Explain your avatar choices


Quite a few Sri Lankan bloggers (including my self) have an avatar icon. This crowd is primarily in the wordpress.com mob but it seems to apply to the blogspot gang as well. On the day to day these cryptic icons are the day to day face of familiar names. You see them so often that you never bother to ask about the story/significance behind the image.

Those brave/brazen enough to blog under their own names use photos mostly artfully cropped. This proceeds to various levels of anonymising. Close-ups of body parts usually focus around and eye – an understandably powerful image. Then there is the spectrum of digital stylising that lead to images of representational object and finally icons.

My avatar is the fumbling close up off  the C key on my old typewriter. The one which I wrote my first (and so far only) typewritten blog post. It’s actually not brown — the coloration was caused by the single light bulb in the room. The use of the letter C – for Cern0 is rather obvious. The typewriter key vaguely represents my love of mechanical from the non digital age and its associated Steampunk aesthetics. The fact is I whipped up that image rather off hurriedly and never got around to changing it. So it has stuck and current remain my internet face.

What psychological factors drove those off the cuff “design” choices is difficult to pin down. I am hopeless at psychological analysis. There are plenty of attempts at avatar psychoanalysis. This post called “Digg users revealed” is an example of a user friendly format. More serious in-depth stuff carries longer titles and text such as The Psychology of Avatars and Graphical Space in Multimedia Chat Communities.

Psychoanalysis aside, I think it is more interesting to glean info about the avatars of your favourite bloggers by asking them directly. So I will: Why do you have the avatar that you have and what does it represent to YOU?

The comment box awaits

23 comments

  1. Mine’s very simple. I’m a woman and my avatar personifies it in an artsy way. It also shows my penchant for all things aesthetic.

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  2. mine will fall into the category of artfully cropped bodyparts i guess. Though a few more parts here than just one eye🙂 previously, when i was more annonynmous it was a nebula. It sort of signified the infinite mystery of the universe in relation to which the fallacy of the human assumption that we are truly knowledgable is painfully exemplified. Sorry for all the big words!

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  3. I was being unimaginably creative – using a pimped up S as the avatar, what with my name starting with S and all that. Brilliant idea eh?
    OK jokes aside, once I came across this very beautiful font so added some fireworks effect to the letter S of it and since then it was like my standard avatar everywhere – Blogger, Google, Forums, other sites, everywhere. If you see that logo somewhere, be sure that it’s me – unless someone copied it from me which I doubt very much.

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  4. I have used many ‘avatar’s and the current one stayed longer.
    – Took that a few days before the last solar eclipse😀

    Always wanted to find something close to ‘absolute’ nature..but still could not find the perfect one🙂

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  5. I found the image I’ve used as my avatar on my favourite site – the one from which I get all the pictures that I put up on my blog (www.deviantart.com). It was so stunningly beautiful – it caught my eye long before I started the blog even. I was just dying for an excuse to use it really😛 Besides, it goes with my Gypsy theme.

    Interesting post by the way🙂

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  6. @sach: open a wordpress account under the email addy that you use to comment here, and make it your gravatar…🙂

    Mine is a representation of me, with my ‘proffered’ hairstyle😛 created on faceyourmanga.com😀 the background is part of a beach scene that one of my friends took…

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  7. Gosh, you lot are frightfully boring.

    WHAT is the point of SL if you choose your current physical representation ?

    Its just making sure that the cyberculterlists loose their jobs🙂

    Mine sports a smooth female “contract killer” look but with Ugg boots.

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  8. 😀 I didn’t expect such a flood of responses. Thank you all. Sorry about the delay in getting back to you.

    Cadence: A very memorable choice – is that a (charcoal/sepia) drawing or a manipulated photo?

    Whacko: Nothing to apologise🙂 Quite a nice casual with attitude photo you are using.

    Sach: It looks quite good. The colour choice certainly catches the eye🙂

    Kirigalpoththa: I think the “eating the sun” shot lines ups perfectly with your “communing with nature” theme😀

    thebohemiangypsy: Glad you liked the post. I always wondered about where your avatar image came from. I thought it had a “Prince of Persia”/Aladdin look.

    Chavie: So I was right in thinking that yours had a Manga look🙂 Thank you for helping Sach & Kirigalpoththa get their avatars online.

    Dili: The style is VERY Manga. Is it a photoshopped picture of you?

    RD: I’m sure the drummer concerned doesn’t mind😉

    Anne: Aw harsh madam,. harsh😉 I’m afraid cyberpsychology and cyberculterlism will continue to remain rock solid career paths. Where can we see your avatar ? It doesn’t appear on wordpress. Hope you do post a blog URL if you got one😀

    thekillromeoproject: Yours I think is the most disturbing avatar on this suburb of the SLB (Sri Lankan Blogosphere). Is it a photo you took or a photoshopped “found image”?

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  9. My current one is an “artful crop” of a self-potrait, as have been the previous ones too, mostly silhouettes… nothing straight-forward and “ME”. Oh and for a while I had a Goth dude with his hand outstretched holding a butterfly, a dead butterfly, basically signifying the death of all things beautiful.😛

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  10. Cadence: Quite a well done one too🙂 Its hard to get cooler tones with sepia ink (from my days in splashing around in it). Do you have a link to a larger image of it?

    N: Not exactly sure how you add an image as an avatar on blogger.com but I think if you take a sniff around your control panel there should be a feature to do it. Chavie’s comment also show’s how you can get your avatar image to show up on wordpress.

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