Good morning/afternoon/evening to my fellow postcrossers.
I don’t even know where to start but I have a crazy idea that will be either extremely popular or immediately hated.
So, fast your seatbelts and try to keep an open mind, because this is not going to be a short post.
Ok, I’ve been reading for a while on the forum about getting the same countries, frequency of getting new countries, “rare” countries and etc. after hiting kind of a slump myself in which I’m sending to the same countries (without having the Repeated countries option ON).
Here are some posts:
Ok, brief summary for people that don’t know what this is about: Basically, all of our addresses/profiles are in a “pool” in the PC server and when you ask to “Send a postcard” you get an address from that pool (that also takes into account your countries restrictions, check Postal Monitor).
Countries that have more users and whose users are more active have more addresses in the pool and it is more likely that you get one of those countries to Send, but also that someone from one of those super active countries sends you one, so they are also frequently Received.
The most frequent countries are Germany, USA and Russia. I’ll call them “The big three”.
Other countries like The netherlands, Finland, China, Taiwan are also on the top 10 (maybe Japan, Czechia, Belarus could also be, depends on where you’re from).
Moreover, some of this countries have a fast and reliable postal system, that allows postcards to arrive between 7-10 days. Which means that the address that you just got and send a postcard to may be back to the “pool” in 1-2 weeks.
Active members + high number of members + efficient postal system = addresses from these countries are more frequent.
While the algorythm works so you have less repeated countries (if you have the Repeated countries OFF), these addresses are still common, because there is a Quantity factor that is impossible to dodge: there are MORE addresses from these common countries, you are going to get MORE of these countries.
While I do agree that all addresses are truthly different because each person is a world, I also think that there is a special thrill when getting a “new” country you haven’t Sent (or Received) from. Or a less common country that you barely have postcards from.
Sadly, in some parts of the forum the quest for a new country on the stats has led to some people looking/sounding like they are annoyed or dissapointed because they get the most frequent countries all the time and those most frequent postcrossers, that are not responsible for how active is the country they live in, can feel unwanted.
For that, I quote what a member on the forum said in another topic, because I can’t say it better:
Now that the problem has been expossed. Into (my crazy idea) the solution:
I am a mere mortal and I do not aim to fully undestand how The Algorythm works. @paulo has appeared in multiple PC posts to further explain it. But, if you go to the F.A.Q of postcrossing, you’ll see an interesting point that is the base of what I’m suggesting.
How can I help Postcrossing balance the most active countries?
Basically, turning ON the repeated countries option and sending more postcards to the most frequent countries.
If we all did that, we will increase our chances to get a “new” or “unfrequent” country for us.
My idea is to dedicate one day for everyone to turn on the Repeated countries option, and save up slots of postcards to send prior to that day.
In a similar way that people “save” sending postcards before Postcard Day so they can send a bunch together for the special day.
Only that, for that day, everyone that joins will have the Repeated Countries option ON.
Wait, @Lhyz , I’m not following. We complain that we get always the same countries, repeatedly, and your plan is for us to purpousely get the same countries, repeatedly?
See, if many people join the same day to send a lot of postcards and they allow for repetition to happen, we can deplete the “poll” of addresses from the most common countries in a day.
How? Well, we’ve already said that because there are more of these addresses (from Germany, Russia, USA…), you are going to get them more, repetition ON or OFF. But if you allow repetition, you are going to get them more, in succession. And, since there are more, statistically, it is more likely that with Repetition ON, you are going to get more addresses from the common countries.
Moreover, these very active countries, if their members turn ON repetition, will get more addresses from each other, and will effectively deplete the pool. E.g, Germany will have more addresses from USA and Russia, USA, will send more postcards to Russia and Germany, etc.
And then comes the actual point of Repetition Day. By the end of the day, you should have sent as many postcards as possible, using all your slots except for ONE.
Since postcard can take 1-2 weeks to arrive minimum/average/whatever, the days after the Repetition Day will be more likely to get a less common country. Well, that’s simple but incorrect, tecnically, it will be less likely to get a common country.
Either way written, your chances of getting a country you didn’t have before are higher. And you’ll get the thrill to add a new country to your oficial postcrossing stats.
If people have read until this and -somehow- it is considered to be tested. I was thinking that we could have a badge, just like postcard day, for people that send postcards with Repetition ON on Repetition Day.
And it could be a different date each year, playing with the dates. For example, this year it could be the:
2/3/23 (2nd March)
or even 23/2/23 23/3/23
See what I’m doing here?
I want to finish this by repeating, just in case, that this is just a partial solution. This is just a fun way to join together on another postcard-oriented even and it helps to increase your chances of getting a less-common country to Send to.
It does not fix the “problem” of getting more addresses from some common countries because that is due to the amount of members and the activity of members.
The only way we can “balance” that is to promote Postcrossing as much as possible if we are in a country where it is not so common and helping that more people have a financially stable situation so they can afford postcards and mail.
I would love to hear all your thoughts and reservations about it.