Unmasking the Gravatar

How do you pick your Gravatar, do you go straight in and plaster your photo across the web, or do you select something random?

I hide behind a Gravatar image, there is just something strange that happens when my image is frozen in time, I don’t recognise the person staring back at me.  My passport photo looks like I am laid out on a mortuary slab, it’s worse when I am forced to smile in a picture when I just look like I’m trying to stop myself defecating.

My brother once said I am uglier in person than I am in my reflection after he noticed it in a pub mirror, not that I should take his word as gospel – he walked out on his kid so he’s always had the propensity to be an asshole.

Maybe a mirror image does take my features and flatterise them – maybe I should only have my photo taken looking into a full length mirror?  Although it could prove cumbersome at weddings and become costly to pay the extra hold baggage when going on holiday.

In opposition to my brother’s comment, I was told I was the best looking out of all my friends as we sat in the pub last week.   I glanced around the table and thought that’s not really saying much, but then I factored in that she is a lesbian so she had no reason to pay me false compliments, after that I factored in the amount of alcohol she had consumed and then checked if I was sat in the vicinity of a mirror.

My Gravatar is not even my own work, it’s by the artist David Shrigley, I hope he doesn’t want royalties as my root canal treatment has cleaned me out.   Check him out here, he’s brilliant.   Strangely enough though the Gravatar image does look slightly like me if I’ve just shaved my head. 

Even my tag name is a lie, I feel bad since a few people have naturally started calling me Joe in comments, of course they would as why would anyone cover up their identity with a mundane name.  You’d create something interesting, not substitute Jon for Joe, I did explain the reasoning in an earlier post but this was before I had anyone bothering to read this blog, here it is if you can be bothered to read it.

Do you read other people’s blogs in your own voice, or do you imagine you are being read to with the authors voice mouthing the words?  I do the latter, everyone has such a distinctive style that I imagine a voice tied to their words, in this sense a photo helps tie it all together I suppose, though I get no less from reading one without a face to the name.

Having worked in my company for 13 years I know my customers very well yet have never met them, I have such vivid images of what they look like that I fear I would be disappointed.   When my boss visits them I grill him on what they look like and am surprised when one of them turns out to have never left the 70’s, they still wear flared trousers, floral shirts, have a receding hairline still in a ponytail and lambchops stuck to the side of their face – the new image is even better than the one I created in my head, and actually matches his voice so much better.

Recently I thought I saw someone from a blog on the train so almost instinctively went to say Hi but could not recall where I knew them from, I quickly stopped myself.  It may or may not have been them but wouldn’t that freak someone out, or would you be over the moon you met a blog stalker?

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  1. Joe..er…Jon, my gravatar was taken while I was in a trance writing my blog. It does put me to sleep sometimes. I thought it was a fitting picture for an avatar. I like yours much better.

    I do imagine the blogger’s voice when I read something from them. A few of my fellow bloggers did a vlog once and I pretty much nailed their voices and gestures and inflections which is odd.

    • You do get a sense of a person from how they write, but to have got it all spot on is spooky. Maybe a career as a TV psychic beckons!

  2. princessvonvoodoo

     /  November 11, 2011

    My name isn’t really Princess but when certain people address me they change it to Your Grace or Highness…and I adore it. As far as gravatar goes…well, i just love the Wolfman and I don’t know if I ever want anyone to recognize me and try to kick my ass for some of the things I’ve wrote about…

    • Can I lay claim to Your Majesty if no-one has used it already?

      Your last line is going to make me spend the afternoon at work reading your posts

  3. princessvonvoodoo

     /  November 11, 2011

    It’s all yours. And lucky for you and your boss I’m still a blog newbie and haven’t posted much. I am also getting stalker-ish on your ramblings:)

  4. I chose my Gravatar to be ironic. I grew those flowers myself, but my posts are so vile and foul and full of death and destruction because I am the mouthpiece for Armageddon that flowers seem really inappropriate. Or, I’m full of shit which is why I can grow such enormous flowers. Seriously, despite being Asiatic lilies, those things get to be 5 feet tall with stalks two inches in diameter.

    • princessvonvoodoo

       /  November 11, 2011

      Edward, the lilies in your header are phenomenal! Calla and little ghost lilies are my favorite.

    • I thought you were serious on.the first explanation. They really need to freshly press you, the reactions from the freshly pressed comment regulars would be priceless.

      • I cleaned out my flower beds this weekend, and i measured the stalks of the lilies in my gravatar. Turns out they were only 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
        Yeah, you noticed that too? Every time you go to any Freshly Pressed post, there’s always the same 5-10 people there before you.

        • They think every freshly pressed is so great, and as they do it first they are familiar in themselves but I don’t even know what their blog is about as I refuse to click on them- blogging whores. Like the people who comment and then put the link to their blog in the comment – don’t they know you can click on their name to see the blog anyway. Too much self promotion.

          What’s the normal diameter of a lily stalk? 1.5 inches doesn’t sound too shoddy (I’m probably showing my ignorance of botanics)

  5. princessvonvoodoo

     /  November 12, 2011

    They don’t like to fresh press those who use “vulgar” words….ass hats.

  6. I hear the author’s voice when I read a blog, as well. A photo helps so you can put a face with the voice, but isn’t necessary. I do imagine that thumb talking when reading your blog. Which may just speak to my mental “stability.”

    You’ve made me re-think having a real photo as mine. I hadn’t really considered blog stalkers. Not that anyone would notice or stalk me though, I think I’m safe.

    • I wonder what voice the thumb has?!

      I see people in London I recognise but I don’t know where from, blogs may just be one of them. Saying that I’ve walked past my own father once when I went back home – I never wear my glasses out

  7. I would love to meet any stalker…wouldn’t you? What do you want to be called? I have a habit of nicknaming all my good blog friends, and I usually use their nickname if I want it to be more personal, and their blog name if I don’t care. Also, I saw that picture of you outside the pub, and I think you look great! No mirrors needed.

    • i honestly don’t mind, most people here say joe as it’s the blog name but is an old nickname. one group of friends call me jonny and that’s stuck now. SU is good to as you created it!


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