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Ed's E-card Pet Peeves

So far I've made e-cards sound like the greatest thing since sliced bread. But be warned: it's sometimes difficult to avoid sappy images and equally sappy slogans or sentiments. Alas, since most e-cards are free and you get what you pay for; sometimes what you get ain't much.

Then, too, there's a distressing tendency for e-card designers to embed all kinds of unbelievably syrupy and repetitive melodies in their offerings. A bad synthesized version of "Happy Birthday" or "The Look of Love" is plenty bad enough heard once; heard 10 or more times while reading a greeting it's almost unbearable. I've learned to develop a quick hand with the mute button on my sound playback, rather than enduring such exquisite torture.

Don't forget that your recipient's Internet link speed may also influence the joy and verve with which they receive your greeting. If Uncle Bob has DSL, go ahead and send him a 1.5 MB animated graphic of St. Nick shaking the proverbial bowl of jelly; Aunt Hilda might not be so joyful if she has to sit and wait while her antique 14.4 Kbps modem slo-o-o-wly downloads those many bytes to her hard drive.

And for goodness' sake, try to mix things up a little bit. The convenience of dropping your entire family and friends e-mail distribution list into a single e-card and dispatching your holiday responsibilities with a single item may seem appealing, but those people do sometimes talk to one another and if they find out they all got the same card, they may gang up and send you 150 copies of the same e-card next year. Turnabout, after all, is fair play!

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