Your global avatar with GravatarFabian Piau | Tuesday January 3rd, 2012 - 04:36 PM
First article in 2012, a good opportunity to wish you a happy new year ! Obviously, consider this only if we still are in January 2012 when you are reading these lines…
Several people have asked me how do I change my avatar, the one that appears when I comment on blogs like this one.
Here is the magic recipe, ready in few minutes :
- Create your Gravatar account (A Globally Recognized Avatar)
- Register your email address
- Upload your avatar and that’s it !
So easy that we should have thought of this ! How does it work ? Most of the time, when you comment on a blog post, your email address is required. Why ? To ensure that you are not a bot ? To send you tons of spam ? Or both ? At the end, we are tempted to put a fake email… But what you don’t know is that your email address is used to match your Gravatar…
You can add multiple email addresses to your Gravatar account with a specific matching image for each or only one for all, you can configure it. The good new when you activate your Gravatar is that it applies retroactively to old comments (if the email address you gave has been registered).
No frills, managing your account is easy, Gravatar is very simple to use and that’s what we want. What about any advanced features ? Gravatar allows users to self-rate their avatars so that they can indicate if an image is appropriate for a certain audience, like in movies (any audience, explicit content, etc.). You choose the rating of your avatar but the maximum allowed rating is set by the administrator of the site.
Famous blogging and forum software support Gravatar but keep in mind that some sites don’t. The official documentation explains how to implement the Gravatar management API on your own site.
Recently, Gravatar has released the “Hovercard” feature, an advanced tooltip containing your public profile. Very useful to find out about who is behind your comments simply by moving your mouse over their Gravatar. All blogs do not yet support Hovercards (only WordPress at the moment).
Finally, there is only one disadvantage : from now on, you can not post silly comments anonymously…