Maybe it’s just my internet habits that have changed, but it seems that well-wishing MySpace wall posts, Facebook gifts, and regular old e-mails have supplanted the once ubiquitous phenomenon of electronic greeting cards…at least amongst the web’s cool crowd. My parents occasionally send me things like bee-boppin’ penguins wishing me happy birthday, but the genre seems to have lost some relevance among those who are more connected.
In the past couple years, however, there have been some notable exceptions that have made e-mail greeting cards once again funny and cool. CareerBuilder’s Monk-e-Mail uses talking monkeys, accents, and personal messages to great comedic effect. JibJab’s pay-for Sendables are appropriately branded as “greetings that don’t suck.” GBEHH has messages that are full of offensive, NSFW fun. And someecards combines seemingly innocuous Rockwellian sketches with brutal honesty for some precarious and hilarious results.
You can now add Carded.tv to the list.
The site was created by Matt Semel, Lee Semel, and Chris Chang who, with their powers combined, are the web video production company 10ton. It officially launched today, offering live-action, video greetings featuring an ensemble cast of characters for “life’s other occasions.” ###
According to the site, the creators’ friends were “losing their virginity by the dozens and getting divorced in droves,” and no appropriate e-cards existed to celebrate such events. Creating their own customizable, personalizable, sendable videos seemed like the only logical solution.
The 45 or so vids currently available touch on topics including a fighting couple that settles a domestic dispute with lightsabers and carnal romance, low job expectations after graduating from college, and moving out after breaking up.
You’ll also see many of the same characters pop up in similar situations, weaving some semblance of a storyline throughout the greetings. Chris (whose excited voice you’ll hear at the beginning of each greeting) told me over e-mail, “I think you really start to root for the characters. This makes our cards very different from Sendables or someecards. See our goal is to make Carded more of a community.”
In terms of building the community, users can currently submit their videos to the site, but Chris and the rest of 10ton hope to create a sort of Threadless-like edited and curated submissions process, where the site’s staff and users determine which greetings make the grade.
A little outside help could spice things up a bit. Many of the videos occupy a space just a touch too short of absurdity to make them memorable, however, there are a few that are unexpectedly fantastic. A favorite of mine (and Chris’) is Wish I’d Gone to Prom with You followed by I Don’t Know Many People…. Chris also points out that Drunk and Thinking of You might win out in terms of sendability, and is also possibly funnier and less self-effacing than a drunk e-mail or text message.
Subscribe to find out when new videos are available with which to assail your current, future, and former lovers and friends, and if there’s nothing that fits the occasion, do what 10ton did. Create your own.