Gravatars make it easy to share a personal photo when you're surfing the web. We're always looking for something, a recipe, an explanation of some new medication and of course, how big or how much it will cost to fix the the leaky roof.
We have our favorite websites, sometimes for the information and often for the people you meet by chatting via comments. When you decide to jump into the conversation and share your story it's scary the first time. If you tell people it's your first comment, they'll understand and offer encouragement as everyone started the same way. You realize after submitting your comment (learn how to submit a comment here at HomeTips4Women) that others have a cute little photo next to their comment. This article teaches you how to get your own personal “gravatar”. It's easy and free!
Avatars and Gravatars, What are They?
Avatars are small images, a real photo or graphical image, that people use on social websites like blogs, forums and most social media platforms, i.e. Facebook (shown at left) creates one for you based on your profile photo/graphic. They are a wonderful way to personalize your comments so people know a little more about the person behind the words.
While the big 3 social media sites (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) all provide tools within their sites to upload a photo, there are 1,000,000s of websites that simply don't have the financial muscle to do this individually.
Don't despair! There is a really cool concept called a “gravatar” or globally recognized avatar that you can create once … for free! It eliminates the need to upload your photo to all your favorite websites as most blogs blogs, forums, and other web services retrieve your avatar automatically based on the email address you give them.
Can you keep a secret? This website is built on WordPress, the most popular blogging software available today. There is very little difference between a website and a blog. Websites have what is known as a “static” or fixed content home page where you typically enter the site. Blogs have a constantly changing home page, with newly published articles at the top of the page. When WordPress is used for a website, the blog is usually another page on the site, and for HomeTips4Women, our blog is called the “library”.
Another way to distinguish between content on websites and blogs is how long the information is useful. Websites have information that should be valid for many years, and our articles with 600+ words offer information that will be valuable for many years, i.e. like the books in a library. Many blogs are more like magazines with shorter stories and the information, i.e. an event announcement, is only useful up to the day of the event.
Ready to Get Your Gravatar?
- Go to www.gravatar.com (click on the link, it's that simple) … and watch the short video in upper right corner (click on right facing triangle just like you would with a YouTube video).
- Gravatar will send you an email, “Welcome to Gravatar” and you simply click on the link provided to confirm that you've provided a real email address and you're a real person.
- All you need to do is select a gravatar name to associate with your email address, i.e. a username and password. Pick your name carefully as you can't change it (you can create another avatar but that will require a different email address). Choices are your full name for business owners/professionals (I use tinagleisner) or something more fun like tinaloves quilts?
- Click the signup button and you've got one step left, the most important step in the process.
- Next you need to click … “Add one by clicking here” and identify where your image will come from, your computer, the internet or a webcam (sorry, but I don't know anything about this).
- Gravatar has built in the tools to crop your photo but if you're not satisfied, you can first use Picnik (read Using Picnik for Photo Editing) to get the photo/graphic you want. Click on “Crop and Finish” and once you've indicated the rating for the graphic, i.e. G R, etc and confirmed that's the graphic to associate with your email, you are done!
- You can add more information to your Gravatar profile if you like – it's as easy as what we've already discussed.