People, Get a Gravatar!
It’s 2011, If you don’t have it yet - Get It!
Seriously now, I been blogging for almost two years now and commenting on other blogs even longer than that and it amazes me how many people still show up as the usual gray blob or some other pre-selected default secret service shadow profile or even worse - a manga cartoon (what’s up with that really!).
I urge you all to think about your online presence as an online brand and build it accordingly. It doesn’t matter if you make a living out of it directly… it just makes sense and make it easy for everybody to recognize you online.
Just think about the many services you probably use and show up on already - Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Linkedin, Google+, YouTube, Vimeo, Yelp, Forums, Blog Commenting, StumbleUpon, Digg, Klout, Foursquare, etc…
Being recognized = Being Listened Too!
Gravatar is your Globally Recognized Avatar. This service is provided by AUTOMATIC, the maker of WordPress among many other good things (some of which I’ll write about later on).
Here’s how they define it on the Gravatar website:
Your Gravatar is an image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog. Avatars help identify your posts on blogs and web forums, so why not on any site?
You signup once, Upload a picture, Attach it to an email, Add links to your favorite web services, Write a one liner about who you are and what you do… And from then on every time you use that email on blogs, websites and the many services supporting it, your profile or avatar comes along for the ride!
And it’s not just a picture. Hovering over it people can get to see the information you added on your Gravatar profile page - Who you are and what you do, as well as allowing them to visit your other online presence spots such as your own blog, twitter, flickr, YouTube and more.
Let me point out why you want to use it.
- Saves you time with logging to comment on blogs and websites.
- It helps you be more recognized (Online Brand, Remember?).
- People are more keen to read your comments if you have one.
- It will increase traffic to your own site.
- It helps in developing your authority.
You can have your own Gravatar in minutes, just provide the email address you usually comment with.
So what picture should you choose?
I think there are only two options:
- Your real face picture
- Your brand logo
I use my own face profile picture and would suggest all to use a face picture too. Using a logo to represent you can be an option in some cases, but the most important thing is to be consistent.
I’ve recently experimented with combining the two options. My profile face picture was the one I used as an avatar from the get go (starting at 2002 I think, even before Gravatar was launched) and it later turned on to be my blogs logo. Now, I have several versions of it dedicate to online services I participate in.
So get your own Gravatar TODAY!