When I started blogging last spring, everything was new to me. All the WordPress buttons, the spam, the comments, the whole “like” thing, awards, uploading photos, embedding videos, all of it. (and I’m still learning).
I had always been a blog reader, but a passive one. I wasn’t involved.
So when I jumped into the blog-o-sphere, there was a lot to learn.
And one of those things was the Gravatar.
A gravatar is a “globally recognized avatar“. (“An avatar is an electronic image that represents and is manipulated by a computer user” – Merriam-Webster). So in other words, a gravatar is a representation of you, as you comment or interact in other ways around the internet.
I had seen them as I wandered the internet in my pre-blogging days. I understood that they represented people. But I didn’t think much about them.
As I set up my blog, I realized that I should make one, and I did it quickly.
I thought (a little bit) about it. “Something that links me to my blog”, I thought. I looked through my photos and grabbed a cup of cappuccino. It was a stretch. But if I was sharing a chat with friends, in comfy chairs (sharechair, get it? ) we’d probably have a cup of something with us …..
That was all the thinking I did about it. Very little thinking. A minute, maybe. It was done, and I moved on.
Now, after months of blogging, I’m starting to think that a gravatar is really important.
I notice them. Do you? And if I see a friendly face, or a unique picture, I just might click on it and find an awesome blog that I would not have found, otherwise.
But that brings me to another question…. what is the best kind of gravatar?
Some people choose to use their pets as their image. Others use symbols. Flowers are popular. Cartoons are cute. Lots of people use their faces. (Or artistic pieces of their faces.)
What is best?
I must admit that the faces are awfully nice. I do feel a “connection” with those faces that I see everyday. They seem just a little more real than the symbols.
But I’m shy. So the thought of leaving my picture on blogs all over the internet makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. But yet I find those photo-gravatars pleasing. And a step more “real” than a symbol. And I’m real. I want my readers to know I’m real.
So I’m thinking of changing my gravatar. But to what? My adorable dog? A flower? A tech device? My (gasp) face? Or maybe I should just leave it alone. Who doesn’t enjoy a nice cup of cappuccino?
How did you make the decision?
Or … does it matter at all?