The Health of Postcrossing

Is this not a product of the very system designed ?
I have exceeded 250 cards sent/received but have just 14 slots. This is a severe restriction on participation in increasing numbers by newer members.


It’s a long story.
At one time I suggested changing the curve of free slots versus the number of postcards sent.
Blue – the rule we have now.
Orange – the rule I suggested.

This would increase the dynamics of Postcrossing. Get out of the stagnation that has been observed over the past 10 years. And it would increase the motivation and enthusiasm of the average postcrossers.
But this idea did not find support from the creators of the game.


No, they don’t.

Only unused accounts are deleted and only if the users wish to or if the accounts are left for some reasons and there’s no reaction from the user.

They will never delete inactive accounts! Otherwise around 1/3 to 1/2 from all accounts would’ve been gone.


Of course not.
I expressed myself incorrectly.
This refers to accounts that were created, but did not show any activity for a long time. Or like that.
I can’t find where I read about it.

Aaah, okay. Yes, now I understand what you meant :slight_smile:

A few months ago I counted all the users that have logged in at least once in the past month, and that had sent at least one card since joining postcrossing. My figure was around 65000.

A few of them didn’t actually send any cards in the past month, but are still active in the sense that they check the website occasionally.

I have a different theory regarding the slowdown: I think that a new-ish user will draw most of the time (depending a lot on their drawing patterns too) seasoned, reliable users - top users that are owed large numbers of cards at the time - so their cards will be registered promptly. As one goes into their thousands, one catches more and more often newbies that might have lost interest, people that are registering with delays, people from countries with slower mail systems and so on. So top users eventually get longer travel times and more expired cards per trimester.

And sort of a corollary - the ratio of very active, longterm postcrossers that joined in recent years is much smaller than those of olden years. I think it’s because if you’re a certain age group and postcrossing is something for you, you’re way more likely to have heard about it already by now. There are people still discovering it, and some will stay, of course - but it’s been almost 20 years since its launch, plenty of time for most people to learn it exists, and try it out if they are so inclined.


More slots would not stimulate me…I have 25 open now, sending these all out would cost approx $2 each. I can’t justify spending $50 every 2 or 3 weeks. I try to do 5 cards a week, that’s all the time and money I have for now

I am curious if you have another account? This one shows you have only sent 30 cards in 4 years, wondering why you are not more active?


I’m not very interested in sending and receiving postcards.
I’m interested in exploring Postcrossing as a phenomenon.


Observer bias? :joy:

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In many points I agree, but from my experience I can say it is hard to keep all hundred slots busy, for every day some ocf your cards will be registered and there is also a rest life besides Postcrossing and you also have to register the incoming cards, which takes also a lot of time if one reads the card and replies to the content. And cards and postage must be paid. Last year I sent about 900 cards and card+postage may add up to US$ 2, so that is about US$ 1,800.


But that would neither reduce the postage nor would it improve the postal service nor would it make postcards available. In my opinion these external factors do have a massive effect on postcrossing and need to be taken into consideration.


The main key reason for the decline is the increase in average travel time for postcards.

And the increase in average travel time is due to the fact that the game is globalizing and more and more participants from countries scattered on the map are included in it.

But there will be more postcards in Postcrossing.
What’s more, most beginners quit Postcrossing when they reach 30-40 postcards. Because they are interested in playing, not waiting. Why not give them that opportunity by adjusting the free slots rule?

And I’ll add that more than half of the TOP-100 play at the limit of 100 slots.
And the founders of Postcrossing know this very well.
In general, there are a lot of postcrossers who play at the limit of the number of their slots.
Taking into account the fact that the free slots rule has not changed for about 10 years, and Postcrossing has spread noticeably during this time, the waiting time for such players has increased.


How can your graph consider the points I mentioned?

We do not manage the price of mail services and cannot influence it in any way.
But the postage factor doesn’t matter to those who play to the limit of their slots.
And as I wrote above, there are quite a lot of such Postcrossers.
Even among the TOP-100 there are more than half of them.
If the Postcrossing founders give such postcrossers the opportunity to send and receive more, they will gladly do it.

I see no point in arguing with each other.
I’m not hot or cold because Postcrossing is stagnating.
I think this should motivate the founders of the game to do something.
They own the full range of data and can do any analytics.

For the first time, I raised the question of the need to adjust the rules of the slot about 5 years ago, back on the old forum.
To be honest, I don’t understand why this hasn’t been done yet, if it will bring unconditional benefits to Postcrossing, postcrossers and additional profits for mail services.

It is probably more exciting to look at a falling trend than a growing one :slight_smile:
My move is to give a hint. What happens next is not my responsibility.


Until it does. I have 100 slots at my disposal and used to have all of them filled. Not anymore and not for a long time. And never again, with the postage being what it is - travelling time of the postcards is irrelevant to me. And I bet I am not the only one who made such a decision.

There is one situation I can imagine where I would once again have all my slots filled - if the website were closing and this was the last time I could send Postcrossing cards. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that anytime soon.


Extrapolate your special case to all is a common misconception in such discussions.

For those who have reached the limit of their 100 slots, the postage in absolute terms can be significant, yes.
But for those who play at the limit of their 50 slots, they are at least half as much.
And those who play at the limit of their 10 slots - 10 times lower.
And as you understand, the second and third kind of Postcrossers in the game are much more than the first.

If you take a close look at this chart, you will see that I am NOT suggesting that the 100 slot cap be removed.

I suggested changing the slot rule with priority at the beginning and middle.


I like to explore Postcrossing as a system (mass phenomenon), find correlations of its factors, identify triggers of influence in it and give feedback on this in the form of an explanation of the reasons and recommendations for improvement.
I have a lot of experience in optimizing the work of similar systems.

In my profile, I quite openly wrote this:
“What I love most about Postcrossing is the next million countdowns where we have to guess when the registered postcards number will reach the next millionth level. Join us!”

I think it’s great that postcrossing provides so many other interesting reasons to participate besides sending and receiving postcards :slight_smile:


I am not. That’s why I only said “I bet”. I have no way to verify it. I only know of a few other examples, which also doesn’t mean there are many others. Still, the postage question is relevant but you continue to insist it isn’t. I just proved you wrong - it is important for at least one person.

However, we would only know the answer to “how relevant it is” if an experiment was made or at least a questionnaire filled with answers from the majority of Postcrossers, so that we could have some sort of data.

I just don’t share your optimistic view that changing the slot rule for users with less slots would bring the change you think it would. But, as we don’t have the data to compare, we can only speculate on which of the reasons mentioned in the discussion is the most important in the decline of the number of postcards being sent.

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Even if 3/4 of those who play at the limit of their slots will not send more like you, and 1/4 of the participants will take advantage of the new opportunity and send more, then I will be right.
And it is an impossible phenomenon that everyone who plays at the limit of their slots, especially those who have NOT reached 100, have given up such an opportunity.
Therefore, my correctness is undeniable. I apologize for my indiscretion :slight_smile:

Questionnaires are a waste of time in my opinion.
The founders of the game have all the data that can be analyzed and draw conclusions.

Even if the growth in the number of cards in the game is 10%, this will already be a huge progress.

It seems to me that we are breaking a lance in vain.
Because we don’t make decisions.
And without the political will of the founders of Postcrossing, all this is just empty talk.
That is why I did not return to this conversation for about 5 years.
And, frankly, I’m not interested in arguing on this topic for at least another 5 years :slight_smile: