“ Your Gravatar is an image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog. Avatars help identify your posts on blogs and web forums, so why not on any site? „
What is Gravatar? I found Gravatar quite by accident while installing my new wordpress blog front for our community, and intrigued I went to search for what the heck this service is.
Gravatar is basically a globally recognised avatar, and a avatar (for those of us who don't necessarily keep track of all the fancy names for internet doodads) is basically a picture representing you on a website. Its also a term for the rendering of you within a game, but they also get called toons, chars and characters.
So what does gravatar do?
Basically? its a free to use upload and rate site. You can upload your 'avatars', resize them and give them a age appropriate rating (ie anything with nipples showing usually rates Adult!) it then links these 'avatars' with your given email address for use with sites that have the capability to use it. Ergo problem. To use gravatar effectively you should be using at least 1 site with gravatar capability.
I personally had to modify my personal websites to use gravatar, and many scripts (on site programs like blogs, forms etc) will have readily available modifications that may or may not be easy to fit.
However for the simple layman, this provides a easy to use central "store" for your avatar, and saves you time going round x amount of sites everytime you want to change your avatar. It also has the benefit of being rated, so if you are on a site using gravatar, you will be keeping within any rules etc the site may have about avatars!
Its not the only service like this, Ill list a few at the end, but this service is probably useless if you dont know any sites that use the gravatar avatar service.
Identical services (with possible more on the side)
OpenAvatar, Wavatar, Identicon, monsterID or MyBlogLog