It's approaching that time of year again. Soon we'll all be dusting off our Santa hats, and deciding whether to pay that little bit extra for a tree that promises not to drop any needles. That's right, Christmas is around the corner and whether you like it or not, there's no escape. Not even on the Web. You may be thinking that all the internet has to offer at Christmas are sites featuring flashing animations that probably looked dated in 1997, and endless lists teaching you how to say "Merry Christmas" in more languages that you even knew existed.
If this is where you stand, it's time to think again. These three sites will show you that Christmas on the web can be both fun and innovative.
Created by Office Max in 2005 as a viral marketing campaign, Elf Yourself allows the user to upload their own face, alongside faces of their family, friends, enemies or pets, and transform them into dancing Christmas Elves. No one is safe. These can then be sent to the unsuspecting victims free of charge as an e-card. Since its creation over 169 million elves have been created on the site, significantly reducing the productivity of offices around the world in the process.
North American Aerospace Defence Command or NORAD, as they're more commonly referred to, may have been tracking Santa since 1955, but this activity has been transformed into an online phenomenon in recent years. The website uses Google Earth to track Santa's journey around the world alongside other features, such as the "Santa Cam" video - which shows him flying over famous landmarks. Although the impatient among us will be disappointed, as the website does not get up and running until December 1st, it's well worth a visit in the lead up to Christmas. There may even be a few surprises in store come Christmas Eve, as in the past Celebrity commentary has been provided by Ringo Starr, Jonathan Ross and Aaron Carter.
UK Snow Maphttp://uksnowmap.com/
The brain child of Ben Marsh #UKSnow Map is a brilliantly innovative way to create a real time snow forecast in the United Kingdom. The site's application works by searching the social media platform for tweets that feature a UK postcode alongside the hashtag #uksnow. Users are also encouraged to rate the falling snow out of 10 to add extra detail to the map, as well as include images and details of the snow's depth. The concept is certainly an interesting alternative to the inaccurate weather forecasts of years gone by. All that's needed now to see the latest twitter revolution in action is some snow fall!
Hopefully these sites have shown there's more to Christmas on the web. Elves, Santa and Snow. What more could you want?