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'Tis the Season for Streaming Greetings

Don't fret if all the good Christmas cardswere gone before you managed to make it to the store; multimediagreetings can provide a colorful and lively alternative. Severalsites out there offer tools to share everything from animated andmusical e-cards, to uploaded personal video clips or streams ofyour own voice in a greeting.


Shockwave.com (www.shockwave.com) featuresthe coolest animated greetings section complete with well-knowncharacters from the site, such as the crew from South Parkand Radiskull and Devil Doll. If you are feeling creative,you can put together your own South Park greeting usingthe Toonmaker. The dialogue options are a bit limited, but howhard is it to incorporate Cheesy Poofs into a sentence?


Videogreetings.com (www.videogreetings.com)is what happens when America's Funniest Home Videos meetsWeb greetings. The site offers greetings for all occasions,including holidays, belated birthdays and just plain-old normaldays. If you have your own digital footage, the site also allowsyou to upload video, select a background, add a message, and sendit off.

JibJab.com (www.jibjab.com) offers animated greetings for those with a sense of humor. Many of the greetings are in the Christmas spirit, but don't expect to see your average Santa Claus here: JibJab is all about half-naked Santas dancing the Macarena. If you'd like to say Happy Birthday with some special flare, send the - ugh -- musical "Fart Waffle".


Earthnoise.com (www.earthnoise.com) brandsits video greetings "V-greetings." The selection islimited, but you can find a video to commemorate almost anyoccasion. With a webcam or digital video camera, you can alsoupload a personal video clip to edit, personalize, and share withfriends.

Blab.com (www.blab.com) offers severalanimated greetings, including a few holiday-minded takes on thepopular Budweiser "whazzup" commercials. The site isthe relaunched version of ecards.com, and offers greetings inseveral languages. For that touchy-feely friend, you can use the"Ecards Good Vibes" section of the site to incorporatetactile sensations into your greetings, assuming the recipientowns a mouse equipped with special tactile software, such asLogitech's iFeel Mouseman.



Expressit.com (www.expressit.com) is a sitefor creating online art projects, developing digital photoalbums, or sending animated 3D greetings for any holiday. Thesite is family-oriented and has lots of greetings for children,as well as some interactive greetings.

MP3.com (http://musicgreetings.mp3.com/createcard)offers musical greeting cards accompanied by hip graphics. Thereis a wide selection of popular music and holiday songs to choosefrom, although the presentation would be much smoother if thegreeting used an embedded player, rather than invoking one.

Bluemountain.com (www.bluemountain.com), adivision of Excite, offers the option of calling an automatedtelephone number to add streamed voice messages to your greetings.In addition, the site recently added the ability to uploadpersonal video to greetings. A selection of animated greetings isavailable, but the most of the images are still.

Yahoo! Greetings (http://greetings.yahoo.com)aggregates several online greeting companies, including the e-carddivision of American Greetings, so the selection is broad. Yahoo!also allows you to add a streamed voice message to your greeting,and offers several animated greetings for most every occasionimaginable.

BuildARockStar.com (www.buildarockstar.com)lets you direct your own short, animated rock video greeting froma selection of characters, backgrounds and music. Your message tothe viewer is displayed on a sign in the crowd. Rock on!



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