Through the Penpalling and Letters blog which I just discovered recently, I learned of Deutsche Post's Letternet. (Deutsche Post is Germany's postal service.) I've linked the English version of the site, but the original language is, of course, German. It appears to be a pen pal service - free - for anyone in the world. Goodness knows I don't need any more pen pals, but I did sign up out of curiosity. I found it a little unsettling that I had to agree to Terms of Service that are available only in German, so I couldn't really read them, but oh well.
Letternet, which calls itself the "largest pen pal club in the world," has a weird questionnaire that involves asking questions with picture associations: four pictures for "this is what friendship feels like," "this is what stress feels like," etc. It seems geared to younger people, but of course I am supportive of any endeavor to encourage good clean letter-writing. The site is in beta form, and I suspect some things may be clearer in German than in the English translation. For example, my address is listed in my profile as "not confirmed." To confirm it, I need a confirmation code. How do I get this code? I don't know. I couldn't figure that out. I used the contact form to ask, but haven't heard back. From the post about it on the Penpalling and Letters blog, I think I might need to wait for a snail-mail envelope or package from them - fine and dandy, that seems a lovely way to confirm my address, although it would be nice to learn that from the Letternet site itself.
EDIT: Actually, I poked around a little further, and in fact the info is on the site, on the How you can participate page. There it says: "As soon as you have created your profile we check your address so that you can make pen-friends. We shall send you a letter containing your personal registration code, which you need to enter in "My Data/Confirm your Adress". You are then a full member and can search for pen-friends all over the world." OK. All good. I'll wait for the letter in the mail.]
Also, when I entered my mailing address as part of the registration process, the required fields were pretty specific to a German address format (makes sense, after all - it IS a German service), and I had to enter my own address in a weird way - I hope their fields will align with the US mail fields such that mail will reach me successfully. I'll find out, I suppose, and I'll keep you posted, but anyone who is brave that wants to try it out, go for it... the site seems very legit and is clearly part of the Deutsche Post larger website system.
I have a few German pen pals, and my experience with Deutsche Post overall is that the service is fast and reliable, and the stamps are really cool... so I joined up without hearing other reports first.
If anyone else out there who reads this blog has used or is using Letternet, I'd love to hear about your experience with it.
On another note, Happy Valentine's Day! I might do a V-Day posting later, and I might not. Truth be told, it's not a very big deal to me, but I didn't feel like I could make a post on February 14 without mentioning it.