Mandatory 'send to own country' for certain countries

As someone who rarely has more than one or two cards travelling at once, I do tend to draw certain countries a LOT. I understand that this is how it has to be, since some countries are so much more active than the rest of us, but I have been thinking for a while that I may have an idea that can alleviate some of the ‘burden’ on the rest of us.

The idea is simple. Users in countries like Germany, USA, Russia automatically has their profile set to ‘Send also to your own country’, that way these countries can be shared more evenly, and we can all get more cards from countries we’ve never received from before.

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Due to privacy and safety concern, it will never be implemented. There was discussion about this in old forum and some members said that they will leave PC when send to own country is mandatory.

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But is it really less safe for a German to give their address to another German, as opposed to a Frenchman, Dane, Pole, etc (depending on which border they live closer to)? Here in Europe, with open borders between most countries and short travel times to almost anywhere (except for us up here, on the outskirts of everything), anyone can show up on everyone’s door!

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I like that the rules are the same for everyone.
Someone will get the rare country addresses/postcard after all, right?
And, if everyone in Russia, Germany and USA sends within their country, wouldn’t it mean more addresses to these countries (because faster domestic mail)? So, would the situation change in reality?

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It also feels really unequal, I mean it would be a bit mean to implement it for only a few countries. I understand the point and that it would be say, after a country reaches a certain amount of members, but still.

In the past I also didn’t send a lot and I like variety like anyone else (and I even used repeat countries a lot and I feel a bit guilty when I switch it off for a while), but as it is often reminded, we send to people, not to countries.

Doing away with “repeated countries” being an option, and meaning that everybody gets the same address in line regardless of repetition, would be a lot more equal and effective, I think.

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i was literally about to say this. i think that option should just go away. everyone who request an address gets first in line and that is that, whatever country it is.

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It’s a very complex system with 800,000+ members, not a simple one & the algorithm does it best to:

" What Postcrossing does is to try to maximize the number of different countries you are sending postcards to at any given moment. However, at some point, repetitions must still occur, in order to keep the system balanced.

Postcrossing allows repetitions to happen more frequently to members who are sending larger amounts of postcards at the same time, while being less common for those who can send less. Since those who can send more have (by consequence) a wider variety of different countries than the rest, we feel this is fairer to all.

If Postcrossing prevented any repetitions from happening, members in very active countries would be unable to receive the amount of postcards they were due — they would be sending, but not receiving! So repetitions are a requirement to keep the number of postcards sent and received in each country as balanced as possible.

Lastly, note that the amount of repetitions can and does change over time. Postcrossing dynamically adapts to the balance of each country at any given moment, and this is why you sometimes might see more or less repetitions."

https://www.postcrossing.com/help/why-do-i-have-so-many-cards-travelling-to-the-same-country

If you look at the math of the large numbers of members in about 18 countries compared to the rest of the countries, this balancing system, while not perfect, is essential to making Postcrossing work. It would not be a balanced system at all in a first in line system.
https://www.postcrossing.com/explore/countries

Some people choose the repeated country option to help the system out or choose to send cards within their countries as well and sometimes for different reasons. I know a bunch of Canadians choose to send more postcards internally in Canada because of the price of international stamps which are 3X the price of a domestic stamp for example. Both of those options are choices now & I think that’s a fair way to do it.

I focus mostly on making connections with people & I am patient, seeing that over time the system does let me send to more countries.

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My experience is: As your number of sent and received postcards grows bigger, the variety of countries you’re involved with goes down, because there are repetitions. @borealis, you (60 cards) have 31 countries in your stats; I (1780 cards) have “only” 71. In my opinion, this also shows that the system is quite balanced.

And I agree with S_Tuulia:

The German postal service is quick, on average a card just needs 2 days to travel. If every German would send cards to Germany, there would be free slots much faster that would have to be filled with new addresses…

If Postcrossing goes too slowly in the beginning, it’s an option to send to one’s own country, to generate more free slots in.a shorter time. :wink:

Indeed Postcrossing IS about the people behind the cards. :heart:

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That’s how it was in the beginning and it would be nice to go back to that.

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Doing away with the repeated countries and replacing with a first in line system in effect makes everyone have repeated countries. First in line doesn’t mean first from each country, it means the people who are waiting for cards in order of length of wait.

We didn’t have the repeated countries option earlier on on Postcrossing. I suspect it came in when Finland was so dominant and people complained, but I’m not sure. I used to love postcards from Finland but they’re fairly rare now.

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Yes, I think this option was introduced around the time when so many people were complaining “Oh no, Finland again!”.

Finland is one of my “countries of special interest” and I would love to learn Finnish one day, so personally I was over the moon with the frequent (as compared to later times) interactions but I could never understand the whole idea of complaining about “oh no, not country XXX again” in the first place. I have repeated countries on permanently since many years.

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I tend to get Russia but it is a big country as is China and USA so it isn’t my restrictions. It is cost at times

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I send within Germany and I use the repeated countries option. I have about 20 cards traveling within Germany. These cards often arrive overnight. That means my address frequently gets into the pool and more people from anywhere has a chance to receive my address. So many Germans use the send within your own country option. With that many German cards on the way arriving fairly fast I do not see how this can help for more variety in other countries.

I agree if everyone sends to repeated countries it would be the fairest sytem. However I can see people loosing interst in Postcrossing as then even more of their cards would go to the same countries.

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Ah, yes, good ol’ discrimination :slight_smile:

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That is simply discriminating! I have “send to your own country” always activated, but I think I would leave Postcrossing if my country was discriminated!
You can contribute to the solution of the problem by sending more cards, for then you also get more cards and that also means more cards to Norway.

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The variation of countries is also massively limited by your national postal service. As far as I know the Norwegian Post has a lot of countries to where you cannot send now due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic. According to the postal monitor Norwegian Post cannot send to 144 countries, while Deutsche Post excluded just 25 countries.

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@RalfH is right. There are 248 countries and special regions/territories in Postcrossing and Posten Norge has decided to not send mail to 144 of them. In comparison: Deutsche Post only suspended mail to 25 of them.

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You make it sound like it is my fault Norway doesn’t send post to many countries; there is absolutely nothing I can do about this. However, most of my cards were sent before the pandemic, so that is not the reason I have experienced this as an annoyance.

As for sending more cards, I can’t afford that. Sending cards to Europe costs me about €2.70, the rest of the world €3.30. I am currently on hiatus because of this.

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No! Please read my text carefully! And it is you, who wants to rule and discriminate others, not me!
You cannot make the Norwegian Post to send to more countries, but if you want that postcrossers get more cards from other countries than the big ones, then send more cards - yes, thst is expensive, but neither me nor the other German postcrossers are responsible for the high Norwegian postages.

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Now I know why so many Postcrossers are from Germany, Russia, USA or China. With postal rates like that, I wouldn’t be sending much, either.

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