Suggestions for features to be added to the main site regarding the postal monitor and statistics of postcards. Edits are made from time to time to include new suggestions emerging from discussion.
Incoming/Outgoing postal routes
Since Postal Monitor is not exactly equivalent to Postcrossing’s mail routes, wouldn’t it be better to have two up-to-date tables on the main site (if one can still call that)?
Where A can send to
Where A can receive from
I think it’s quite reasonable to expect this part to be transparent, and Postal Monitor is one of the major justifications, among others.
Postcard median travel times
On a related note, especially considering mail delivery disruptions to varying degrees across the world, @Xute suggests in #4 a feature showing average travel times based on Postcrossing’s aggregate data. From following discussions emerge these factors for consideration:
Where to display?
Traveling postcard page, as a new (collapsable) column
Although stats are useful, patience stays in the core of Postcrossing (@LC-Canada, #11).
@EricWong2020 suggests such a suspension/reopening criterion based on the registration rate be added to the postal monitor and employed as an automatic mechanism (#13).
In general, which do you think is the most suitable 60-day registration rate threshold, falling below which an automatic suspension would be triggered for a country or region? Addresses will not be given out during suspension.
None of the above
Once the registration rate falls below the suspension threshold, which do you think is the most suitable restoration threshold? Once postcards sent during the same 60-day period (that triggered the suspension) reach a certain registration rate, that country or region will be reopened and addresses will be given out as usual.
Thanks for moving the earlier post to a new topic @meiadeleite.
I guess what Postcrossers really need to know is the postal routes that are open/closed in Postcrossing’s address mechanism. Official announcements by postal authorities across the world are the major criterion for suspending or restoring a certain route, but it’s not the only criterion. So the two may not match. Similar to the “What’s happening now?” section on the main page, there can be another two lists of the same format that show where members of a certain country can send to and receive from. Perhaps it is technically possible to sync the tables (or peg with a 30-minute delay) to the database?
The page can be made up of the following components:
Important notes (same as existing to include other reasons than what the postal monitor suggests)
Postal monitor (same as existing)
I believe making route information public would be a great confidence booster. We won’t monitor it 24/7, but it’ll probably give us peace of mind knowing one is able to check it anytime.
I’ll post my comment I was wanted to put in another topic here too then, even though it’s not exactly about postal monitor:
I think for all users (and new ones especially) it would be very useful to know current average delivery delay times to each other country. Because now we can only see our personal statistics, and it can show 40 days tainted by ‘good years’, while in reality average travel times are 60+ for three years already. Like for example in the ‘Travelling’ page another column near travelled and ETA from current data (would make many users to ease)
@ average/median delivery time: I like this idea, even when I won’t use it very often (I assume)
We can also see the data of ‘heavyusers’ (more than 2000, 3000, 5000, 10000 contacts (which sounds much but 3000 is only a card a day for ~ eight years ,-) )). Sure, you’d have to make the detour, but it’s out there already.
@ OP: In an optimistic mood today, so I hope we all won’t need this parc monitoring of suspensions any more in the very nearby future. Until then, the postal monitor is fine for me, but if the admin want to expand it, I won’t protest
I just saw so many messages from concerned newbies - ‘my cards don’t arrive!’ and then it appears the cards were sent to Russia/China and only travelled like 9-10 days
If it was near each travelling card - ‘Estimated arrival time - 70 days’, for example, I’d worry less for sure for some cards.
Even though I consider myself a ‘heavy user’ (I should remember this definition, I counted that I was sending about 3 cards per day in 2021, but probably I counted wrong xD), I don’t have any statistics myself and looking at someone’s individual statistic also doesn’t tell me much to be honest - could be all coincidental and again tainted by 10 years ago when the grass was greener and post was faster and cheaper, I’d love to see more ‘big data’ (even though it’s a good idea - I didn’t think of it!)
Your first Year RU<->DE
median sent 22 days, median received 29 days
Your present Year RU-DE
median sent 17 days, median received 22 days
(speaking of all thing go downwards )
My first year AT-RU
median sent 18 days, median received 19 days
My present year AT-RU (until the suspension of the connection b/c of the horror happening)
median sent 20 days*, median received 22 days
So the data is out there if you want to find/analyze it (for example in avoidance of cleaning the kitchen
But I agress, such a line out of postcrossing’s overall data could be interesting and useful, esp. for new users as you mentioned. But maybe it would be even better in the ID/adress-mail, as there’s not much space for a new column in the recent traveling box, even less on a mobile phone I guess.
Hahah! Yes, but I know about my data that I am inactive now and haven’t send anything official for half a year and for 5 years prior I was active and inactive in a row countless times. So I have no idea what is actual times are, but for me they don’t matter - after 10+ years if they arrive, they arrive
Like I noticed for last three years that they are less postal planes, so it’s your luck if your cards are in the sorting center exactly when the postal plane leaves, your cards hop on it and all delivered RU → DE in 7 days, they miss the plane - they will wait for three weeks. So I would need to find a very steady postcrosser, who sends exactly same amount of cards every day or week, so the distribution will be uniform, etc…
As a beginner with postcrossing, I am also in favor of creating a statistics option where I can enter from country X to country Y what is the average / median time, for example for the last month or year. My statistics are useless to me if I have not sent anything to this or that country, and finding it out on another profiles alone is quite time-consuming.
Most newbies do that for all their postcards & there are literally 1000’s of replies here in the Forum, reassuring them that it’s normal that their cards haven’t arrived yet.
And we all explain that they need to learn patience & that they need to consider all the factors that affect post services like the pandemic(workers off sick), flight cancellations, natural disasters, war, poorly funded postal systems etc.
It’s part of the learning in joining Postcrossing that snail mail takes time, it’s not fast like email or social media. It takes time for newbies to adjust to the slower world.
Not sure most newbies would find such a chart with average travel times on their own because they’re new to the project.
Like @Famarga said elsewhere: ‘Patience is the main virtue of a postcrosser!’
Of course, we will be explaining every time and nothing wrong with it too, I love reading message forum veterans write to newbies, they are so warm always and helpful
My comment was not intended as an actual suggestion though, it was meant as a reply in another topic, not in that specific discussion. I think that already with postal monitor postcrossing team does enormous amount of work!
Here is my suggestion, although it may be off topic or duplicate:
It is important to let users know under what criteria addresses are banned and restored by Postal Monitor. There are three main reasons why it will be banned now:
The postal route from country A to country B is interrupted
The registration rate of postcards for users in country B is too low, and the successful sending rate is too low (or both)
Emergencies (such as war)
1 and 3 have standards, or can’t develop standards at all. But 2 can set standards, and there are currently no certainly standards. For example, when the registration rate or sending rate is less than a certain value (such as <10%), the address is banned: when it is greater than a certain value (such as >60%), the address is restored (the specific value is still to be discussed)
To me personally postal monitor of countries where I can receive cards from is not important. It doesn’t affect to my use of official site as every card is a surprise anyway. I wouldn’t stop sending/receiving official cards because some country is not sending cards to Finland.
For private swaps/tags/RRs Postal monitor as it is now is enough for me. I find it easy to use to check if I’m able to receive cards from other user’s country.
To other suggestions I won’t comment as I think the average travel times are more useful for newer members than me and registration percentages are not my worry but admins’.
The route information is already public on your local postal service’s website.
And additionally Postcrossing has inhibited to draw addresses in CN from abroad, as Paulo announced abd explained. I am around for nine years now and that is the first time that this happened since I am here, so really no reason to make upheaval in programming. Furthermore the additional lists would make things more unclear.
Things would be easier if China Post would admit that they have problems processing the incoming mail.
I understand your point of view.
Actually, the registration percentages don’t really matter to the user themselves. But as a standard, it can clearly let users know that this is done according to the process, not targeting certain groups. I think this will save a lot of time re-discussion and stop commotion like this one pr when it happens again in the future
This topic, which was initially about a small tweak to the Postal Monitor, seems to be going in all kinds of directions. Let’s pause it for a bit, and @paulo will come back to it when he has some time.
I’ve closed this earlier before it would go any further, but I only now I got the chance to properly reply.
This is how this topic started:
to which we have asked how the interface for this could be as it’s not trivial, UI wise.
And, in less than 24h, that suggestion was transformed into:
display historic travel times, per user, per country, with average and median times, with breakdown per year
display registration rates (per origin? per destination?)
a threshold number to stop mail to a country
a threshold number to restore it
Not only is it no longer about the initial suggestion at all, it is now in fact several different features, worth months of work. I’m a software engineer and I’d love to spend my days coding, but these days I’m happy if I can firefight the most urgent things just to keep things going, in the middle of all the side-effects that a pandemic and a war have brought to our work due to mail disruptions across the world.
Sorry, but all these requests are unrealistic for the resources that we have in a project we offer access to for free and the way these discussions are happening are not productive and only raise wrong expectations. Time is something we have little of, so let’s go into it:
Long ago we explicitly decided not to publish average travel times between countries: it sets the wrong expectations and increases the disappointment and complaints the moment a postcard travels longer than the average. Averages don’t account for disparities of delivery times between cities/regions within a single country nor account for seasonal variability — plus many people can’t tell a median from a mean. This feature is not going to be implemented, as it mostly just increases frustration for postcrossers.
Suspending mail to a country doesn’t come down to a single number. In reality, every case is different and requires a detailed analysis based on many factors and context. Percentage number… of what? Mail sent yesterday? 3 months ago? From all countries or only some? Is it just slowing down or has delivery nearly stopped and there’s a large backlog forming? Is there an official announcement by the postal operator with a date for a fix or even admission of an issue at all? Are current travel times within the usual average, or already several standard deviations away? And if, say, only 60% of postcards between two countries arrive after 12 months, should we consider that route really working? Would everyone be ok with 4 in 10 postcards going lost? It’s unrealistic to think these complicated decisions will ever come down to a single number or even that such number will be voted on, as polls don’t change facts.
Want to improve the Postal Monitor? That’s great, us too — but please start by helping us out! I’d love to have the time to develop features, but the reality is that these days we spend a good chunk of our days just trying to keep the Postal Monitor up to date with the basic things and there’s more urgent improvements to do: there are currently 11159 individual mail routes suspended in the Postal Monitor and I’m sure not all are up to date and some must be missing — we could use help doing the legwork to actually get the data into it.
So, please, help us improve it! Start with your own country: check if the suspended routes are correctly matching the ones in the Postal Monitor, monitor their list regularly for updates, contact them if you find mistakes, inconsistencies or data is missing. If they don’t publish a list, insist with them that they do: you are their actual customers and speak their language so they may listen to you because we are often ignored.
And when you are done with your own country, if you have the time, there are another 200+ postal operators that we could use help with too — start by the bigger ones (in Postcrossing activity), because, from our experience, the postal operators in the “smaller” countries often don’t quite know what destinations actually work, as they are dependent on availability of third-parties to transport their mail.
Lastly, I am not re-opening this topic. I have spent too much time this past week giving attention to long discussions around unrealistic suggestions and I actually need to get things done.
@varn If you truly care for the original suggestion you started this topic with, you can submit it through the website and we’ll look into it, when we can. It’s the second time you have done this and this is not a productive way to suggest anything as it only raises expectations and burns our time — please don’t do this again in the future.