Gravatar Personalizes and Extends Branding To Your Comments

By Mike Maddaloni on Tuesday, October 06, 2009 at 01:41 PM with 4 comments

Gravatar logoHave you ever seen a blog post with comments and next to some of them are photos of people, presumably whoever posted the comment? But when you go ahead and post your own comments your picture or logo doesn’t appear? If you’ve wondered how to do this, you need to setup an account with Gravatar.

Gravatar is a portmanteau for “Globally Recognized Avatar” and is tied to an email address or account you use for posting comments or logging into a Web service. Where some blogs and services are closed systems and require you to set up your own profile and avatar, Gravatar allows you to set it up in one central place, and based on your email address or login, it will display the corresponding avatar. This allows you to manage your avatar in one place, which simplifies the process if you ever want to change it.

I setup Gravatar on The Hot Iron some time ago, but never promoted the fact I did so. I would say based on experience close to half of those who leave comments have established a Gravatar account. If someone posts a comment and does not have a Gravatar account, a default avatar is displayed. In the case of The Hot Iron, it is New Hampshire’s legendary Old Man of the Mountain.

When I originally created my Gravatar account, I used the Dunkirk Systems, LLC logo. However the more and more I observed Gravatars, I decided to use my new headshot photo, as shown in this screen grab from a comment on the blog Upgrade: Travel Better:

screen of Gravatar in action

Gravatar is a free service I have no direct connection with and they did not ask me to write about them. There is no charge for either creating an account or implementing their display on your blog or Web service, though for the latter you will likely need to develop code or use a plugin. I have simply been a happy user of the service, and once you try it you probably will be too.


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