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Get yourself a Gravatar!

January 5th, 2010 Fred Leave a comment Go to comments

A what?  A Gravatar – or Globally Recognizable Avatar.

Ever noticed the little photos next to people’s comments in blogs and other online postings?  Similar to the photo that you use in your Facebook account?  These are called avatars – some iconic representation of your online identity.

So what is a Gravatar?  The clever guys at the Gravatar website created a service where you can upload a picture (or multiple pictures) that serve as your avatar.  The avatar is associated with your e-mail address.  So, rather than uploading an avatar to every blog where you make a comment, the blog can simply ask the Gravatar website for the picture associated with the e-mail address (which presumably the blog will have, since you will probably have subscribed to it using your e-mail address).

So basically this enables your picture to be displayed with all your online comments across multiple websites – no need to upload your picture multiple times.  Nifty!

Of course, the blogging software used will need to be Gravatar enabled.  But it seems that most proper blogging systems, including WordPress ( which I use for this website), automatically queries Gravatar for user avatars.  In fact, initially I couldn’t figure out how to upload my own avatar to my website, until I realized that Gravatar is automatically referenced.

What a cool online service.  It just shows you, there is still room for innovation!  (I am probably behind the time – being new to the whole blogging scene – but I am truly impressed, thinking to myself, “hmm, why didn’t I think of that?”)

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  1. Paul
    January 10th, 2010 at 19:55 | #1

    Interesting, but your gravitar does not seem to work in Blogger, where your profile pic is blank…

  2. Fred
    January 14th, 2010 at 13:11 | #2

    Hi Paul

    Unfortunately Blogger doesn’t support Gravatars (yet). But it is supported by many other sites, such as WordPress, CPAN, Stack Overflow, Ohloh, OSNews, Wakoopa, GitHub, FAIL Blog and others.

    So as you know Blogger is controlled by Google. And I love Google, but… To have a Blogger account, or to comment on a Blogger blog, it seems that you need a Google Account to log in. I guess they would prefer to have the image associated with a Google Account, in that way they have even more information to control.

    So I guess I will have to upload my image to my Google Account after all….

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