Wednesday 30 August 2023

Has the snail mail revival failed?

I wonder, has the attempted revival of snail mail come to an end? At least one penpal mourns the closure of the Letter Writers Alliance, but other societies have sprung up on the web, and then there's groups on various social media platforms. The more the merrier perhaps, but maybe also is a disadvantage, with enthusiasm/effort being fractured all over the place. I live somewhere it is not feasible to have monthly meetups like at least a couple of societies in the US have. 

Due to history/circumstance, I do not want to put my face out there, and I also dislike my accent; the sound of my voice. I have my own little snail mail forum, and has been up for over 8 years now, but maybe it is a lost cause. Someone commented before I started the forum that for a forum to do well, it needs at least 100 very active members, but sadly, my forum doesn't get a fifth of that visiting daily, and not even 50 members have logged on in the last month. I know... snail mail is an offline hobby. However, those I do postally know who have logged in, I could describe as lovely. I can't use that word for some people on reddit as various groups there seem cliquey and at times, downright unpleasant, but that was a while ago. I've heard about others being bullied there too.

I'm still having problems with Instagram on my computer. It only shows my 9 top posts for a hashtag, and I'm missing out on what my friends post unless I grab my mobile. The mobile screen's keyboard is not as nice as my computer's keyboard. 

And then there's Royal Fail Mail who refuse to go to the Stampex this autumn. They seem to have no clue what stamps are valid for postage and what is fake/reused. 

Then, there's the post offices where it is an inconvenience to them for you to buy stamps, and most won't have the commemorative stamps plus can't be arsed to order even though you could become a regular customer. However, one lovely little post office I visit is bothered, and on a couple of occasions they've not had the miniature sheet on day of issue when I arrive (within 30 minutes of opening), they have ordered them in for me to buy on my next visit. I usually spend in exess of £50* on a stamp issue I (or even my penfriends) like. It might only be a few pennies a post office makes from their sale, but it all adds up.

*If I want stamps for letter postage, it costs the same to use commemorative nice one(s) as ordinary one(s).

A bit late as we are coming to the end of the summer holiday season, but if you do go away for even a short break, do consider sending postcards. Be careful though of stamps offered by tourist shops/attractions, as they might be ones supplied by Universal Mail - their International Postcard stamps, and will only be valid to use for postcards going abroad (and they'll go the long way). I have no idea how much they are charging for them, maybe even more than Royal Mail's. They are not valid for domestic postage, although I did see some postcards with them on in a London postbox, but their destinations were somewhere in England.