Have you ever noticed people’s pictures or logos beside their comments in a blog or on a social networking site and wondered how they do that without registering with every single site you see them on? The sites you see these on quite possibly support the use of Gravatars.
It is quite easy to create a gravatar of your own. All you need is an email address and an image.
What is a Gravatar?
You will have seen avatars on forums if you have visited them for example. Well, Gravatars are the same as avatars only you can use them globally.
Gravatars are images associated with an email address the commenter. The person registers an email address they own at Gravatar.com and uploaded a picture or logo to be associated with that email address.
Once you have registered, whenever you leave a comment on a site that supports Gravatars and use the email address associated with your Gravatar registration your image will appear beside your name. Pretty cool!
Why Would I Want to Create a Gravatar?
When working on building a reputation for yourself or your business one of the ways to get remembered is by an image associated with you (besides your name and/or business name). Just like the well-known brands. You recognize their logo and therefore know the product, brand and/or company. With the evolution of social networking you also see these images on Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites besides the old faithfuls like forums.
It’s all about getting known in the big Internet world.
Once you have setup your Gravatar each time you leave a comment somewhere and they ask for your email address (like a blog), use the email associated with your Gravatar. Each time someone sees your comment complete with your Gravatar they will become to know you. When you are making valuable contributions to the discussion it will add to your overall branding and reputation. People will remember your Gravatar (if not your actual name).
How to Create a Gravatar
Creating a Gravatar is pretty easy. You will need:
- An image. One you want associated with you personally, with your blog or business.
You can use an image uploaded from your computer, located somewhere online or take a picture with your web cam.
Hint: Pick or create something that fits in a square. There is an option to crop the image as you upload it but if your image is rectangular you may have to crop something important off.
- An email address. This is an email address that you will actually check.
A confirmation will be sent to this email address when you signup for Gravatar. Also, if the site has a “email me when there is a reply” feature you will get a notice when someone comments after you. Part of blog commenting is joining the conversation, not just posting a comment for the link back (if they provide this). (smiles)
To get started creating your Gravatar go to gravatar.com’s signup page.
- Enter the email address you want associated with your Gravatar. Remember to use one you check regularly so you don’t miss your confirmation notice and any comments on the site after yours.
Hint: An email address at your domain name would give a more professional appearance to the site owner moderating the comments.
- Click the Signup button below the box where you entered your email address.
There is a note on the page a confirmation email will be sent so you can set your password
- Check the email address you just used for your confirmation email.
Click the link in the confirmation email to be taken back to the Gravatar site.
- Once you are back at the Gravatar site you will be asked to provide a user name.
Enter your chosen user name. As noted on the page, use a user name that people would recognize as this will be part of your user profile address on the Gravatar site. This is a permanent user name.
- Check the user name is available using the Check button to the right of the box where you entered your user name.
If it is not in use you can continue.
- Enter a password.
- Reenter your password in the next box.
- When done, click the Signup button at the bottom.
You will be taken to the Manage Gravatar screen. If this is the first Gravatar using this user name you will see “Whoops, looks like you don’t have any images yet!”. Click the link to the right of that message to add your image.
- The next step is to choose where you want to get the image from.
- Your computer
- An image somewhere on the internet.
- The webcam attached to your computer.
- A previously uploaded image option is available but if this is your first Gravatar you of course don’t have an image uploaded yet.
Gravatar will automatically resize images that are too big.
Click which ever option you would like to use.
- Crop your image as necessary. Click Crop and Finish to continue.
- Next screen you will be asked to rate your Gravatar. The ratings are just like movies, G, PG, R and X.
Click the appropriate rating for your Gravatar.
- You are taken back to the Manage Gravatar screen. You are done!
With your Gravatar you get a profile page. Next we’ll set that up.
Set Up Gravatar Profile
When you signup for Gravatar you get a profile page. On this page you can add information about yourself.
- At the top of the screen when you are logged into Gravatar is a link My Account. Clicking it exposes a dropdown menu.
Select Edit My Profile from the dropdown menu.
- On the Edit My Public Profile page you are taken to is where you can provide any public information you wish to share:
- Your First and Last Name is available publically but not displayed on your profile page.
- Display name – displayed on your profile
- About Me
Click Save Profile at the bottom before checking out the other options on the left if you filled these in.
- Over on the left are links to other types of information you would like to add to your Gravatar profile:
- Image you wish to share.
- Contact Information like email, instant messenger ids and phone numbers.
- Verified Services – other sites where you have a presence and would like to associate with your profile.
If you select one of these to add you may have to authorize Gravatar’s application access. e.g. Twitter
- My Links – add your website links.
- Custom background – customize the background of your Gravatar profile with an image and/or a custom colours.
With your options set, view your Gravatar public profile.
View Gravatar Public Profile
While on the Edit Public Profile page,
- There is a link on the right across from the Edit My Public Profile heading, click it to view your public profile.
- If everything looks ok, you are done.
If not, go back to the Edit Public Profile page and make changes.
- While on your Gravatar public profile page, make a note of the url.
Look at the address bar of your browser.
Bookmark the page if you like.
There is also a link at the bottom of the page for your profile.
Using Your Gravatar
Now that you have created a Gravatar, each time you make a comment somewhere use this email address when asked. If the site supports Gravatars then yours will appear next to your comment.
As pointed out previously, using a Gravatar whenever possible is a great way to create your branding and otherwise build recognition for your blog or business. Use it when ever you can on the net. The more times people see it, the more reputation you build for yourself. What are you waiting for? Create a gravatar today!
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