What has been going on in the world of Gravatar

August 10, 2009 | Posted by Demitrious Kelly

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

Now you can watch Gravatar, the motion picture! Which was put together by the ever helpful Michael Pick. If you’ve ever had trouble explaining exactly what Gravatar.com does to your friends, family, neighbors, long lost friends, and that dude down the street, then this is the screen cast for you!

404 Gravatar Not Found?!

It may not be a groundbreaking feature, but there is some a small new addition to the Gravatar API. You can now specify a default value of 404 to make the image… well… return a 404 not found error if there is no image for the given email address. This probably wont change the life of you website developers out there, but it just might make it easier for you application developers (you know… the people who have to actually compile their code before it works…)

Did You Know?

Today we have TWO “Did you know” tidbits for the price of one.

  1. This little tidbit is often a surprise for developers to find out, but you can use https://secure.gravatar.com/ [...] to link to an SSL encrypted Gravatar.  This is especially useful when linking using Gravatars from SSL encrypted web pages.
  2. You can pre-fill the email address in sign up form for Gravatar.com to make it a little bit easier for your users to know what to do. Just add the email address to the end of the sign up URL like so.

Sightings in the Wild

  1. Where.com’s “WHERE wall” web service has been using Gravatars since the word “GO” for displaying user avatars. They had one small hiccup, but we got in contact with the developers (who were super nice and down to earth, by the way) to get the situation rectified.
  2. We recently heard that doMelhor (which, I’m told, is the leading Portuguese digg clone) recently enabled Gravatar support for avatar display.

That’s all I have for now but, as always, there is more to come from Gravatar.com

Cheers!
DK

23 Responses

  1. Suneel says:

    Gravatars are an excellent addition to already popular WordPress. Placing a face to an unknown person’s name is surely helpful in realizing the importance of people in this hitech age.

  2. I really like Gravatar, but the fact of it’s being proprietary software worries me. Is it really in my best interest to have my online avatar controlled by one company, even one as cool as Automattic? Why can’t it be something more like OpenID, with a variety of different providers?

    I’m using it right now because it’s, well, automatic for a lot of weblogs, and it seems to be tied in to my current WordPress theme. I beg its developers to open it up, though, and make it possible for us to use our own Gravatar servers. It’ll save you bandwidth, bring bunches more developers to help with your project, and keep our user / developer relationship voluntary instead of forced.

  3. SPDworks says:

    A bit like a masquerade party, the web and networking through it, Gravatar helps genuine people to keep a face that’ll get them in and invited to more of the exclusive get-togethers, such as seminars both on and off-line. I love Gravatar for its ease of use and its great team of helpful developers. That it’s available for WP, Silverlight and with .NET controls is just icing on the well-layered cake that is Gravatar’s roots in universal and thoughtful development for web users world-wide:)

  4. Otto says:

    Are you ever going to add a reasonable way to tell if a given gravatar exists or not? Not everybody is wanting to get back some default, I’d like to be able to say “here’s an MD5, all I need is yay or nay that this avatar exists”. Preferably via JSON, so I can do this in javascript.

    I’ve been trying to make an easy way to get my gravatars into my Google account as images for people, but without some way to tell, this turns out to be impossible.

  5. Otto says:

    Oh, okay, so I missed the 404 response, which is awesome, however this doesn’t help me for javascript applications. :(

    Guess I’ll have to do it in PHP then.

  6. putush says:

    I love Gravatar. It takes off that pain of uploading new profile pics constantly. I just wish there was wider support for it. How could website builders be so blind to what is obviously a tremendous boost to user acknowledgement.
    Guess it will take time.

  7. wiselier says:

    Thank you; a very much.

  8. [...] but the service supports a lot of other platforms as well. Check out the refreshed website and the blog post that talks about everything but just the new [...]

  9. Just finished enabling Gravatars on my own website. Just wanted to suggest creating some icons and content for people to place on their sites to link to this site. What I’m saying is, most of my users are not common internet savvy people, but I imagine some will sign up for gravatars, but when I went looking for some “Powered by Gravatars” images/logos I didn’t find any. I ended up creating my own which you can see if you visit one of the articles on my site. It’s essentially the gravatar G with a “Powered by Gravatars” simple and sweet, but it may convince people to check it out.

    So, I think if you created a few logos and linking text for people that don’t know what a gravatar is, it’d be easier to figure out. I had to view the source code over at zen-habits to figure out how they did their avatars, that’s how I found gravatar!

    -Dustin

  10. zetha13 says:

    good!!

  11. chaosmieze says:

    I have no PC only internet with handy and it’s a problem to become the pic that i whant as my gravatar. :(

  12. swapadog says:

    all I can say is…what a great idea you have here!

  13. dunxd says:

    Really like Gravatar. Here’s a suggestion to make it better:

    I use the + operator in email addresses in order to keep track of where mail to me is coming from. This is supported in gmail – username+tag@gmail.com will get delivered to username@gmail.com. So I register with a site using username+site@gmail.com in order to see if they are selling my details to spammers, or to make it easy to create filters etc.

    It would be great if Gravatar could recognise the presence of a + in an email address, and then match on what preceeds the + and follows the @ rather than the whole address.

    Just a thought…

    • Beau Lebens says:

      Unfortunately that makes the hashing process of using Gravatar impossible (since md5 is a one-way hashing algorithm). You can definitely set up each variant email address within Gravatar under a single account if you would like to manage them all in one place though.

  14. Sohbet says:

    Thanks, Forever web pages..

  15. aspirinc says:

    I love Gravatar. It takes off that pain of uploading new profile pics constantly. I just wish there was wider support for it. How could website builders be so blind to what is obviously a tremendous boost to user acknowledgement.

  16. Lani says:

    Awesome I use this tool and enjoy it cause I can place it on forums, blogs and websites. Thanks for sharing. Lani

  17. It is really true that Gravatar is the best. The Gravatar helps me by takes off uploading picture constantly.

  18. Jim says:

    I love the Gravatars for use on WordPress, been using them for almost 2 years now. Just makes the commenters a little unique and provides them with their own indentity.

  19. pottery girl says:

    This is a cool idea. A time saver at the very least. Also I watched that video and was 1/2 expecting to see an Avatar spinoff. :-p

  20. Társkereső says:

    Gravatar deserves to be the best in 2011 i hope so with good service.

  21. sam says:

    Didn’t realise Gravatars were so easy to set up , a brilliant idea

  22. Roma says:

    I think Gravatars are part of web site life – and they can add a presence, especially the more interesting ones, I always use a gravatar when blogging, as it adds something.

an    joint
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