Avatars are those small icons that are used to identify users in online discussions, or in more complex form, in many online games. If you frequent such sites, you may have seen them before, though the word, or its use in this setting, may not be familiar.
The term is borrowed from Hindu philosophy, and is taken from the word AvatƒÅra, a Sanskrit term meaning “descent,” used to refer to the various incarnations on earth of divine beings.
Gravatar.com is a site that regulates gravatars (globally recognized avatars), icons that can be used to identify a user with the same image on different bulletin boards and discussion sites. We chose to use Gravatar.com when we launched The B, our user-driven section of Bluegrass Today, because it was so widely used, and integrated their system into ours.
Unfortunately, just at the time when we launched The B – and enabled commenting on all posts – Gravatar.com stopped accepting new submissions to allow them to update their system. What had been initially promised as a process of a few weeks dragged into months, but everything is back up and running now, and we urge our registered users to submit a gravatar.
Every registered user here at Bluegrass Today is automatically assigned our default gravatar, shown here to the right. It is a simple thing to upload your own custom icon via gravatar.com, and once your icon is approved (obscene, profane or pornographic images are not allowed), it will appear alongside any posts you make on The B, and any comments you add there, or to posts on the front page of Bluegrass Today.
Your custom gravatar can be a small image of yourself, your favorite musical instrument, your pet, or a graphic of your own design.
There is no fee to register and submit a gravatar, and we hope that our readers and commenters will visit Gravatar.com and do so soon.