Page last updated at 09:53 GMT, Friday, 30 May 2008 10:53 UK


Kate Russell
By Kate Russell
Click Webscape-r

Kate Russell gives us her latest selection of the best sites on the World Wide Web.

Best of the web from Kate Russell

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Digital photography is great. Having folders and folders full of random pictures in no particular order is not so great. So why not create a digital scrapbook at RocketLife?

You will need to install the free application. It is only 1MB and you do it by clicking the green button to get started. Annoyingly it only works with Internet Explorer 6 or above, but it is only a new site so hopefully they will get their act together and launch it for other browsers soon.

Once installed you are ready to roll. Just click the Add My Photos button to load up some pictures. They recommend a folder containing at least 30-40 photos, but you can go up to the hundreds if you so desire. Now click the Customize tab and you can use the various tools to re-order your scrapbook, or just use the automatic design tool to let the software do the thinking for you.

Once you are done click the Preview tab on the left to review your album. You can now open this project at any time and enjoy flicking through it.

There is always the option of purchasing a physical copy from the website, but like so many great things on the web you only pay if you want to. You can just enjoy them in digital form if you prefer.

The only downside with this application is you cannot share your albums across the web, but it is a funky little tool none-the-less.

GIFWorks website
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Another great way of expressing your creativity online is through animated gifs. These are small graphic files often embedded in websites and such like. You can customise your own for free at

Click the Free online GIF tools link at the top to begin. It is a bit small but it opens a page outlining your options with a few tips to get started.

Click File and Open image to get started on your GIF, which you can pull from the web or your PC's hard drive. Remember kids, it has to be a GIF, either animated or not. There is also a link to the Animation Factory website here, where you will find oodles of royalty free images if you are stuck for some content to play around with.

Once you have uploaded your GIF you can perform a lot of standard editing features online, such as cropping, resizing, colourising and adding special effects. Pretty soon you will have a GIF that is perfect for the space you want to place it. Just click save and use one of the two options to store it on a remote FTP site or on your computer's hard drive.

One funky little feature I like is the ability to make your own animated text banners and buttons. Just choose New 3D Text under the File menu and then scroll through the options in the page that now opens to complete.

The Compulsive Tower website
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The site's mission statement reads "Travel video stories from 65 countries that inform, educate and entertain", and they certainly do that.

As well as being well filmed and edited they feature some really interesting content that sits somewhere between travelogue and historical or natural world documentary.

A featured country is displayed on the opening page, just click the arrow to play the top film and there are links to further films from that country laid out below.

Click People, Places or Categories to link to the various ways you can browse the site's content. Clicking All Videos at the top will bring up a huge page of thumbnails linking to every film in the archive. Now all you have to do is make a cup of tea and sit back and enjoy.

Travel without the jabs, long flights or airport delays. It is enough to make you compulsive about it.

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