- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 24, 2007

ach week, the Browser features some pop-culture places on the World Wide Web offering the coolest in free interactive sounds and action.

Flipped females

A new site hoping to capture the attention of teen girls offers members a social cyber-stop and slick way to express themselves.

Besides the standard message boards, clubs, comment posts and friends lists, CondeNet’s Flip (www.flip.com) features tools to create a multimedia scrapbook, called a Flipbook, available to those who register.

Artists can upload photos, videos and music (files can’t exceed 100 megabytes) or incorporate Flip’s collection of animation, music, stickers and wallpaper into a drag-and-drop interface, quickly developing multipage virtual books.

Robust layout options include the ability to draw pictures, multiple fonts for text, opacity for elements, color choices for text and backgrounds, frames, rotation, sizing and cropping of art, and a choice of page transitions (such as wipes, dissolves and fades) to develop up to a 250-page Flipbook.

Those not in the mood to create can just upload their media, select templates and let the Flipbook software generate a design.

Finished masterpieces can be uploaded, via code, to another community-type site, such as MySpace, e-mailed to a friend or just posted on Flip.

Staff at the site also use the Flipbook software to deliver editorial layouts on entertainment and style trends to provide what amounts to an interactive minimagazine for visitors.

A variety of diverse books will greet visitors, such as one with a global warming theme (www.flip.com/people/ flipbooks/71088), the chronicle of a 15-year-old girl’s life in Iraq (www.flip.com/ people/flipbooks/ 66011) and the views and dreams of a typical teen called Bright Eyes Landlocked Blues (www.flip.com/ people/flipbooks/ 6918). Visitors do not have to become members to view the books.)

Note: Flipbooks require the Flash 9 plug-in to create and view.

Nancy Drew Online

The famed female sleuth is in theaters, ready to investigate another mystery in Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Nancy Drew.” The film’s official Web site (http://nancy drewmovie.warnerbros.com/) offers a pair of activities for fans to enjoy her exciting lifestyle.

First, click on the pink cell phone to create a personalized phone message from the actress who plays Nancy, Emma Roberts, to send to a friend. Visitors answer 12 questions about the person to whom they want to send the recording, and after about 30 seconds, the recipient receives a 45-second message that, of course, also plugs the movie.

Next, visitors can help Nancy solve a murder when they enter the dilapidated Draycott Mansion and click around five places on its first floor to discover a secret room.

They also can access a map diagram to quickly navigate the house as they find and drag clues into their notebooks, such as one of Nancy’s lemon cookies to feed the butler, and get information or a candlestick to light up a fireplace.

Visitors who accomplish the mission can print out a personalized certificate that makes them official Nancy Drew detectives.

The simulation won’t be confused with an online version of Myst, but it does mix photo-realistic imagery with a quick-to-solve challenge.

Also available on the site, some video snippets offer a look at Nancy Drew’s detective kit as well as Miss Roberts’ devotion to her IPod.

PC players looking for more intense adventures should stop by Her Interactive’s Nancy Drew game site (www.her interactive.com) to download demo versions of current releases as well as play some minichallenges, all based on Nancy’s popular book series.

Have a cool site for the online multimedia masses? Write to Joseph Szadkowski at the Browser, The Washington Times, 3600 New York Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20002; call 202/636-3016; or send e-mail (jszadkowski@ washingtontimes.com).

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