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Okay, you might be wondering what a 2009 sci-fi movie with blue aliens has to do with online business.  Well, you’re just a couple letters off.  Gravatars are small images, typically of your smiling face, which represents your personal presence online.  They’re typically seen when commenting on blog posts and are accompanied by the commenter’s name.  However, your Gravatar is likely used in other places online and if you don’t have one, here’s why you need one.

Used in many places

Blog comments is just one location you’ll find a Gravatar, but did you know these little images are automatically used in countless web applications and websites?  Take for example my favorite project management app.  For each project I work on, I invite clients to join the app.  This is visible in little cards on the side that display our photos and info.  A client without a Gravatar account does not have a photo!

gravatar-example

The image on the left has a client with a Gravatar account.  This account is connected to their email, and wherever they use this particular email to signup for websites and apps online, these places automatically find their Gravatar photo and use it.  That’s very handy!  The image on the right has a client without such an account, and therefore they don’t have a photo to automatically display in the project management app we’re using.

Identity and personality

I find it very inviting and helpful when seeing a Gravatar in use.  I can identify with the person I’m talking to, and get a glimpses into their personality.  It helps connect us online and in cases where they’re being used in business, it presents professionalism.

Head over to gravatar.com and signup for an account.  It’s free, and you can use this nearly anywhere online.  Keep it professional or fun, and make more personal connections where you interact online.

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