As we are approaching Christmas most of you are probably quite busy with preparing presents for your family, shopping and planning your next few weeks. It is also the right time to think about Christmas cards! In this post we are featuring our top tips on how the social web can save you time but also create nice, seasonal memories for you and your family.
It’s a busy time, we know. As we are all starting to plan our Christmas we would like to help you a little bit. The beauty of the social web means that with a little bit of creativity you can use free online and mobile tools to create pretty seasonal cards for your family and friends. Here are our favourites this year!
1. ElfYourself.com (http://www.elfyourself.com/)
This website was very popular last year and this year comes back with online version but also a mobile app. All you need to do is upload few photos of your family members or friends (from your webcam, desktop or Facebook), add your message, choose a theme and send it off! All the hard work is done by virtual elves. Try it out! You will certainly put a smile on the recipient’s face!
2. Paperless Post (https://www.paperlesspost.com/lp/christmas-cards)
This online tool is very elegant and comes with a nice set of templates for free but also rather cheap credits to make your virtual cards look amazing! We like it not only because it reminds us of the traditional post but mainly because it allows tracking of sent out messages, nice management of contact lists and – if you wish to use it for events – good integration with calendars too. It’s a great tool for personal use but also for small businesses!
3. Instagram (http://instagram.com/)
If you are very busy and want to send the message to all your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other main social channels why not use Instagram? It’s great for all types of visual messages! You can use a static image, slideshow (note: you need additional aps like Flipagram to do so) or a video. Instagram Christmas cards can be very creative too!
4. Vine (https://vine.co/)
Vine is just as good as Instagram, especially if you want to be creative! It’s great for stop motion animations which can be a great tool for any drawing, doodle or simple written message combined with images.
5. Animoto (http://animoto.com/)
If you would like to embed the video on the link above, simply paste the embed code below.
<iframe id="vp1LWyw1" title="Video Player" width="432" height="243" frameborder="0" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/embed.animoto.com/play.html?w=swf/production/vp1&e=1386074882&f=LWyw1qZQqfYkZOjUCzz0hQ&d=0&m=b&r=360p&volume=100&start_res=360p&i=m&asset_domain=s3-p.animoto.com&animoto_domain=animoto.com&options=" allowfullscreen></iframe><p><a href="http://animoto.com/play/LWyw1qZQqfYkZOjUCzz0hQ">Happy Holidays 2012!</a></p>
Animoto is probably less popular than the previous two apps but it does come with lovely seasonal themes for photo slideshows combined into videos. Just register, choose your theme, add your photos, text and choose seasonal music. The result can be emailed, shared and embedded in any other website too.
The social web allows us to benefit from a range of free tools. Christmas is the time when we connect with our family and friends so it’s great to be able to do so through multiple channels and various types of content. We hope you will find our favourites useful and if you have any other useful tips, please share them in our comments section! Happy preparations for Christmas!