Wednesday, December 17, 2008

When You Can't Get Together For The Holidays

You think it's easy getting together for the holidays, right?


For some, "step" is the optimal word.  Besides "real," "half," "adopted," there are more steps than the Empire State Building: Step-parents, step-siblings, step-children, step-grandparents, step-grandchildren, to name a few.  

Seeing all of them at one time of year often feels overwhelming if not impossible.

So how can you make this holiday season easier on everyone whose allegiances and distance separate them?

With Skype, you can talk with anyone, anywhere in 28 languages and if everyone is registered with Skype (it's free!!!!), then your calls cost bupkes (frei, libre, nothing).  Your calls originate and take place at your computer and you can chat with up to 100 people or conference call with up to 9 others.

Once you've mastered the simplicity of Skype, move on to free video conversations (you can even watch baby Levi or Ilana take their first steps!). In order to view your family and friends far away, however, you need to purchase a webcam.  Count on tech reviewer CNET to base their ratings on whatever your priority:  price, popularity, manufacturer, editors picks, user ratings, and product features.  Just make sure one of their recommendations  (at $52.76 after a $20. rebate) is compatible with your PC or Mac.   

Now is your opportunity to show off your creativity.  YouTube helps you make and broadcast videos around the world.  Go to CNET to compare camcorders but be aware that the costs widely vary. 

Who knows?  Maybe there's another Steven Spielberg budding inside one of you right now. (If so, don't forget to give me honorable mention in your credits!!!). 

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