Roughly two months ago I came up with an idea to help me get to know those in the Instagram community on a more personal level. I had recently become a suggested user and all the sudden I had people from all over the world following me. I was receiving likes from people who I had never met and comments on my photos from more people than I could keep up with. I wanted to be able to reach out to some of these new people and decided that I would start up a project involving postcards and my followers on Instagram.
I've always had a love of postcards. There is something about their vintage feel and the story that comes with these cards. I loved receiving cards in the mail from people traveling the world and having the ability to see where people were from. It is like a way to see a small glimpse of some place you have only dreamed of visiting. I loved the different stamps, postmarks, and art on each card. The creases, rips, and tears the cards received while traveling from point A to point B only added to the fascination and always made me wonder how did this card get here. Was it dropped in a mailbox or taken into a post office, or maybe somebody left it at the front desk of a hotel? How many planes, trains, and delivery trucks were used to get this card to its final destination? If the postcard itself could talk and tell its story it might even be more intriguing than the travels of the person mailing it.
When I intially announced the project I was a bit worried that people wouldn't mail cards to me, but they would only request postcards. I decided that I would showcase all the cards I would receive on my Instagram account as a motivation for people to send me cards. After two months I have already received more than 95 postcards, compared to the 60 or so cards I have been able to send out. I am nearing about 200 requests for cards and that number continues to grow every week.
There are a couple of things that I ask of the people who join the project. One is to make sure they include their Instagram account information on the cards they send to me. Another is that they post up a photo of the card they receive from me and use #thePostCardDiary hashtag. Probably the neatest thing about the project is that I'm not only hearing from my original followers, but as people post up the cards and use the hashtag it brings their followers over to the project. I believe that this cycle of growth will make the project turn more into a long term art project.
I have had several people who have joined the project send multiple cards. I even had one follower of the project send me a card from each country she traveled too, which was beyond amazing. Some of the distances that these cards have traveled are incredible. I have received cards from around the globe, including Malaysia, Thailand, Romania, China, Czech Republic, Dubai, and Aruba. It blows my mind that people out there would take their time to write cards to me and tell me about their lives. It really has been an amazing experience and I can't wait to see what the project brings next!
For those of you who want to participate in the project you can contact me on Instagram, @mrbrock21, using the Instagram Direct Message service. You can also follow along with the project over at Instgram @thePostCardDiary and check out #thePostCardDiary hashtag to see all the amazing cards that have been mailed out and received from this project. Please keep in mind that I am sending cards out in roughly the order that I have received the request and I can only send out one card to each person in order to keep things fair.