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Max Spring, Berne

The phenomenon that is Postcrossing

You would think that classic postcards could hardly compete against Snapchat, WhatsApp and Facebook. But a growing fan base is proving the opposite. Postcrossing – an international phenomenon.

Even though there is also a website behind this latest communication trend, it is only used for relaying contact data. On postcrossing.com you can request an address to write to plus a postcard ID allocated by the site. Next you will receive the physical address of a randomly selected member. You then send a real postcard to this person, who can be anywhere in the world. Once that person gets the card, they will register receipt. You as sender are then added to the address list and will in turn receive a postcard – and so it continues. Once you become an active postcrosser, you'll regularly receive mail from the farthest corners of the earth.The idea was launched in 2005 by a Portuguese postcard enthusiast. The millionth postcard was registered after just three years. Today the community has more than 600,000 members in over 200 countries.

The comic illustrations on the three special stamps depict how people in Switzerland use Postcrossing to connect to the world.

Russia ranks first in terms of membership, numbering over 80,000 postcrossers. At the other end of the scale are Tuvalu, for instance, with two members, or Papua New Guinea with just one. Switzerland is in 25th place with 2,855 members and 323,463 postcards mailed.

Jürg Freudiger

Competition

Register now on postcrossing.com, send a postcard from Switzerland and, with a bit of luck, you could win one of 10 Postshop vouchers worth CHF 100, plus a “Postcrossing” stamp set.

Conditions of participation