Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Gravatar's rainbow

The blogospheric phenomenon of the gravatar, or Globally Recognised Avatar, continues to enchant. In an attempt to explain the concept of the gravatar to my family last night over dinner I found myself horridly entangled, not for the first time, in avatars and atavism. The fact that these two concepts overlap a little (the gods/spirits/ancestors nexus) didn't help. Nor did the fact that I have slight consonant dyslexia and am still coming to grips with the recent discovery that it's 'remuneration' as in munificence and not 'renumeration' as in counting the money again. If I'm not careful I'll end up saying things like nucular and advocado and not even noticing.

Resorting to the dictionary, we found that an avatar is the embodiment of an incorporeal being, particularly a god who appears in human or otherwise manifest form. Hence those little photos, caricatures, sketches and symbols that follow one's cyberpersona about. I want one -- but over at gravatar.com they appear to be having a bit of strife, so I will just have to be patient.

In the meantime, the power of the sorts of images people choose to represent themselves is making me think very hard about what sort of image I'd want to go with. As with the aliases they choose, most people's gravatars reveal far more about them than I think they intended to say.

6 comments:

elsewhere said...

Sounds like you really have the blogging bug! It's amazing how diffifult it can be to describe a blog or the blogosphere to the uninitiated (I've kept my family out of it!)

Fyodor said...

So, what's on your shortlist? Or, rather, what are you trying to say (and avoid saying) about yourself?

Kate said...

Mine is a rather straightforward if cartoonish version of what I look like in real life. I think this shows a basic lack of creativity on my part.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Elsewhere, it's the challenge of it that I enjoy -- esp. as non-bloggers tend to start out hostile.
Fyodor, currently I'm leaning towards Burne-Jones's Angel Playing a Flageolet, a pomo artefact long before pomo was invented -- hate to think what this reveals.
Kate, I really like yours -- how did you do it?

Lucy Tartan said...

How do you think non-bloggers turn into bloggers? I agree, they tend to start out hostile - which has assisted me immeasurably in maintaining a good level of fraughtness in nonblog life - but something clicks over somewhere. It must.

Or perhaps it's an emergent / residual thing? I began blogging feeling very cross at some of the people I was reading, but that didn't last very long.

My avatars are sewing pattern women. I've made the outfits both are modelling, and both turned out absolutely woeful.

Kate said...

Pavlov's Cat, I made a 'doll' of myself here: http://elouai.com/doll-makers/candybar-doll-maker.php

It's a rather sad Internet subculture but it's fun to play with.

Then I beheaded myself for my gravatar.