31 January 2013: Welcome to New Users Post!

A nice feature of this new site is that it allows for people to register for accounts and to make comments. For the past year, while the old site served it’s purpose, it felt a lot like me bloviating into the void with no input or feedback from anyone. While the primary purpose of the site is to disseminate information, it’s also a community initiative which doesn’t mean me talking endlessly into the void to an unseen and largely, unheard viewership. I’ve exchanged email with a lot of you over the past year and I know you have a lot to say.

No, you don’t need to be an Association member to sign up for an account or to participate by commenting. Registration on the site is open to everyone.

Welcome to our new members!

2 thoughts on “31 January 2013: Welcome to New Users Post!

  1. George Fergusson Post author

    There have been a few inquiries about avatars… you know, the little picture that is supposed to identify you on your comments. As soon as I figure this out, I’ll post something.

  2. George Fergusson Post author

    OK, perhaps from the little picture beside my name you might surmise that I’ve got avatars figured out. I have. Here’s the scoop.

    That little picture is a 40×40 pixel jpg. Once upon a time, when blogging was brand new, users wanted to associate a picture with their posts. They would upload their own little picture to each site that had the ability to attache an avatar to a post or comment, which in the beginning wasn’t too many sites. And of course they all had different requirements as to size, etc. As the number of sites grew, so grew the headaches associated with managing all the avatars. So “they” came up with a scheme to standardize on avatars and centrally manage them on a single site and then when a blog wanted someone’s avatar to associate with their post, they would request it using the user’s hashed-email address as a code. Simple. Elegant. So all the blogosphere started to adopt this scheme. It simplified coding and made life easier.

    So the site that was setup to create, manage, and disseminate avatars is called Gravatar.com for “Globally Recognized Avatar.” And this is the first I ever heard of it.

    So here’s the deal. It doesn’t cost any money and you can have as many avatars as you want associated with any number of email addresses. Go to http://www.gravatar.com and set up and account. They’ll mail you a link to log in with- you then choose a username and password, and upload a picture from your hard drive and they’ll resize it for you. And that’s it. Your new avatar will automatically show up on any blog site you comment on that uses Gravitars, assuming you give them the same right email address. You can also have multiple addresses by the way, and multiple avatars.

    Now, the users of WordPress have written various hacks to get around the use of Gravatars that revert to the old original scheme of having users upload their own avatars to the site, and I may look into one of these schemes later but for now I’m going to implement the Gravatar scheme on the site.

    I will probably put this comment in a page for future reference.

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