Thursday, July 6, 2017

Postcard United - a Postcrossing imitator?

From the profile of another user on Postcrossing, I came across a new(ish - or just new to me perhaps) postcard exchange website called Postcard United. Is anyone else familiar with it? It seems to be an absolute Postcrossing imitator, with very little difference in the two sites. There's nothing wrong with that, and sometimes imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and all that, but it just makes me really curious. I signed up for it but haven't sent any postcards through Postcard United, since I am very devoted to (and very happy with) Postcrossing. But for anyone who has tried it, I'm very curious about the differences.

For example, I cannot find in what country it's based. The site is written in English but there are a number of phrases that make it appear that the creators are not regular English speakers (or perhaps not used to writing in English). Again, nothing wrong with that - we English speakers are very privileged and we need to get off our high horses regarding our native language and how lucky we are that it is so commonly spoken throughout the world - but it makes me realize I do appreciate the transparency with which the Postcrossing founders communicate their history and their whereabouts, and their use of the (optional) support funds.

They never mention Postcrossing on the Postcard United website, but in a handy differentiation, the latter uses 3-letter country codes as opposed to Postcrossing's 2-letter country codes, so users of both sites should be able to differentiate immediately from which website the received postcard originated.

Like Postcrossing, Postcard United is free, and uses a similar setup with profiles (though unlike Postcrossing, you cannot view a user profile or get much information on the site without signing up for it), and of course I have no idea how the coding and algorithms work behind the scenes. But if you've already tried it, I'd love to hear more, and if you're itching to send postcards (and maybe you're new to Postcrossing and have reached your send limit there), here's a new experiment for you.

Also, Postcard United does not seem to have a Twitter presence (on their site they have a Twitter icon, but it just takes you to, so I can't do any sleuthing there. I did find a profile for @PostcardUnited, but it hasn't ever tweeted. Hmm.... They do have a Facebook page but it isn't very active, and the blog on their own site isn't terribly updated either (ooooh... that's like the pot calling the kettle, right folks? I've not terribly active on this blog lately, either, but I'm not set up as a postcard-sending website).

So! If you have any thoughts or opinions to share, please do!

UPDATE on July 10: I received a response from Postcard United, see the new blog post for more info

In other news, I've been meaning to post a happy summer update... I've been in my garden a lot, and writing many postcards and a few letters, and I have some lovely photos to share - coming soon!


  1. I signed up just to have a nosy. I recognise a few Postcrossers there. One I know wrote "december 2016 - i have not been here for over a year as i had much difficulty signing in and staying logged in (this site was most unstable)"

    I notice I could register as being from Wales, rather than the United Kingdom (and would therefore have a different country code).

    Their blog doesn't seem to be updated since Halloween 2016. Some members got bombarded with email (a glitch kept sending them out - spam).

    Also, the language/grammar is far from perfect.

    1. Thanks for your sleuthing and reporting, M! Very interesting to know there are reports of the site being unstable. If you actually end up sending anything, let us know! I still haven't sent anything myself, and am unlikely to do so unless I max out my traveling postcards on Postcrossing (possible, but also unlikely).

  2. I received a response directly from Postcard United and just wrote another blog post about it for those who want updates:

  3. Hello! I'm late to this conversation, so curious about updated impressions. I've been using Postcrossing for nine years and Postcard United sporadically for just a few. Yes, Postcard United is less sophisticated, and yes, the administrators' command of English is not as good as that of the Postcrossing team, but isn't it all about having fun? There is some overlap in the membership, but Postcard United seems stronger in Asia than in Europe. One European Postcrosser who learned about Postcard United from me wrote back to gleefully report he had sent and received postcards from "rare" countries he had not yet encountered on Postcrossing. I can't keep up with my "sending limits" on either site and I mainly send from Postcrossing, but still use Postcard United periodically. It has worked fine for me (except for the glitch of it not accepting my hotmail account, so I use my wife's email address). Isn't there a saying to the effect that Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? Again, it's all about having fun, and Sending Joy through Postcards! Happy writing!

  4. I registered on Postcard United in january 2015 but I never used their website.
    A few months ago I asked them to delete my account (according to GDPR). They didn't answer. I sent a second message using their website contact form (becaues they don't show any e-mail adress) and they asnwered me "You have no account with us, so please stop harassing us".... LOL! My account is still working and I'm connected on it right now...
    I'm considering sueing them.