Friday, December 17, 2010

Signal PenPal magazine

If you have actually tried to "Ask Google" about "Pen Pal Magazine", you probably have noticed that the first couple of pages from the search results are dedicated to Signal, which is a pen pal magazine established in the 1960s. Over the years their "newspaper" design changed to a more "newsletter"-ish one and in the 1990s they branched out creating multiple regional magazines under the same name. Maybe that together with the long existence of the magazine are the reason why you will find that the words form the Google search will almost always associate with "Signal".

Here is how the issue looked in 2000. If you click here you will see the covers from the early 2000s to nowadays. Saying nowadays though is a bit relative, since the last issue that they have uploaded on the website is from 2008. Still even if it is called a magazine, I think that a newsletter is more the name that they should have gone with. Their main focus and essential objective is publishing PenPal ads from around the world. However, they don't make the clear distinction of what a PenPal newsletter is and what's a Dating Newsletter. If you look at the ads, you will find that the people who had posted the ads are suggesting that they are searching more or less for a relationship than pure penpal-ship. Which is annoying for us, the true PenPal-ers who really want nothing but a friendship with the person whom we are writing, too. I wouldn't have reviewed the newsletter if I haven't pointed out that you can see a tendency for the ads to be place mostly from African countries. No offense to anyone. I am just cautious with such magazines since I hate getting "romance" mail or "please send me money" type of letters in my mail box. We all have our hardships, so please, for crying out loud, don't abuse penpalling media to get a sponsor, marriage or investments. We all know those investment scams.

And this is the cover from the issue from 2008. And here's some info posted on their website in regards to the way of ordering it:


- issue 2, 2008 * volume 49
- b&w digitally duplicated, multicolor cover
- 16 pages, size 210x297 mm
- about 400 penpals, a few photos
- texts: computer and laserprinter
- issueance date: July 2008
- Sample US$ 5, Euro 5 or 10 International Reply Coupons ppd, airmail US$ 1, Euro 1 or 2 IRCs extra."

So my opinion about The Friendship Club Newsletter:
Subscription: I haven't placed one myself. Since I couldn't find any relevant information for 2010 or even 2009, I think that they had stopped releasing it.
Magazine type: paper newsletter, paid, monthly released.
Payment: International Reply coupons (IRC's - I have no idea how they work. Never used them!)
Information wise: It presents only PenPal Ads!
Ads from Pen Pals:Publishing an Ad here might get you unwanted marriage proposals, begging you mail for money or scam letters for investment opportunities (I read that several people were complaining about issues like that. If you want to try it / read the testimonies yourself - just use Google).
Design: You can pretty much get the feeling of the design of the magazine when you look at the front pages!

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