I have received the dreaded message:
“Please use your profile to write about yourself . Making demands about what you want or don’t want to receive is not allowed by the [Community Guidelines] (Postcrossing Community Guidelines) and may put your account at risk.”
…attached to my profile. And I am seeing a similar warning pop up on profiles of members when I first get their address to send out a card.
Here is what the community guidelines say:
“Your account’s profile is the place where others can learn more about you, so please enter a few sentences. If you mention which postcards you like in your profile, keep in mind that others are not obliged to send you a postcard that matches your preferences. You cannot make demands about what you want or don’t want to receive.”
I have been an active member since 2011 and have both sent/received over 6,000 cards. The favorites are kept in 3-ring binders in clear plastic photo holders to be able to see the face and also read the sender’s comment. I have really enjoyed the hobby!
But what I have learned is that the more we are exchanging cards, and can see what cards are available, the more we want to list cards that we especially appreciate. I often change my suggested topics as I see different cards in transit, or I have enough of that category. Also, there are multiple commercial companies now specifically making certain types of postcards, and members are listing them by name (“anything from Lou Paper”). You will see some of them pop up in the ads, too.
Over 90% of the recipients I get now have some sort of preference in their profile, but, like me, and in accordance with the guidelines, also add a disclaimer that any card will be fine. That is how we find out new types of cards, or even get some homemade. Over the years I have accumulated blank postcards in probably 30+ categories to hopefully match those being sought and have standby of typical Arizona scenes if I cannot find one. I even used Snapfish to create 2-sided 5x7 cards that are collage of my own photos to send out to those who already have thousands of commercial cards. They are unique, and topical: a hike across Grand Canyon, visit to an Arizona ghost or mining town, highlights of my area, and even cards showing our favorite parts of a Disney cruise or driving the North Coast 500 in Scotland.
Maybe the project started as a way for surprising a recipient with a card, and for beginners it still is the primary benefit. Now, though, the seasoned postcrossers are looking to increase their collections, if they can, without snubbing or penalizing those who do not have access to large blank reserves. Some of the cards I value the most are outside my list, but are heartfelt and unique exchanges valued more for the message than the image.
What I think is disturbing is to be told that having a list endangers the account. If that is true, there are a lot of us on the edge.