I can’t remember the first time I used or signed up for a Gravatar account but I know I’ve been using it partly for my web identity for several years now. For those who aren’t familiar with gravatars, it is an abbreviation for globally recognized avatars – unique avatars that people (mostly bloggers) use to show their identity on the web. Gravatars are those square images (usually a person’s photo) that show up along-side comments on most blogs.
A few days ago, Gravatar added something new to the service – full profiles.
You didn’t think the design update was the only change we made, did you? Every gravatar now supports the addition of full profile information against it, so that you can paint a much richer picture of who you are. You can upload a bunch of your favorite photos to your profile (they don’t have to be gravatars at all), and you can even verify your ownership of other online profiles and services. When you verify that you own something, people will be able to tell this is your account and not some imposter.
With this new feature you can create a gallery of your favorite photos, you can add several of your contact information (email, instant message & phone numbers), add links to your social networking profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Del.icio.us, LinkedIn, etc.) and add links to your blog or other websites.
Gravatar.com Profile Edit page
Every linked account is verified to make sure that no one uses somebody else’s account – prevent impostors. Future plans and features that could be added to profiles are aggregating user’s content on their profiles or the ability to update an avatar in several places when the Gravatar profile is updated.
Full profiles on Gravatar is still in beta so only users can view their own profiles on Gravatar.com, which gives users the time to update and fix their profiles before it becomes public. If you don’t want any information on your profile except for your gravatars, then you don’t have to do anything just leave your profile blank. People will only see the gravatars just like it is right now. If you’re running a WordPress blog or any other blogging platform that uses gravatars, watch out for the update on how to make the most out of these new profiles.
If you want to make use of the Gravatar full profile, make sure you upload a high-resolution version of your Gravatar or use a high-res image to crop out your gravatar. If you don’t use a high-res photo, the main picture won’t look nice. The high-res version will be used as the main picture on your profile.
If you have a Gravatar account, you can check out the new feature, add your contact information and social networking profiles by going here.
[image source: Gravatar Blog]