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4 Reasons To Have A Gravatar

Posted by on Oct 15, 2010

Two years ago I wrote on this blog about how to get a gravatar. Now I’m going to give you 4 reasons why you should have a gravatar. But before I do, quickly let me tell you what a gravatar is. A gravatar is that image that you see next to some people’s comments or posts. That’s it; nothing overly difficult. And now, the why’s:

1. A gravatar lets people know who you are in some fashion. Whether you write posts on your own blog or post comments on other blogs, a gravatar will be associated with your email address, which is required for any blog you comment on, and of course when you set up your blog you probably set it up with a specific email address as well. The gravatar is set up with the email address, and thus people know it’s you. Yeah, at times it can be faked, but it’s rare.

2. You can use either a picture of yourself, your business logo, or anything else. Overall no one really cares, but of course there are reasons why you might want to select one thing or another. For instance, I use my image because I’m an independent consultant, and thus my face is kind of my brand as opposed to either logo I have on my two main business websites. Some people like to use logos for themselves instead, like Dennis, and I assume it’s because he’s trying to brand his internet businesses (that plus I keep assuming he’s funny looking; yeah, I’m ashamed of myself! lol). Others select something they like, such as animals or flowers or some other such thing, mainly because they’re not worried about doing anything in a business fashion online.

3. You can set up a different gravatar for every email you have if you’d like. I have 3 different blogs, so I have 3 different gravatars. If I advertised my businesses more often when I commented on blogs I’d probably have more gravatars. This could help folks decide if they want one gravatar for their business and one for their personal use.

4. You just seem more legitimate than you do without one. Remember what I was saying about URL’s? When people see your gravatar, and they’re used to you, they’re more comfortable with you and they know you’re legit and trustworthy. Having said that, Sire and I have learned that some scammers have learned how to scrape your identity, but it’s easy enough to know when you see something from someone you’re used to that just doesn’t look right. It definitely helps if you have a common name to separate you from someone else.

And there you are. You folks who don’t have one, think about getting one, whether you do a lot of online stuff or not. Ultimately it gives you a lot of credibility.

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16 Comments »

Val:

The main reason I use one with my face on it, and particularly the photo of myself that I do use, is that it is friendly and people come to associate that smile of mine with my personality. I’ve had quite a lot of feedback from people since I’ve been using it, thankfully (so far, anyway) all good! And I’ve been told that it helps people relax and ‘talk’ to me in comments.

October 15th, 2010 | 8:03 PM
Mitch:

That’s all true Val, and it’s a great example of why using a personal photo works so well as a gravatar.

October 16th, 2010 | 1:07 AM

I agree with the gravatar. I have been getting comments from those who do not utilize gravatars and I personally don’t like the way it makes my comment thread look. I like to see faces or even a logo would be nice. **side notice, I come across various blogs with comments from Dennis and I already know it’s him from his gravatar, so his form of branding is definitely working.

October 15th, 2010 | 9:38 PM
Mitch:

That’s why I mentioned Dennis, Karen, because it’s distinctive and thus we don’t need a picture of him to know it’s him. And you’re right, it does look a little bit funny without something there.

October 16th, 2010 | 1:08 AM
Patricia:

Hi Mitch
I agree with Karen that I prefer when someone comments on my site that they have a Gravatar. Get to recognise them then; even if it is biz branding and not their face. When I am reading comments on other blogs it’s nice to see familiar faces too.
Patricia Perth Australia

October 15th, 2010 | 11:54 PM
Mitch:

Thanks for your comment, Pat. I think we all get familiar with some of these people we talk to and develop a comfort level with them.

October 16th, 2010 | 1:09 AM

Hey Mitch,

I agree, displaying Gravatar is somehow like showing that we are real human and not spam.

However i noticed Gravatar make our sites load slower because of the cache stuff.

Not sure how to avoid it 🙁

October 16th, 2010 | 8:15 AM
Mitch:

I’ve never seen that, Kimi. Maybe you’re running too many plugins or something; not sure.

October 16th, 2010 | 1:34 PM

Mitch, what about changing the gravatar? I started out using a picture of myself, then changed over to one of my favorite travel photos. But now I’m getting tired of that and may want to change back. Not sure if that’s a good idea.

October 16th, 2010 | 10:24 AM
Mitch:

Charles, you can set as many images to your email as you want, and if you want to switch back and forth you can. However, changing your identity all the time might freak some folks out, wondering if it’s really you or someone trying to act as you.

October 16th, 2010 | 1:34 PM

Although I agree with you I didn’t gave too much importance in assigning a picture to my comments, and the fact that I am not receiving the gravatar account confirmation email (I think I have to contact them or something).

:)) at poor Dennis, maybe he is a Brad Pitt like guy (or whatever guy is considered a sex symbol my women this days)

October 18th, 2010 | 5:43 AM
Mitch:

I’m sure Dennis is being chased by all the ladies, which is why he hides his face. I’ve had that problem myself, but learned to deal with it (cough). lol

October 18th, 2010 | 11:31 AM

Hi Mitch,

I wouldn’t think that any reputable blogger even think of commenting at a blog without creating a universal avatar that automatically displays their photo or logo as they go from site to site. I custom gravatar is far better than those cartoon-character-like icons or a photo of a landscape. The default avatars look like a gray pawn on a chess board. What a missed opportunity to display a smiling face or your logo in front of thousands of people.

October 18th, 2010 | 5:07 PM
Mitch:

True Rachel. However, I don’t think most people even consider it. I never considered getting one until 2008, and I’d had my business blog for years before that. However, I also didn’t know it was called a gravatar at the time until I decided to research it.

October 18th, 2010 | 9:08 PM

Yes, gravatar can be really useful to build confidence or can be used successfully for marketing purpose. This reminds me that I do not have one.

October 19th, 2010 | 1:27 AM
Mitch:

I was thinking that same thing about you, Carl. You definitely should have something, especially since you’re always changing your domain names yet still use the same email address.

October 19th, 2010 | 1:35 AM