Avatars and Gravatars

Avatars are little digital pieces of you. A lot of blogs and forum-esque sites allow you to represent yourself with a small picture or symbol. Whatever you choose, it typically appears next to every comment you make on that particular site. Avatars are usually square and range in size. Blogs sometimes provide a present list of avatars you can pick from, or you can upload one you made yourself. Choose wisely, and you can always change it when you get bored with it.

Gravatars, or globally recognized avatars, are in use on some blogs and forums. A gravatar is a small, square image that pops up when you comment on bogs enabled for gravatars. This means you sign up for an account on the gravatar website, enter your email address, and then upload an avatar you would like to associate with that email address. Once you have done that, when you comment using that email address on any site that is gravatar-enabled, your gravatar will appear next to your comment. You can even assign a different avatar to different email addresses in your gravatar account. It is a completely free service and much less of a hassle than changing your avatar on each and every site you visit. Keep in mind that it is seen wherever you comment that has gravatar enabled. If you are big on privacy, you can choose to use something other than a photo to represent who you are.

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