Gravatars - love 'em

Before I start: what I went through may make it sound complicated to get a Gravaar - it isn't, now that I know what they are and how to get one

What the blinkin' flip am I talking about? Well, I got a new blog/website toy.

As you know if you've left a comment at this blog in the past month or so that little pictures are appearing next some of these entries and ...

It's not just my standard "I want one" cry though, they're bloody useful for quickly scanning comments to see who said what.

But I had no idea what they were as they weren't linked to anything ... oh, let me take a break at this point and highlight for a certain iPod competition, that I would love for the Gravatars to be clickable, going to either a 'profile' or user chosen site.
Anyway, on with the story ... they weren't linked to anything, no-one was mentioning them in their comments (damn secret societies) and I couldn't find anything at Haloscan (my comment service provider ... now there's a company description my dad never had around in his day).

So, what the heck were they and more importantly ...

And then my birthday came along.
No, my partner did not go out and buy me a "little icon for my comments" ... how would she have wrapped it? What she did do though was give me the whole morning to myself with nothing to do but the stuff I wanted and time to do as I will. And what "I will'ed" was that I tidy up MiramarMike as it was getting scruffy round the collar and a tad messy in its general presentation. Once the blog/journal/personal website had been cleaned, hoovered and everything put back into their proper drawers I still had an hour or so left to ... play, although my partner calls the blog "playing" - and she's probably correct.

And don't forget...
So, the hunt was on. First of all, what were these "little icon things" really called?
Working in IT (or ICT as it's suddenly become called, no-one told me or asked for my permission about the 'C') I knew that they would have a trendy name and possibly even an acronym or two.

I was correct. I discovered in Haloscan's settings a beta version of something called "Gravatar Icons". It had all the attributes I expected of a 'picture thingy': enable, size, upload blank one and rating (rating?). But that was all I could find, nothing about...
Righty-ho, time to turn to the power of Google. It took a while and a little fiddling with the query but then, there it was, the announcement at the Gravatar site, "Haloscan implements Gravatars" ... this is it.

So I wander to the Gravatar site, smugly whistling as I was ...
The front page tells me everything - I know what they are, how I get one and I get it displayed. Mighty ... hmm, requires me to sign-up .... what the hell, I've got so many sign-on's around the Web another one won't hurt and they've got a good enough Privacy Policy. I'm in.

Sign up, click the confirmation email and log in.

I trundle around a little more just to get myself familiar with the site - well, you never it might suddenly spring it on me that I need to sign-up for WeLoveSpam-KeepSendingIt.Com and/or send in my Visa/Mastercard AND Amex card details before they consider my application - they don't.

The moment of truth. Uploading my 80x80 pixcels picture and linking it to my email address - I was prepared for this and knew how to create such a tiny piccie of meeee - nothing more fancy than my standard MiramarMike piccie cropped with Microsoft Photo Editor.

Uploaded it just fine and dandy and I was told that it would be reviewed (I nominated it as a PG picture - some old girlfriends might disagree) before appearing on wherever it is implemented.

I waited. Well, to be fair I went out, played in the hot sun at the beach with the fandamily, had dinner with mates and watched the Chiefs play the Blues in the Super 12 on TV.
But then, this morning I find ...
And I'm very happy :-)

I hope other Website developers/owners apply Gravatar to their sites as it'll mean I have one identifying little icon-thing that will travel the Web-world with me.
I'm gonna write to Gmail, Yahoo! and the like suggesting they use it - how cool to have a piccie (or whatever they choose) of the person that emailed you.

I leave you with the instructions ...


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