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  •   Greeting Card Sites
    By Leslie Walker
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    March 26, 1999

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    All the major electronic greeting-card sites work the same way: You pick a card, type in your greeting, and your friend gets an e-mail with the particular Web address of the card you just "sent." It's handy for those overseas friends – or for ones closer to home whom you remember at the last moment.

    Blue Mountain Arts consistently ranks among the 25 busiest sites on the Web. The draw is thousands of free e-cards, including ones with music and animated images; it's one of the deepest selections around.

    A hipper version of Blue Mountain arts, egreetings is supported by advertising. Its thousands of cards are free, including those with sound and motion, as well as some that require the recipient to use Macromedia's Shockwave software. Egreetings cards feature well-known movie characters as well as original cartoons.

    Unlike most greeting-card sites, Regards allows you to substitute your own images for its own collection, either using an image already published on the Web or by uploading one from your hard drive. Regards also offers handy printing formats.

    This site sells "real" paper greeting cards, starting at a little more than a dollar each. It's worth the money, though, if you love to send cards but have trouble finding what you want. With three to five times the selection of most stores, Sparks will sign your card and mail it for a fee, and at no cost, e-mail reminders about special dates.

    The cards from 123greetings are free and paid for by sponsors, allowing you to pick and personalize greetings for more than 400 different occasions. Its selection isn't as deep as Blue Mountain's, but the simplicity of these cards can be charming.

    © Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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