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The Secret of Making People Recognise You

I often get e-mails from users asking me how to change the grey box they see next to their name on forums, discussion groups, blog comments etc. (The ‘mystery man’ gravatar)

Traditionally this question was answered by uploading a proposed ‘avatar’ picture to the site in question. This has several short comings especially with the explosion of social networking and blogging. Uploading the same picture over and over becomes a pain, not to mention when changing it! Ouch! And because most times blog comments don’t require registration, how are users recognised?

‘Enter the Gravatar…’

the mystical beast of the web…Not really, in fact it’s pretty cool!

So, what is a Gravatar?

‘Globally Recognised Avatar’, in other words an image that follows you from site to site.
Whether you’re commenting on a blog, forum or using the myriad of social media that supports gravatar, next to your name will be your Globally Recognised Avatar, pulled in from the gravatar servers.

The truth is it’s effectively externalising your profile from the myriad of social media you have a presence on, making it easy to update and now providing you a consistent brand. If you want to be easily recognised on the web, want to build a brand, then you should use a gravatar.

How to Get a Gravatar?

It’s easy and it’s free.
Head over to Gravatars’ signup page where you provide the e-mail address you most often use for blog comments, social media etc.

Upload your favourite avatar, for example; picture of yourself or company logo. Add a few sentences ‘about you’ and you’re done!
It’s that easy, the next time you post comments using that e-mail address, the grey ‘mystery man’ will have disappeared, replaced with your nice new gravatar!

If you’re building a web site, it’s now easy to support gravatar, plugins are available that make it a doddle. Most WordPress themes support gravatar out the box.

I hope this post helps to share the secrets of making people recognise you, if you have a cool gravatar already leave a comment below so all at the Den can recognise you.

in Blog from the Den

About the author: Bruce is a techie, a gadget geek, programmer, mentor and all round technology nut. He holds two degrees in computer science, with over 25 years in the software business. Currently working freelance as a software engineer and programming mentor. He loves what technology can do for us. Building applications using functional, Object Orientated languages & polyglot persistence helps him reconnect with the feeling of building something tangible. To learn more about Bruce, follow him on Twitter @denofprogram

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