FAQ #1: How can you find different things to say?

Greetings from poor (according to our Chief Executive), disheveled Hong Kong. As the demonstrations and protests go on and on and ON, almost below our window, we have opened a new category for frequently asked questions, and here’s the first entry. By “frequently” of course we mean “at least once,” but we guarantee we won’t make up any of these questions.

But before we start, and to head off one more question, no: we have no idea whatsoever what the card in this scan represents. It’s full of strips of other shredded cards. Put “Ollie” in the search bar and see the description.

OK then, here’s the answer to FAQ #1: it takes work, and we hope this is what makes the site distinctive. It would annoy someone if we insulted a beautiful mountain just because all postcards of that mountain look alike. Definitely if the card has a story–whether the location, the photo, the message, the age, or even the way the card is printed or how it was mailed–we will try to tell it. If it’s an old hotel or restaurant, we usually do a quick search to see if it’s still open, or what happened. If it’s an airplane with a visible tail number, we can find out what happened to that aircraft. (If you have never browsed the “Aviation” category, you might try. There are some great and occasionally grim accounts.)

Sometimes a postcard is just complicated and we let it speak for itself. Often a series of scenes are almost the same, and we can get away with “Unused card. Grade: 1” With postmarks, if there is one, we say so. If it is especially clear or nice, we say so. If it is faint-to-invisible, or partial, we usually say so.

And so, with almost 30,000 entries online, we still find something to say. If you take exception to an entry, let us know why and we’ll see what we can do.

Until #2 …