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Page last updated at 15:47 GMT, Friday, 21 November 2008

Webscape

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 with Kate Russell

COMICBRUSH (www.comicbrush.com)

www.comicbrush.com

Are you the kind of person who picks up a newspaper and turns to the comic strip section first?

Well you might be interested to know the internet is the new favourite hangout of the cartoon maker. And now you can join them at comicbrush.com

On this site even those of us with the most rudimentary artistic skills can be a comic strip maker. The simple form-based operation gives you whatever level of control you want when making a comic.

First you need to get some images to work with. The site is not too clear about the artpacks, but you have to download them from the store. It is 600 points for a pack - and the website starts you off with 1,000 points for free.

After that you will have to pay for more images, unless of course you want to upload your own photos. You can use the e-mail or Facebook features to share your interpretation of an event with your friends and family. This is a very nice site that will only get better as more content is added.

NING (www.ning.com)

www.ning.com

Social networking sites are all the rage these days. But what happens if you cannot find a network you want to be social with? Well make your own of course.

Whatever your interest area, Ning makes it so simple to start up a group, you will be wondering why you did not do it sooner. Just pick a name and relevant address, and you can step through the simple process in a matter of minutes.

Add a section for pictures, videos, a forum and even a blog spot so your community can keep in touch. I like the picture uploader applet, because it makes bulk uploads very easy indeed. It runs on java though, so just click to use the simple uploader if you are not happy running that application.

Now all you need is a community to fill your network. Send out invites to anyone you think will be interested. And do not forget to do a good thorough job with your meta tags, if you are expecting people you do not know to find the network and sign up.

SESAME STREET (www.sesamestreet.org)

www.sesamestreet.org

It has been a little while since we included anything for our younger viewers. So time to boot the parents off the PC and get ready for some fun and games at sesamestreet.org.

I remember this TV show from when I was growing up. It has been running for such a long time - and yet it still looks just the same - if only that were true of its viewers.

This site totally lives up to its TV parent, and is even better, as you can control and customise the games and videos you watch. To do this, use the really neat playlists function.

All the old favourites are on the site, including Elmo the cookie monster and Oscar the grouch. If your child has a favourite, click the muppets button to build a playlist based just on that character.

Parents should keep and eye on the note pinned to the right of the screening area. There are some nice little tips for you to help extend the educational aspects of the content.

GOGGLE MAIL (http://mail.google.com)

Gmail

We covered Gmail more than two years ago, but I have just discovered the Labs feature with a brilliant new addition that could save a lot of embarrassment.

Log in to your Gmail account and click to go into settings, then choose the tab labelled Labs. This page holds a whole list of cool little widgets and gadgets to help your customise and control the mail client.

I love Email Addict - it enforces a 15 minute break from your PC every now and then. But it is Mail Goggles that really tickled me.

Ever had one of those mornings and thought to yourself "why did I send that embarrassing e-mail to my boss, or boyfriend, or ex last night?"

Well with Mail Goggles activated, on particular days of the week set by you, you will have 60 seconds to answer a few simple maths problems before you can hit send.

This is just to make sure your mind is fully fit and awake. Fail and the client will advise you to drink some water and go to bed - brilliant.



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