What’s a Gravatar?
Well this is what they say on www.gravatar.com:
A Globally Recognized Avatar
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 may have noticed on blog sites forums etc that many users have a small image (usually of themselves but not necessarily) next to any posts or comments they make whereas many other users just have a default grey image or similar.
Well the users with an image haven’t done anything different on that particular site. They have once set up an account on the Gravatar site and that’s it.
Your image is related to your email address so anywhere you go on the Internet and post, comment, write etc and submit your email address as part of the process, your image will automatically get included.
When writing on forums or engaging with other members of a particular community, it’s all about relationship building (just like real life) so any extra that makes you more real, tangible or easier to relate to is only going to work in your favour.
And because it’s online and you can choose the image there is some scope for artistic licence.
If you aren’t that photogenic or are a bit older, greyer or more rotund than you would like to be (as opposed to being too young, thin or beautiful…) then that image taken by a professional photographer at your sister’s wedding or a web generated caricature (more about them in another post) could be just the ticket.
In summation, if you want to be heard, then you should be prepared to be seen. People are more likely to remember you from your image than from your username.