Rocking your Gravatar
Rocking Your Gravatar
Does your audience know you?
Do your fellow bloggers know you?
Can they pick you out in a sea of comments?
A few months after I started blogging, a fellow blogger and I were chatting on Facebook and she mentioned a post she’d read at another blog. I said to her “I’ve read that post too! It was hilarious! Heck, I wrote the first comment. Didn’t you see my comment?” My comment was pretty funny with some back and forth replies between me and the blog owner.
She did see the comments, but she didn’t know it was me. Not only was I not using my full name, which I still don’t, but I hadn’t added a picture of me to my google profile. Instead I was using an unremarkable generic clipart of a mom and baby. It was in my header, so I figured I’d use it as my profile pic. Stupid move. But I’ve learned. My profile now sports a picture of me and it’s the best business card I could possible have.
How Freaking Cool is this?
What a Blogger Wants
All bloggers, each and every one of us, love it when we comment on a post and can leave a link to our own latest post, better known as Comment Love (the action, not the plugin). This gives us the chance of attracting more readers and isn’t that what all bloggers want? More readers? This is why blog hops exist. This is why niche specific networking sites exist. This is why we add our blog url to every site we sign up for. We’re looking for the opportunity to attract more people to relate to, more comments for our posts, more traffic to our site. An important key to obtaining this is networking. And to network, ya’ gotta let people know who you are. Now, I get that there are many who prefer to stay anonymous. I get that. Really. And if that’s what you need, go for it. However, if what you’re looking for is an interactive audience, an audience who feels they know YOU and so will visit time and again, then showing your face to the world, using it to socialize is the way to go and setting up a Gravatar and using it to it’s full potential is an awesome doohickey that will assist.
What the heck is a Gravatar?
Now, many of you may already have a Gravatar, but for those who don’t, let me steal a few lines from Gravatar’s site to explain what the hell it is.
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.
When leaving a comment on someone’s blog, have you ever noticed little pictures of the other commenters? In most cases, as far as i know, that’s either a Blogspot Profile Pic that will lead you to that person’s Blogspot profile (usually found when you’re visiting a Blogspot Blog) or it’s a Gravatar that’s found on blogs that are using the DisQus commenting module, the CommentLuv commenting plugin, or any plugin that uses Gravatar avatars or a it’s WordPress website.
It’s basically a calling card, a link to a person’s profile and when I come across an interesting comment on a post, I’m glad for those little pics that help me find new blogs to read.
Rocking Your Gravatar Profile
I’ve seen many impersonal Gravatar profiles with just a name and a site link. I did this when I first started blogging too. I was very unsure about unmasking myself. Hell, even after I unmasked, I still didn’t pay attention to my own Gravatar. But I’ve always checked out the other Gravatars I found in the comments section. If I find the comment witty, knowledgeable, extremely disturbing in a funny way, or just think the Gravatar is cute, I’ll click on that little pic and it will take me to that person’s Gravatar profile.
Most times all I’ve found in the profile is a link to that person’s site. Sometimes I follow. Depends on how much time I have to burn. However, if I check out that profile and find a profile I can relate to or find interesting, I’m definitely visiting their website. But again, only if I have the time. Many times in the past I’ve visited the website and bookmarked the site for future reading. I don’t always remember to make it back to the site though.
You’ve got to understand, my first love, is Twitter. It’s extremely convenient for my limited social media time. Not only can I use it to network and socialize and find awesome people to follow, post links are tweeted to the stream. Excellent posts that are recommended are ReTweeted. And to top it off, I read posts via twitter and comment via twitter a lot. So when I’m in the commenting section, reading other comments, it’s the coolest thing to see a Gravatar that has a pic, a link to the person’s site and their Twitter handle.
Even cooler? My WordPress Stats plugin went to shit. Stopped working. Why is that cool? Because to replace the plugin, I installed the Jetpack plugin so I can see my stats again. I was happily surprised when I saw the option to have Gravatar Hovercards on my site. As far as I know, Gravatar Hovercards work on WordPress.com free sites and WordPress.org self hosted sites.
Again, look at this thing. Is it cool or what? “What” is not truly an option here.
It’s not only cool for me, it’s cool for my visitors that have Gravatar profiles. Now other people who leave comments, who hover over your pic, will see your hovercard too. If you have a WordPress site and would like to offer your visitors this cool option, I suggest installing Gravatar Hovercards, Gravatar Enhanced or the Jetpack plugin.
If you don’t have a WordPress site, I’m sorry to say I haven’t found an option for Hovercards on any other platform, but you can take solace in the fact that you’ll still get full exposure when you visit sites that have Hovercards installed. All you need to do is Rock that Gravatar profile to it’s full potential.
© Yuri Arcurs – Fotolia (rockers)