it’s true. There was even statement in the old forum to punish members with no list.

I recently wrote 2 no’s:

  • My only request is please send card from your own country. Boring view card from your own country is better than beautiful card from another country.

Here’s what I got:

  • I have never been punished with covid card.
  • I got 2 view cards not send from country of origin without any explanation and they only wrote basic boring messages. Both active members with thousands sent cards. I checked their sent walls and they recently sent many view cards from their country. I think I was punished :slight_smile:

I also wrote “no envelope please, don’t waste more paper.”
But people are too nice. They sent me 2 cards matching wishlist in an envelope :slight_smile:

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And then … there are some who leave their profiles entirely blank, or who simply and succinctly state something like, “I’m happy with whatever you send me.”
I like these challenges as they make me think even more carefully about my selection… it’s like an invitation to tap deep into my creativity …


Exactly - for these folks, I will look at their Favorites wall (if they have any), and their Sent wall (since, typically, I think we tend to purchase cards which appeal to us). And if both of those fail, I send them one that I like, and tell them why I like it. :slight_smile:


Personally I love the feeling of reading someone’s wish list and thinking “oh, I have that!” I really want people to be happy with the cards I send them, so this is a bit selfish on my part I guess.
I don’t mind at all when someone mentions a phobia to avoid (I’ve drawn several of these) or doesn’t want multi view cards because they are hard for them to see. What does make me frown is when people say, literally “Don’t send me:” and then list like 15 different things.


yesterday i had to send a card to someone who said ‘just have a look at my favourites to see what i like, but remember it’s not a wishlist.’ so i got very excited, thinking i could send whatever. but then it was followed by a please don’t send me animals, flowers, art… well i guess you do have a wishlist.

you’re saying two very different things here that don’t match together. yes, everyone has a different opinion so no, you can’t make everyone happy.
i think the most important thing is just to not sound too demanding (i want only this and that and if you send me other things i will not be happy). i usually like long wishlists, because there is more chance i can send something the receiver will like. but there are also people that would just like it if you wrote a bit about yourself and they can choose a card from that. you can’t make everyone happy. with so many people using postcrossing it’s just not possible.


That was what I wanted to discuss! We talk so much about what we do and don’t like about other people’s profiles, but rarely discuss what is in our control to do with our profiles

I think in general everyone like things which bring energy/inspiration and hate wasting energy (like reading long lists, encountering no etc.). So I’m a firmly believer that you can make 99% of people happy at least


Incidentally, I first read this post after making minor edits to my profile. :sweat_smile:

I, too, have wondered what the universally-accepted magic formula for a profile is. I realize this is futile, but I hope my profile has met my own minimum requirement of: Don’t sound like a jerk. :joy: (Will someone kindly let me know if this isn’t the case?)

Personally, I enjoy profiles of all kinds–even the blank ones are an invitation to creativity. But the basic profile “ingredients” (for those who choose to write them) appear to include:

  • Biography–short or long, it’s nice to know about you, however you want to describe yourself.
  • Interests/wishlist–they may not be requests, but it’s helpful to know what you like (or dislike).

I am guilty of constantly editing my profile–mostly the tone and diction, but I often am inspired by other people’s profiles and they way they organize their thoughts, and then try to emulate them. This is exhausting, because I often come across incredibly long and detailed profiles that I love, and then find incredibly short profiles that I love. :rofl: I CAN’T WIN.


I just thought about another ‘guideline’ for organizing profile - if it’s formatted the way the reader can drop reading it at multiple points. Like:

  1. Blah-blah about myself - people who have cards matching my profession/interest can drop here
  2. What postcards mean for me in general, what I like in general - if you get an idea, drop here
  3. Preferences, themes, wishlist - people who want wishlist drop here
  4. Special requests - oh yes, if you like reading and choosing, here are some quests for you
  5. Ending of profile in my opinion should have something reaffirming, like “I register all postcards I get”
    Using blank lines and bullets helps to read. Sometimes a glance at profile and your eye caught one word and you know what to send

And another thing about profile: we talk about biography and wishlist being two major parts, but I know another major one, which is important for me at least. The “postcard background” - like “I am collecting postcards/stamps since or because…”, “In postcards I like…”, “Postcrossing for me is…”.

If this third part is present in profile, it’s much easier to pick postcard in my opinion. Knowing what project means for exact user will tell me more, than age and interests (these are for writing message)


[Goes to edit profile for 50th time…]

I love this! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: I once drew the profile of a wonderful man in Russia who was collecting Christmas postcards to decorate the tree at a children’s hospital, where his wife works. I knew exactly what to pick, and what to do (load it up with sparkly Christmas stamps, stickers, and tape)! :christmas_tree:

Editing to say: Even if you’re collecting postcards for yourself, and not a children’s hospital, I’m still happy to send you a nice postcard! :wink:


that’s definitely true. i do the same as @PinkNoodle , i compare my profile to others sometimes. (you don’t sound like a jerk btw, your posts on this forum always make me smile) i see a lot of profiles that i really like and then i hope people will like my profile.
my profile is quite long, i’m afraid that’ll turn people off. but i feel like i’ve said everything i want to say.
i have a wishlist for people who like that but i do say that you can send whatever. which i really mean, i’ve received some amazing cards i probably wouldn’t have if i had a strict wishlist. i think i’ve said enough about myself. i don’t have a family and i don’t like to share where i work 'cause it’s easy to find (quite some german postcrossers have mentioned they’ve been here) so that leaves not much left i think. i don’t have a don’t send me list. i’m only not a fan of scary sharks and clowns but i’ve never seen anything like that so i don’t see the point.

i just hope it’s enough. i don’t want people to feel like i’m a difficult person to send a card to, that’s all.


I do get turned off by long profiles, but if I’ve drawn that profile I always read it.

I don’t have a don’t-list, but I do mention in my wish list that I like donkeys, piglets and squirrels, but don’t want funny ones, and that I like Harry Potter, but don’t want stills from the movies. I am constantly considering whether to remove those two comments, but I just know that then I’m most likely to get the ones I really don’t enjoy, because they are the most common.

My original profile didn’t have a list at all, but based on what people wrote on the cards they chose, suggested that makes people nervous. I got several cards where people used the whole messages to tell me they hope I like the card, because I did ‘say I wanted a specific color for a specific month’, which I didn’t, I set a challenge. So I decided wish list was just easier.

I think this post is readable, but my thoughts were a bit jumbled when I wrote it.


Well, I can confirm this. For some time, I wrote in my profile that the only one thing I wouldn’t like to receive are 3D postcards. (I don’t like them because a) they’re plastic and b) they literally make my eyes hurt - maybe due to my impaired eyesight.) I received a number of them anyway. But ever since I removed this request from my profile - I haven’t received a single one! :slight_smile:


“Harry Potter illustrations”? I think even in this case if person has movie postcard, they send it.

“I hope, you like it” plague of messages in my opinion is not always connected with anything in profile. I tried to use reverse psychology with ‘I hope you hate it’ challenge, received real gems out of it, but… I still get the generic hopes of likings messages sometimes. It feels less, but not by much

Could be that the order of whether challenge or wishlist comes first influences the people’s nervousness?

@mchay @PinkNoodle Would it be to some extent good profile to be as a good short story? Hook you up, raise the suspense, provide climax of a narrative and comedy relief?

To think of it - 3D postcards cost more, why send them? Maybe some users with bad English confuse do and do not?


I actually say Harry Potter themed, which is probably even worse, because many people may not understand the word…

At this point, I had a brief explanation to how I view Postcrossing and why I did what I did, then two challenges, one for image and one for message, followed by the color challenge. But I pointed out at the start that the challenges were just for those who preferred to match.

I think one of the problems with wish lists is the fact that they’re there at all. People skip right to them if they see them, and don’t read the text where some people do explain why they are there in the first place.

My experience is that different people look at different places in my profile. It makes sense to have a very general theme for a wishlist than none at all. Mostly for people who feel nervious when they see no wishlist. I think the certainty and some clear recommendations help people to feel more in control [=safe]

I love the variety of people who are in postcrossing and I would feel sad if some of them were discriminated by not allowing to have a wishlist.

One of my penpals who has a lot of different collections had to remove basically her whole profile because of complaints about it being too strict. She sends truly spectacular and rare postcards to other people, going to a great length to satisfy other people’s wishes - like professionally printing special card even, why not having a list in her profile so she could receive same from others? I wonder how she could have done better - maybe giving a link to a wishlist on another website?

I love picking something the other person would like, but I also believe in some sort of ‘postfrossing karma’ - send nice things, receive nice things. Couple times I changed my pick for less nice postcard for person with strict wishlist, when I saw sent gallery being same postcard over again.