When browsing different web sites, you may notice that many users have a picture next to their name. These pictures are called “avatars.” WordPress, however, which this site is based on, uses a specific type of avatar called “Gravatars” – short for “Globally Recognized Avatar.” Unlike standard avatars, Gravatars follow you around the web and automatically appear when you post a comment on a WordPress site.
WordPress integrates Gravatars into every WordPress site. Once registered with Gravatar, the service matches your WordPress profile information to the email address registered with Gravatar and displays your custom Gravatar image next to comments and (optionally) elsewhere on the WordPress site. If you choose not to sign up with Gravatar, a default icon appears next to your name.
This is very straightforward – the Gravatar site will lead you through it – but here’s what to expect:
1. Go to Gravatar.com and sign up or log in.
2. Click on the My Gravatars link to manage your gravatars, if you already have one go to 6.
3. If you don’t already have one click on the ‘add a new image’ link, then you can choose the source from either your hard drive or the internet (or in fact a webcam if you have one).
4. Enter the address of the image, and press Next. Then you will be able to crop the image to choose just the part you want – but note the final Gravatar will always be square. Press Crop and Finish.
5. Choosing a rating for the image. Currently this site only accepts ‘G’ (same as ‘U’) but I don’t mind raising this up to ‘PG’ if there’s demand. For now click the G button.
6. You’ll be on the manager your gravatars page. Select an image to be your Gravatar if not already done.
To create a thread (called a ‘topic’ with this software) you go to the Forums page, then go into to the most relevant forum, then go to the edit box at the bottom of the page. E.g. for a ZOE topic go here.