There are so many services out there that help you with your authenticity online. Some are complex profiles, and others are simple. What a lot of people forget are the simple things like Gravatar.
Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar image that when you type your email address, your avatar shows up. However, you have to sign up for the service.
No worries though – it is free.
Why should you use it?
Because there are so many spammers out there, a lot of them do not take the time to fill out profiles at OpenID type services and load up their own avatars. Sometimes site owners may delete comments by accident because they are not sure if the person is legitimate.
It is also a great way to extend your brand, just like your pic you share in your Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking accounts.
Gravatar makes this simple, so even if you are not a member of comment systems like Intense Debate or Disqus, you can at least make your comment unique instead of letting the avatar have the infamous “Mystery man” image.
Gravatar rolled out for June 2010 Public Profiles, so there is a lot of development to come with the system. Also, a lot of websites have Gravatar enabled. If your site is not, but you would like to put it in your comment system, you can. Regardless of what system you use, there is a great Developer’s Resource section at Gravatar, including directions for Using Gravatar in WordPress.
Do you use Gravatar? If not, why not?