CREATIVE WAY TO USE E-CARDS
(Electronic-CARD) A digital greeting card or postcard created on the Web and sent to someone via the Web. Most e-card sites are paid for by banner ads which you see while you design your card, while others employ this as a way to attract traffic to the site to sell other products or services.
In addition to your own text, e-cards allow different backgrounds, images and music to be used. The cards are sent to you via e-mail with a link to a Web page containing your custom e-card for some period of time. There are numerous sites as well as many names for the service. Use your favorite search engine and search on “ecard,” “e-card,” “icard,” “i-card,” “digital postcard,” “digital greeting card” or “virtual card.” The most notable e-card site is Blue Mountain Arts (www.bluemountain.com).
Typically an e-card sender chooses from an on-line catalog of e-cards made available on a publisher’s web site. After selecting a card, the sender can personalize it to various degrees by adding a message, photo, or video. Finally the sender specifies the recipient’s e-mail address and the web site delivers an e-mail message to the recipient on behalf of the sender.
E-card technology has improved significantly since 1984, about the time of its inception. One technical aspect that has remained mostly constant is the delivery mechanism: the e-mail received by the recipient contains not the e-card itself, but an individually coded link back to the publisher’s web site that displays the sender’s card exactly as it was originally configured.
“Postcards” use static (non-moving) images. These were the first type of e-card in use. The recipient sees a single artistic image, accompanied by a personalized greeting message.
This type of e-card is based on two-dimensional vector animation controlled with a scripting language. The format is proprietary to Adobe; however, widespread usage of Adobe’s software allows this type of card to be easily viewed on most of today’s computers. The recipient sees an animated short usually 15–30 seconds in duration. The animation often appears to have a cartoon style due to the nature of the content, though some Flash creations can be quite sophisticated and realistic. A sound track which may contain speech or music usually accompanies the animation.
Flash animated greeting cards can include interactivity, for example, asking the viewer to choose a picture to animate; however, most Flash e-cards are designed to convey the sentiment of the sender through simple observation.
Flash animated cards are offered today by almost all major e-card publishers and are consequently the most common format used.
“Video ecards” use a combination of personalized text and video to convey the message to the recipient.
Vidwizz.com – VidWizz is a company that is allowing video and personalized messaging allowing you to create personalized video messages that give your words unique visual impact. Your own text is incorporated into one of the videos and emailed to whomever you wish.
With the advance in mobile technologies, Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) which is basically picture SMS, became more popular. E-cards can now be sent to mobile devices and phones. Mobile e-cards or ‘MCards’ as they are more commonly known are then offered by different mobile content providers and carriers. Similar to e-cards, mCards can contain multiple pictures, music and text messages.
One of the first companies that created MCards is a Dutch Company called Mgreetings (established in 2003). MCards can be sent from a PC in a similar way as sending ecards. Users can go to a website online, select a card enter the recipient’s mobile number, and that card will be sent to the recipient’s mobile phone as an MMS.
Web based multi-media ecards
The web-based card creation has been evolving becoming more creative. The user can create greeting cards online choosing backgrounds, drag and drop images, animations, smileys and write text that look like handwriting. The ecard may contain videos and music as well. ZGreets.comis a website that was released in 2007 that allows user to create ecards online that can contain multiple media. It is also observed that some animation features are implemented, without making use of Flash.
10 CREATIVE WAYS TO USE E-CARDS
Ecards were once only sent for fun and as special greeting cards, but now online users are finding many creative ways to maximize the benefits of ecards. Ecards are practical, easy to send, and even free or very low priced. So what exactly are ecards? Ecard is another word for “electronic card” and describes any digital postcard or greeting card that is sent by e-mail.
While many e-card services are free, some providers offer custom e-cards for a small fee. Both free e-cards and paid e-cards are created online using sophisticated, interactive graphic software. Let’s explore 10 creative ways to use e-cards.
1. E-card Memos for Companies
Companies once delivered memos in print or by fax, but today many are turning to the use of e-mail, especially those with an intranet system in place. Employees each have their own company e-mail. E-cards can be used to send out creative memos to employees. These creative ecard memos can boost morale, remind employees of an event, instruct employees on a daily task, or even give praise for a job well done. The good news is employers can customize the ecards and send them to all employees at once or to only a select few.
2. Birthday E-cards
Birthday e-cards are great for sharing a surprise “Happy Birthday” message to your friend or loved one. You can create a custom e-card for their birthday based on their personality and you can even set the date for the e-card to be sent on their birthday in advance so you won’t forget! Birthday e-card messages can be personal, humorous, lovely, or romantic. They can even play music.
3. E-cards for Weddings and Anniversaries
For weddings and anniversaries, there are a number of e-cards to fit your style. These can be sent on the wedding day to the bride or groom as a relaxing gesture. They can be customized with unique themes to reflect the type of relationship enjoyed by the couple. Anniversary ecards can be customized with the date of the wedding and number of years married.
4. E-cards for Holidays
Holiday e-cards can be customized with themes for Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Halloween, and so forth. You can find musical ecards that play Christmas songs or romantic Valentine’s Day themes. For Halloween, send a spooky one! For Thanksgiving Day, send a “thankful” ecard with fall colors, pilgrims, turkeys, or harvest themes.
5. Mother’s or Father’s Day E-cards
For Mother’s and Father’s Day, customize e-cards with your own photos. You can also create e-cards with your own special designs. If you sign on for paid e-card services, your recipient will be able to print the card as a keepsake. If you have kids, get them involved in creating these special keepsake ecards.
6. E-cards for Kids
With adult supervision, kids can create e-cards of their own with puzzles, special effects, images, and photos. They can send these to their grandparents or other relatives, or even to their friends. Puzzle ecards are usually included in paid packages, but there are also many special effects and images to choose from with free e-card services.
7. Invitational E-cards
E-cards can also be used in place of mailed invitation cards. You can send printable e-cards to invite friends and loved ones to birthday parties, holiday parties, weddings, company parties, summer grill-outs, and other special functions. They’re much cheaper than mailing out invitations, and you can always mail a few to those who don’t use e-mail.
8. Friendship E-cards
Send an e-card just to say a quick “hello” to your friends. You can send notes of encouragement, funny ecards, and a variety of themed e-cards to let them know you’re thinking of them. Some of the themes to choose from include animals, congratulations, friendship, missing you, love, flowers, cute animations, destinations, landscapes, and many others.
9. Note of Thanks by E-card
E-cards can also be used to send a note of thanks to friends or loved ones. Perhaps you received a gift and want to return thanks. You can also create e-cards as a “thank you” note to clients if you own an Internet business or a business with e-mail contacts.
10. New Baby E-cards
E-cards also come with great themes for new babies. Send a boy or girl themed e-card or unique themes such as animals with their younglings or storks carrying a baby. You can write a message of congratulations to the new mother and customize the card with love.
With e-cards, you can send messages quickly through e-mail for almost any occasion. Best of all, you’ll save time and money. You won’t have to spend countless hours writing out cards and envelopes. You won’t have to pay for postage, and you’ll avoid numerous trips to the post office! Free e-cards and paid services are definitely worthwhile for greeting cards, messages, memos, and more!
An e-card is similar to a postcard or greeting card, with the primary difference being that it is created using digital media instead of paper or other traditional materials. E-cards are made available by publishers usually on various Internet sites, where they can be sent to a recipient, usually via e-mail. It also considered more environment friendly compared to traditional paper cards. E-card businesses are considered environmentally friendly because their carbon footprint is generally much lower compared to paper card companies and because paper is not used in the end product