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The dilemma of changing your avatar

Posted on September 18, 2009 by Blog Design Journal

I sometimes think I’d like to change my avatar (the little picture that accompanies your blog and twitter posts etc). Something that says a bit more about who I am, what I like or is more indicative of our business of personalised photo gifts. Now there’s a radical thought.

After all, a picture is supposed to paint a thousand words.

Here are just a few of the ideas I’ve had:

Fozzy Bear (from the Muppets) – he’s always happy, nothing gets him down, a real friend who’d do anything for his friends, sometimes shy and a little timid.

A banana – I like bananas, I like the colour yellow, they suggest tropical sun drenched paradise and they’re the shape of a smile.

A jigsaw piece – Our company started out just personalising jigsaw puzzles with customers own photographs. That was three years ago. Today, we still have the largest selection of jigsaw puzzles you can personalise – we’ve just added more gift ideas as we’ve gone along.

Mandy’s picture – It’s Mandy’s business really – I just do all the online stuff and upkeep for her website. Problem is, she’s a little camera shy – can you believe it?

Keeping the same image – a mug shot of me on a childrens rollercoaster ride, suffice to say the smile (i’m always smiling) is more a hanging on for dear life grimace on this occasion.

You see I had a bit of a disagreement with a colleague the other day on the subject of avatar changes. He’s all for changing it when the mood takes him. My view is that once you start using one avatar, it’s ‘commercial suicide’ to change it. My feelings are that your avatar becomes your quick reference for regular followers amongst a fast changing sea of faces and icons.

It’s something instantly recognisable that a follower can spot – a bit like tying a j-cloth around the handle of your suitcase when you travel abroad so you can spot it easily on the luggage carousel.

I wouldn’t go so far as to suggest that by changing your avatar you’re not bothered about your followers being able to continue following you – there is RSS etc to keep them informed, but anything you change that will make it harder for and possibly cost you followers / customers cannot be a good thing.

Whether you blog or tweet for commercial or purely personal reasons, the same rules apply when it comes to avatars. I’d even go so far as to suggest changing the shade of your normal avatar – there’s been several instances on Twitter when it’s been ‘trendy’ to show your support for a good cause by adopting a themed colour, could throw regulars off the scent.

If you do feel compelled to change your avatar, be prepared to work really hard to ensure that everyone knows what you used to look like.

(ArticlesBase ID #1242882)

Jonathan Crouch is Technical Partner and website designer for Fabulous Photo Gifts – personalised photo gift company. In his quieter moments, he blogs ‘how-to’ and ‘SEO’ self help articles for small businesses and individuals, based on his own years of experience.

Website: http://www.fabulousphotogifts.co.uk
Blog: http://purple13.blogspot.com

Article Source:http://www.articlesbase.com/blogging-articles/the-dilemma-of-changing-your-avatar-1242882.html

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