After you take the time to select an identity, the next most important decision will be in selecting an Avatar. The Avatar you choose will become your graphical representation and identifier that is just as important as your name.
Using A Photo Of Yourself
Deciding what type of blogging identity you want will help guide you in your choice of Avatars. If you use a real photo of yourself you can count on being recognized when you go to trade shows, conventions, or the local pizza parlor so this is the best choice for those who want to be “known” bloggers. You can use an image from a digital camera or webcam and alter it as need using graphics software such as Photoshop or a free program such as GIMP.
Here are some basic guidelines to follow when choosing an Avatar to become your image manifestation in the online world:
- Make sure the image is clearly focused
- Make sure the image is filled by you (the shoulders make a good bottom line and the top of your head make a good top line)
- Make sure you are the only person in the image
- Crop the image into a square 150px by 150px
- Make sure the image is a JPEG or GIF file format
Following those simple guidelines will guarantee that your Avatar will be clearly visible, formatted universally, and will make a good image for the graphical representation of your persona.
Using Other Images
So let’s say you don’t want to use an actual photo of yourself or have decided to become an “anonymous” blogger. The choice of an Avatar is just as important and there are a variety of choices to choose from.
While it may be easiest to visit Avatarist and choose from their vast selection, something that is important to remember is that this image is going to be tied to your online identity. You’ll want it to be as unique as you are and preferably of your own creation to avoid any copyright issues with your use of the image. If you have a graphics program and know how to use it, great! Even a simple creation of your own, such as Rogue Medic’s Smiley, will go a long way to give yourself some credibility.
You Selected An Avatar, Now What?
Once you have selected your Avatar and created the file the next step is to use it! Be sure that you upload it to your Twitter account and Facebook, but most importantly upload it to Gravatar.
Gravatar is a free service that the vast majority of blog commenting systems use that will link your avatar to your e-mail address. This way when you leave a comment on a blog, your avatar will appear with that comment. This will help with the proliferation and association of your identity and avatar.
Previously: Choosing An Identity
Next: Selecting A Blogging Platform