Postcrossing was something I stumbled upon in the Summer whilst looking for penpals. It really is a great idea and you can learn more by checking out www.postcrossing.com. I can remember finding the site, registering my details and then I couldn't wait to tell 'A' all about it as I knew she'd love it too.
Postcrossing.com is a postcard exchange site and is very addictive! You register your name and address and then click on 'Send Postcard'. You are then given a random name and address from somewhere in the world. Your postcard can contain as much or as little information as you wish to write and must also contain the special ID code given to you by Postcrossing. This enables the receiver to register the card their end when it arrives. There is an option to operate 'Direct Swaps' where people may read your profile and personally request your address. Other than participating in this option you never know where your next postcard will arrive from as the system is all done at random.
This is something that 'A' has loved taking part in and it's a great tool for teaching kids about world geography. We've also received postcards with little snippets written in the language of that country which she has been able to punch into google translate. She's also translated her own little snippets to write in the language of the person she's sending the card to. Postcrossing has also been an invaluable tool for helping with her handwriting as she knows that if her writing is unclear the receiver will be unable to read it! Obviously, as with all internet use I carefully observe all her participation in the site.
[caption id="attachment_373" align="aligncenter" width="1024" caption="A favourite of mine from Sonia in Germany"][/caption]
Within your Postcrossing profile it's possible to say the kind of postcards you'd like to receive but I for one love seeing pictures of where people live. Unfortunately, living in a small urban town I've personally found it very difficult to find suitable postcards to send out to other people. I've had to visit local historic sites and near-by villages to acquire any resemblance of a postcard!
The Postcrossing site also has a great forum which covers topics like penpals, 'random acts of smileyness', education and meet-ups. There is also a great blog at www.postcrossing.com/blog which gives an insight into postcrossing around the world.
[caption id="attachment_374" align="aligncenter" width="1024" caption="Another favourite from Japan"][/caption]
I think the idea of postcard exchange is a wonderful idea especially in today's 'electronic' world. I think that the importance of the hand written word is being lost and this is perhaps just a small way to keep it alive!