Don’t be a Faceless Commenter, Use Gravatar

Can you guess what makes my day as a blogger?

Yes, you’re right! Comments. I absolutely love getting comments and get excited when I see notifications in my inbox that I have received one.

But do you know what I love more? Getting comments from people with pictures. It makes me want to give a longer, more substantial reply since I can put a face behind the name. Seeing the picture facilitates the start of “KNOW-LIKE-TRUST” process, which is so important in building your online relationships.

Are you a spammer?

blog commenting Looking at my own practices, I have observed that I tend to initially think of faceless commenters as spammers. You can’t blame me.  After all, spammers don’t leave pictures of themselves all over the Internet. A real person’s comment can be caught in between the dirty river of spam comments and be deleted with the lot. So if you want to build a relationship with the blogger, or at least get your comment approved, you need to show a face behind the comment. The easiest way to do that is through Gravatar.

A gravatar is an image that appears beside your name whenever you leave a comment on a blog or site. To get a gravatar, you need to register for an account at http://en.gravatar.com/. You will be asked for your email address. Now, it’s very important that you remember what email you used to register for your gravatar because that will be the email you need to enter when leaving comments on blogs. If you use that email, your gravatar will appear. If you use a different email, then your gravatar will not appear.

In my case, I have several emails that I use for leaving comments. One email is for industry-related sites, while others are associated for the different blogs that I own.  To make sure that I always have a gravatar beside my name, I registered all those with Gravatar. I used different pictures for each account but you can use the same picture if you want.  To help you choose which picture to use, here are a few tips:

  • Choose a clear picture. Don’t use ones that are so blurry it’s impossible for your friends to recognize that it is you.
  • Show your face. If you want to build a relationship with the blogger, then show your face. I know of some people who used professionally taken headshots as gravatars and they received great feedback for doing so. However, you can use your computer camera, phone camera, or digital camera to take a picture of yourself.
  • Make sure your picture is not slutty. One of my pet peeves is seeing slutty profile pictures of “professionals.” (You know what I mean!) Call me a prude but my clients do agree with me. I once referred a VA to a former client who had someone’s behind as her profile picture in Yahoo Messenger. My client thought that was unprofessional so he did not hire her. Similarly, if I see a slutty picture on my comment’s, my first thought is  “This one is a spammer.”
  • Share your interest… as long as it’s appropriate. Do you have a dog? You can use a picture of you with your dog – not your dog only.If you love reading, then you can show a picture of you holding your favorite book or your kindle. Similarly, you can add a logo to your picture if you’re promoting something. But never, never use a picture that shows you drinking or smoking pot. They might be “interests” for you but it’s just not done. Thank goodness I haven’t seen that in my comments but I have seen that on the profile picture of a web worker I interviewed on Skype for a client.

Take action

I hope that after reading this post and sharing it to your network, you will go to the Gravatar web site and register for an account. Then come back here and leave a comment to show me that you have a gravatar.

Comments

  1. Amazing! It worked…I think. Can you see my picture?

  2. I agree wholeheartedly. An avitar should be something that represents who you are and the kind of person you are. So often people use symbols and other abstract stuff but to me it feels more like you’re talking to a real person if there’s a picture beside the comment. Great article.

  3. finally… :)
    i was rarin’ to leave a comment here since this was posted. very helpful article indeed!
    but of course, i was too ashamed to leave a comment without my own gravatar — recently installed one a few secs ago! ;)
    Susan recently posted..V-Mobile Day 7My Profile

  4. When I look at my image, I am sure some people hang it on the front door to keep burglars away, but at least people can see the real me.

    Yes I do agree, having an image improves the whole blogging/commenting procedure, and when having a discussion with somebody it is good to be able to see how they look, rather than having to imagine,

    Barry
    Barry Ranns recently posted..A Few Myths DispelledMy Profile

    • Oh, I’m glad you agree with me Barry! It’s better for people to see the real you especially if you are having a discussion. But I don’t agree with you that they hang your picture on doors to keep burglars away. LOL! You’ve got such a warm, friendly smile that I bet the burglars feel welcome! Joking!

  5. followed your tips and that’s how I got my gravatar :) now I don’t look bogus. lolz. Great tips, as usual, Nica!
    leah recently posted..Be Moved by Reefs and RainforestsMy Profile

  6. We all know that a picture can paint a thousand words. And it’s true. I may forget your name but not your photo or any visual representation of your brand.
    Tristan @ Virtual SEO Assistant recently posted..Starting Your Own Computer Cleaning BusinessMy Profile

    • That is so true Tristan! I think that is the reason why finding people on Facebook is so much easier. You recognize the face and you add them and before you know it, you’re exchanging childhood stories!

      Thanks for dropping a comment.

  7. Oh Gosh! This is such a simple but important thing!!!! I HATE it when people have no gravatar or have a gravatar that is NOT a pic of them. I know it’s slightly different but if someone does NOT have a pic of themselves on their profile in FB, I will not friend them. Pics of your dog or cartoon instead of a pic of you is stupid and a waste of your time. That’s not who people want to do business with. I shared this link to this post on my FB Fan Page! Thanks so much!

    – Jupiter Jim
    Jupiter Jim recently posted..Quick, Easy way to Create “placeholder” images for WordPress and Thesis Theme Sites and BlogsMy Profile

    • I know right? You, by the way, has a good example of what a Gravatar/profile pic should be! What a great smile!

      Thanks for sharing this Jim and I will ho ahead and check out your Facebook page.

  8. I tried it. This is my first comment with a gravatar. Thanks for informing me for that :)
    Jomar Lipon recently posted..How to Verify Paypal Using RCBC myWallet Visa CardMy Profile

  9. Unfortunately… gravatar only works for WordPress sites.
    Marvs recently posted..Seattle police release video in Danny Vega’s attackMy Profile

  10. Ive been using gravatar for sometime now. great post on the importance of letting people know one’s identity when commenting.
    dimaks recently posted..Justin Bieber Holiday Dance Moves at Radio Disney “Celebrity Take” with JakeMy Profile

  11. I used gravatar too since i started blogging and commenting to different blogs. It really helps commenters to support the impact of the comment because if you are a faceless commenter, people won’t trust you. This is a good post. Thanks.
    Manuel Garcia recently posted..20 Fresh Free Google+ Icons For Your Blog or WebsiteMy Profile

  12. I love to see my face when I am leaving a comment for some blog or article I read, but to be honest I never know that the picture showed upon I leaving comment is called gravatar until I read this blog The Virtual Assistant. Thank you so much Ms. Nica for sharing this blog.
    alex lipata recently posted..ONCE I WAS A CHILDMy Profile

  13. I too love gravatar. It sets us apart from spammers. Thanks for sharing this Nica. I am definitely sharing this post to my team.
    Ella | The Office Escape recently posted..What Kind of Tasks Should I Delegate To My Virtual Assistant?My Profile

  14. I wonder why some bloggers wouldn’t want to show off who they are. =)
    Stef recently posted..Dessert: Crema De FrutaMy Profile

  15. I’ve long been using gravatar and I love it!
    Tsinoy Foodies recently posted..How to Find A Sustainable Sushi RestaurantMy Profile

  16. i am not a spammer, though I haven’t updated my gravatar pix…i’ll do that later, thanks for the share!
    yuuki recently posted..Crucial Conversations Part 2My Profile

  17. I totally agree with you!
    Meann recently posted..The Work-at-Home Moms Lifestyle QuizMy Profile

  18. I hope my gravatar shows up for this comment. ^_^ I love nihonggo that’s why I took this image, a character from an anime for my email…hihi.

    • Matsumoto, your comment appeared on my spam! Perhaps because it’s the first time you’re leaving one. Actually, I’ve seen you in some FB groups so I’m very well aware of your gravatar/profile image. That’s all right. As long as your gravatar is in line with your brand, it’s ok.

  19. I also use the same picture all over. :)
    c5 @ paanoba.info recently posted..How To Buy .INFO @ 67 cents OnlyMy Profile

  20. it works this way, use professional image to your earning potential links, on the other hand be experimental with semi-captivating photos on the sites you aim to target with more followers, not that I used this method :) Based on observation, people are naturally inclined to visuals, be it slutty, graphical, avant garde, animated, etc. It’s up to you which one is commendable.
    GreenDei/Daryll recently posted..Diana Stalder by Dermaline SM Lucena Branch 1st Year Anniversary, "Dance Your Skin"My Profile

    • I think I got your point Green Dei! Yes, using slutty/avant garde pics, can indeed attract attention but it depends on the image you are projecting. If you’re a celeb like kim kardashian, i wouldn’t expect a professional headshot. just saying,…

  21. :) I truly agree, Gravatar is your ID so IMO, it is very applicable and everyone must have one. Good post Nica :)
    Herbert recently posted..Gravatar – Simple Personal BrandingMy Profile

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