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E-card
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E-card is an electronic or , with the primary difference being that it is created using instead of paper or other traditional materials. E-cards are available in many different mediums, usually on various sites. They can be sent to a recipient virtually, usually via or an instant messaging service.

Since e-cards are "content", they are highly editable, allowing them to be extensively personalized by the sender. They are also capable of presenting animated GIFs or videos.


Technological evolution
Since its conception in 1994 by , the technology behind the E-card has changed significantly. One technical aspect that remained mostly constant until 2019 was 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 website that displays the sender's card.


History
The metaphor was employed early in the life of the World Wide Web. The first postcard site, The Electric Postcard was created in late 1994 by at the MIT Media Lab. It started slowly: 10-20 cards a day were sent in the first weeks, 1000-2000 a day over the first summer, and then it gained momentum rapidly. During the 1995-96 Christmas season, there were days when over 19,000 cards were sent; by late spring of 1996 over 1.7 million cards had been sent in total. The source code for this service was made publicly available, with the stipulation that users share improvements with each other. The Electric Postcard won numerous awards, including a 1995 GNN Best of the Net award. GNN 2nd annual best of the net , Partial list of references to The Electric Postcard

By mid-1996, a number of sites had developed E-cards. By mid-October 1996, directly emailable greeting cards and postcards ("Email Express") were developed and introduced by Awesome Cards, based on new capabilities introduced in the Netscape 3.0 browser. This is the first time the E-card itself could be emailed directly by the card sender to the recipient rather than having an announcement sent with a link to the card's location at the E-card site. E-cards Sent Directly Within Email Message, Email Express

Between Sep 1996 and Thanksgiving 1997, BlueMtn Ecards, BlueMtn 1st Archive a paper greeting card company named Blue Mountain developed E-cards on its website. Blue Mountain grew quickly by allowing visitors to create greetings for others to use. Blue Mountain further expanded when Microsoft promoted its service on its free Hotmail service. This affiliation ceased and Blue Mountain sued Microsoft in Nov 1998 for putting email card announcements from it and other E-card companies in the junk folder of its Hotmail users.


See also


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