The cultural value of postcards

You know, as we process each card for the site, inevitably we read it, and imagine how and why it was sent. We would be surprised if someone out there hasn’t already done a dissertation, or written a book, or made an academic investigation into “Communication through Postcards” and tried to show how messages have evolved over time or are different by gender or country. We just haven’t found such a study yet.

Imagine, for example, a content analysis or classification of messages into categories like these:

* greetings (birthday, holiday)

* convey news and announcements (sister just had her baby)

* invitations (come to supper tomorrow)

* holiday gloating (having a wonderful time, wish you were here)

* information (I’ll be in town on Saturday, let’s meet)

* missing you (why haven’t you written?)

Would you expect messages of any number of random cards from different countries to be the same, or different by country, or to have changed over time? Well, for sure, in this day and age of e-mail and deteriorating mail delivery, it’s not a good idea to use a postcard to invite someone for dinner tomorrow. In the early 1900s, this was common. These are just our random thoughts on a cold morning. If you know of such a study, let us know. Wish you were here!