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Instead of a Stamp, Just Hit 'Send'

E-cards or cybercards are greeting cards you send without lifting a pen. You can't stick them on the fridge or set them on the mantel. But they are yet another way to keep in touch.

As a kind of cross between e-mail and computer eye candy, cybercards are becoming popular as more people get on the Net. Sites offer card services that range from pre-made sentiments and graphics to programs that let you design your own. Some are sent directly to an e-mail account, others involve notification that a card is waiting on a server to be retrieved.

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Some sites offer e-card services for free, others charge (on credit card) - usually about $1.95. (Cybercards that you pay for generally have added value in whiz-bang visuals. But be prepared for long download time.)

Joyce Seid sends about a half-dozen paper cards a month, but she also exchanges e-cards. She frequently goes online to various greeting-card sites to see what's new. One of her favorite stops is sponsored by Hallmark. "Funny But No" offers card sayings that were rejected for Hallmark's Shoebox line of alternative cards: www.shoebox.com/funny/funny.asp

WEB SITES

Cyber Cards On-Line

www.ccol.com/

Cyber Greetings

www.cybergreetings.com/

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KidsCards at Creative Kids:

//cards.creativekids.com/

Hitchhiker's Electronic Greeting Cards Center:

192.41.14.150/cards/index.shtml

Blue Mountain Arts

www.bluemountain.com

Hallmark

www.hallmarkconnections.com

American Greetings

www.americangreetings.com