Your latest family video doesn't have to go viral to have a big impact. Taking candid photos and unscripted videos using a phone, tablet, notebook computer or the dedicated audio-video device of your choice is often easier than programming the defrost setting on your microwave. A long letter explaining how your brother managed to ride the lawnmower into the swimming pool just doesn't quite match the immediacy -- not to mention guilty hilarity -- of watching him sink like a stone in the shallow end on YouTube.
Multimedia technology has come a long way in a short time, and telephony services like Skype, card sites, online scrapbooking sites, and photo-sharing sites are making it easy to get in on the action. Whether you want to watch your sister's birthday celebration via webcam or just send an audio e-card, you can find any number of easy-to-follow tutorials for the cost of a five-minute browser search.