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Author: Subject: Postcard writing subjects, looking for ideas
Jetske
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[*] posted on 6-8-2017 at 02:41 PM
Postcard writing subjects, looking for ideas


Hello,

For a new series on Postcrossing Blog we are collecting ideas and can use your help!

Sometimes we find ourselves, for whatever reason, without any ideas of what to write about on a postcard. For example when the profile of the receiver is empty.

To help we would like to start a periodic, probably monthly, theme. It will be completely optional so you can still write about anything else but you could also decide to write about the themed subject on that period.

Please send your ideas in a reply in this thread, so that we have a good amount of ideas to choose the themes from! Thanks!

Some examples:

  • Your favourite book and why
  • A quote you like
  • A childhood memory that you are fond of


Some general guidelines are:


  • It should be something a bit personal so that it doesn't easily repeat too much between different people.

  • Can't be too generic. For instance, the theme shouldn't be too general as "Music" as that is too vague/broad. But it could be "Your favourite band"

  • Ideally, something fun/interesting/curious. We want this to be fun for both sender and receiver.

  • Also, it should be universal. Meaning, it should work for people from any country/age/language/etc. This is actually quite hard, so the goal is to just aim for making it universal as it can be, but knowing there's always someone to whom it may not apply.

  • The theme should still make sense to receive on a postcard even by someone who is not aware of this theme of the month concept (so nothing too weird/off putting).


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[*] posted on 6-8-2017 at 04:46 PM


Share a recipe and why it's special to you.
What was your first hobby as a child?
What's one thing you learned from your family?
Who was your most influential teacher?
What's your dinner routine?
Tell about your favorite pet.
When you go for a walk, what do you see?
Describe your neighborhood.
Tell me how to say hello, goodbye, please, thank you, and where's the bathroom in your language.
What do you admire in your best friend?

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[*] posted on 6-8-2017 at 09:42 PM


One that I've come across more than once, and that seems easy enough: Describe what you can see from your window
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[*] posted on 7-8-2017 at 06:43 AM


All great ideas so far! :thumbup:
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[*] posted on 7-8-2017 at 06:20 PM


Off the top of my head, here are some questions I liked being asked:

Describe your breakfast
Tell me why you picked this card for me
Tell me something about your last vacation
Tell me something that makes you happy
Tell me a strange superstition in your area / region
Is there anyplace where you live that people say is haunted? (I have to answer 'no,' but I love the question!)
If you could be anyplace in the world today, where would that be?


My own request is "Tell me something that makes you smile." It sounds vague but I get some very nice responses. Every now and again I have received handmade cards (I say in my profile that I like handmade) that express what makes the person smile. Those cards make my day!


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[*] posted on 9-8-2017 at 05:20 AM


- If you could meet anyone famous, who would it be and why?
- What motto do you live by?
- Describe your best friend.
- If you were to write a book, what would be its title?
- Describe a famous food from your region
- What would be your dream job and why?
- What is your favorite season and why?
- Do you prefer sunsets or sunrises?

A couple of suggestions:
I would stay away from childhood questions. Not everyone wants to recall it or had a pleasant one.
I would also stay away from asking about the last vacation. Some people don't get vacations or have never been on a real one.
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[*] posted on 9-8-2017 at 03:10 PM


Thank you everyone who sent in their suggestions and comments so far — we really appreciate the different perspectives on this. :)
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[*] posted on 9-8-2017 at 07:50 PM


This topic is a much appreciated idea!


- Where and when would you like to live?
- What is your best/worst habit?
- Which endangered animal is the one you prefer? And why?
- What is your favourite dream?
- What can you draw easily?
- What is your favourite music genre? Can you cite 3 artists in this category that you like most?
- Do you write a journal/a bullet journal? Or did you in the past?
- What was the first recipe you did? Can you remember it?
- What is/was your favourite discipline at school? And the one you did not liked at all (if any)?
- What is your dream job?

...

a few others, some hours later...

- The desert island question : book/animal/object you would choose to take with you
- Your favorite place in your city/country and why
- What would you recommend me to do/see in your country? And not to do/to see?
- How do you see yourself in 10/20 years?
- What are you good at? What is your comfort zone?
- What are the 3 words that describes you the best?
- How would you react lost alone in a big forest (while the night is beginning, of course)?
- Do you know how to…change a wheel? To milk a cow? To repair a bicycle? (several questions beginning by Do you know how to… and the persons can choose to answer one or two)
- Have you ever… climbed on a tree?… done parachute?… slept alone in the wild?… (same: several questions)
- How would you do if… (several situations that ask you to use your common sense, or be calm in front of a danger, …)
- Who knows you best? How and why?

Sorry if some subjects have already been raised, at least it prooves a common interest ;)





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[*] posted on 10-8-2017 at 12:30 PM


Yes, it's all good! We want to have a looooong list of subjects, so that we can prepare this in advance for a few months (and not have any last minute panics on the beginning of every month). :D

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[*] posted on 10-8-2017 at 04:15 PM


Quote: Originally posted by ana  
Yes, it's all good! We want to have a looooong list of subjects, so that we can prepare this in advance for a few months (and not have any last minute panics on the beginning of every month). :D



So, uh...does that mean Postcrossing is going to start giving people suggestions about what people write about not in the FAQ but as a "topic of the month" or something? :freak: I thought this was just for a one-time blog post, but your comment hints otherwise.

I don't mind when someone has something in their profile with suggestions about what to write about, and I think a blog post about such questions is fine. But I absolutely do not want a significant fraction of my incoming postcards to be addressing a topic not because I am interested in it, but because Postcrossing has named it the "topic du jour" or something.

Can you please explain the intent here a little bit more, maybe I am misunderstanding or jumping to conclusions? I hope so!
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[*] posted on 10-8-2017 at 05:09 PM


1/ What do your hear when you are alone?
2/ When is your last time you observe the night skies?
3/ What kind of experience that frighten you?
4/ What is your sweetest memories?
5/ What do you cherish the most in your life?
6/ What make you think life is beautiful?
7/ What song that make you feel peace and calm?
8/ Where do you find peace and calm in your world?
9/ What sort of experience that shape the person you are as today?
10/ Can you tell me one word that describe yourself the best?
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[*] posted on 10-8-2017 at 05:57 PM


Quote: Originally posted by ana  
Yes, it's all good! We want to have a looooong list of subjects, so that we can prepare this in advance for a few months (and not have any last minute panics on the beginning of every month). :D



:P :thumbup:
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[*] posted on 10-8-2017 at 05:58 PM


Thanks so far!
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[*] posted on 20-8-2017 at 03:43 PM


Quote: Originally posted by ColorfulCourtney  

So, uh...does that mean Postcrossing is going to start giving people suggestions about what people write about not in the FAQ but as a "topic of the month" or something? :freak: I thought this was just for a one-time blog post, but your comment hints otherwise.

I don't mind when someone has something in their profile with suggestions about what to write about, and I think a blog post about such questions is fine. But I absolutely do not want a significant fraction of my incoming postcards to be addressing a topic not because I am interested in it, but because Postcrossing has named it the "topic du jour" or something.

Can you please explain the intent here a little bit more, maybe I am misunderstanding or jumping to conclusions? I hope so!


We're not sure of the format yet, but the idea is that every month there would be a different suggestion (on the blog or newsletter, perhaps) of an interesting topic to write on your postcards.

It would be 100% optional though. If you already have suggestions on your profile about things you'd like to people to write to you about, that's great. For all the others who could use a little help writing more than just "Happy Postcrossing" or "Greetings from X", this would be a nudge in that direction.

We're aware that this needs to be carefully implemented, so that the postcards' content doesn't become boring or too repetitive. While we work out the implementation details, we thought we'd collect ideas from the community on possible topics... so please keep them coming!
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[*] posted on 20-8-2017 at 05:46 PM


*If you were to be a tourist guide in your city (or area) for a day or two, which places would you go? And why?

*What's typical food in your country? Is there anything you would recommend a tourist to try while in your country/area?
*What's your favourite dish?
*What's your favourite meal of the day?

*What's your favourite season? Why do you like this season?
*What do you associate with the current season? Any special memories? Typical food? Typical activities? Typical weather?

*Describe your best and/or worst teacher. What made him/her so good/bad?

*If your could build a house anywhere in the world, and money, language, job etc weren't an issue, where would you build the house? Why? And what would it look like?

*If you could travel where ever you wanted and money wasn't an issue, nor other limitations of other sorts, where would you like to travel? To outer space? Mt. Everest, with an helicopter? A time travel? To another part of your country? Or somewhere else?

*Can you suggest a book or an author from your country? Or a book you have enjoyed yourself? What's it about? Why do you recommend it?

*Describe the place you're writing the postcard. Use all your senses to descibe the place. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell (flowers, dinner beeing made....)?
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[*] posted on 31-8-2017 at 10:31 AM


Thanks so much, more suggestions are still welcome!
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[*] posted on 1-11-2017 at 03:48 PM


Quote: Originally posted by ColorfulCourtney  
Quote: Originally posted by ana  
Yes, it's all good! We want to have a looooong list of subjects, so that we can prepare this in advance for a few months (and not have any last minute panics on the beginning of every month). :D



So, uh...does that mean Postcrossing is going to start giving people suggestions about what people write about not in the FAQ but as a "topic of the month" or something? :freak: I thought this was just for a one-time blog post, but your comment hints otherwise.

I don't mind when someone has something in their profile with suggestions about what to write about, and I think a blog post about such questions is fine. But I absolutely do not want a significant fraction of my incoming postcards to be addressing a topic not because I am interested in it, but because Postcrossing has named it the "topic du jour" or something.

Can you please explain the intent here a little bit more, maybe I am misunderstanding or jumping to conclusions? I hope so!


I think it's only a suggestions for those who are having problems or let me says,a hard time to think of what to write on their postcards but it's not necessarily need to be follow by the sender. We can still write what we want on our to-send postcards.
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[*] posted on 1-11-2017 at 04:23 PM


Great ideas ! these are a few more suggestions :
- explanation on proverbs and phrases in your language
- your meals and drinks: tell me how many meals you take per day, what you usually eat, at what time, what kind of beverage you drink in the day, etc.
- traditional games and boardgames in your country
- traditional legends in your country and their characters
- a TV program that would be particular to your country
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[*] posted on 1-11-2017 at 05:02 PM


Sounds like a great idea to me!

Some suggestions:
~ How did you find Postcrossing?
~ your most recent late night questions/shower thoughts (such as "Do penguins have knees?")
~ the last book you read, maybe a short summary or review of it
~ the meaning of your first name
~ your favourite painting/artwork
~ the last postcard you received (I think that could be a fun one!)
~ the most favourite picture you ever took, what does it show, why do you like it?
~ write a haiku
~ your favourite smell
~ Describe your perfect day.
~ If you were a circus artist, what would you be/do?
~ If you were an animal, what would you be? Or just talk about your favourite animal or pet.
~ Draw something. A small doodle on the back or a whole postcard!
~ When do you normally write postcards? In the morning, the evening etc. and why?
~ your favourite word
~ If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I don't know whether some of these have already been mentioned, but I hope you enjoy them!
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[*] posted on 1-11-2017 at 05:20 PM


@grenouilleAPois and @LenaSophie — thank you so much, some of these are great! We'll keep compiling the list and using them as needed.

It's great to see the positive feedback to this experiment :)
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[*] posted on 2-11-2017 at 12:21 AM


If those writing prompts become a big thing, maybe you could implement a check box to opt out of it?
Like the one for direct swaps at the profile.

A little "no" there won't stop everyone from writing to me about the topic, but maybe some would listen to it. (Just as it is with the swaps: Even with a "no" there, there's still the occasional message asking for swaps.)

I'd just prefer a wider range of topics and not many people writing about the same thing (even if the individual answer is a bit different). And in another thread there were some who shared the same opinion.
And I'm thinking, if it will really get as "bad" as I think, I'll send less official postcards just to avoid reading the same, forced stuff.
Because there are already many positive replies, I assume many people will follow the prompt.
Or I'll have to spread them out, as to receive only a few every month and hope for the best :lol:
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[*] posted on 2-11-2017 at 06:55 AM


Quote: Originally posted by wiese  
If those writing prompts become a big thing, maybe you could implement a check box to opt out of it?


We understand! Despite the positive feedback, I don't think they will become over-popular in the near future. Just a small percentage of our members reads the blog, and if we ever mention them in other places, we'll be extra careful to make sure they don't become overwhelmingly used.
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[*] posted on 2-11-2017 at 12:37 PM


I just love to read about embarrasing moment. Because in the end, we're all humans and do stupid things.
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[*] posted on 2-11-2017 at 06:34 PM


Quote: Originally posted by wiese  

I'd just prefer a wider range of topics and not many people writing about the same thing (even if the individual answer is a bit different). And in another thread there were some who shared the same opinion.


:thumbup:
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[*] posted on 3-11-2017 at 02:19 AM


This is a great idea. My suggestions:

What are you grateful for?
What brings you joy?
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