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