Today’s Lesson is on Avatars (Profile Pictures)
Welcome one and all, today’s lesson is about avatars.
First of all, do any of you know how the history of the avatar came into being?
I’m not talking about the movie like the pic on the left, but the computer images we now see on profiles.
Now Means —-> (no?) (yes!) —->
It’s quite an interesting history and one I would highly recommend you read:
“The use of the term avatar for the on-screen representation of the user was coined in 1985 by Chip Morningstar and Joseph Romero in designing LucasFilm’s online role-playing game Habitat.” Taken from Wikipedia/Avatar.
As you all know avatars, or as some would say “buddy icons”, ” gravatars” or “profile images” are very popular no matter where you go on the net and yet many people do not use them, or worse do not put any thought into their “public” appearance.
Let’s discuss a few reasons why having an avatar or profile image is important:
- When joining any community, having your own avatar is a way of introducing yourself to others as well as a way for people to recognize YOU when you join in discussions.
- Having your own profile picture or avatar, will make any comment you make on a blog stand out. Human nature being what it is, people relate to putting a face to a name and people will respond more easily to what you have to say.
- Maybe the most important reason to have your own avatar is to help you build awareness, brand recognition and do what we all want and need to do - build relationships.
Up to now I have been using the word “avatar” or profile picture, but if you had noticed I highlighted a word that I want to introduce you to — “Gravatar”. Gravatar is short for “Globally Recognized Avatar”. It is a hosted avatar service for profile pictures and it is recognized as well as suggested by BlogBloke to be used when commenting on his blog.
This is a great “tool” for anyone who is serious about building their relationships with other bloggers or social networking for the simple reason that once you set up your avatar (profile picture) it will follow you throughout the entire web which makes it the best “follower” you will ever have.
There has been a growing debate of late with the new social network Google+ regarding being “real” and while there is a growing concern amongst many people about the usage of birth names versus recognized names, at this time the debate about profile pictures is a bit of a question mark, at least to some people.
Regardless of what image you decide to use, I’m inclined to say that the more memorable and unique you can make your avatar the better. Keep in mind that avatars are very small, so use contrast effectively and a high quality image. If you use an image of yourself, you can still be creative and do a lot (if you know how) with editing and color manipulation. There are many online tools you can find that work very well and are easy to use to help you be creative with any image you choose to use.
1. When you talk to others, do you explain or tell an interesting story related to the avatar you use?
2. Do you use one avatar or do you use different ones for different social networks?
3. What do you think of blog comments that have no avatar?
When you leave class today give these questions some thought, and as always if you have any questions or different points of view I would like to hear them.
Class dismissed. Any questions?
..edited by Blog Bloke