Put Faces to Names in the Locally Grown Community

lettuceBeLG.jpgYou may have noticed a subtle change when viewing comments – a teeny little photo of the commentors by their comments (as of right now, just Griff and me). We know from our online and offline feedback that the LoGroNo community wants a better sense of who’s talking in our online dialogs, and so, our wunderkind ubergeek Sean Hayford O’Leary has set up our site to use a service called Gravatar (globally recognized avatar) to allow users to put a face to their name.

To get your own avatar, go to the Gravatar site and sign up. Be sure you use the same e-mail address that you use for your comments on this site (if you’ve used more than one, that’s fine; you can add other addresses later). After you’re in, upload an image of yourself — you’ll be able to crop it right on the Gravatar site. As soon as you’ve added your photo and the gears of the internet grind a little, your avatar will automagically appear on all your comments past and future.

Since the Gravatar service allows people to create multiple avatars, you can have fun and be creative. But in the same way that we require real names for our comments on our community blog, we’re also requiring real faces (of you, not your dog, cat, or Aunt Tillie) to go along with those names.

After you’ve got your Gravatar, show it off: comment after the jump!

99 thoughts on “Put Faces to Names in the Locally Grown Community”

  1. This is great. Thanks to all of you who’ve taken the time to post a picture of yourself. It makes a subtle but definite difference to be able to see who’s talking; you’re not just disembodied voices anymore. It helps to reinforce the idea of community.

    We do, however, have a couple of wise guys. No surprise there, really. But in my original post I said that, in the same way we require one’s real name in order to participate in the discussions on LoGro, we’re also requiring one’s real face. I’m iffy on the partial-face photos, but I have to admit that Will C.’s pic and comment above made me laugh out loud so I left it alone. I understand that some people just aren’t about self-revelation.

    Brendon E. is, as usual, pushing the envelope – his gravatar shows his real face, but…. he’s in drag. Technically that’s not a violation of my original request, but it doesn’t help the overall goal, which is to enable people who see you on the street to say “hello” and greet you by name. Jerry B. must’ve gotten completely carried away, because his gravatar is the monkey.

    I’m not trying to squelch creativity or be heavy-handed, but the reason we enabled the gravatars is because it was a tool to help foster the real-person community feel we’re after. Will you two change yours, please?

  2. Ahh, crap! So, Tracy, do you mean I have to dress in drag whenever I’m on the street?

    Does that mean you feel the need to facilitate communication between participants off-line? I put my real name on my posts, which abide by the accepted tone guidelines, what does it matter if people say “hello” to me on the street? Seems to me that it’s my choice with whom I engage in public.

    That feels a little heavy-handed to me.

    The way I see it, I could be a lettuce head icon or the femmed-out version of myself, which, aside for the luscious lashes and make-up, actually still looks a lot like me. You’re getting more than lettuce.

    To tell you the truth, many of the gravatars are too small or old (younger versions of themselves – I won’t name names) to help me recognize those people on the street anyway. I doubt I’d be able to peg some of those people (those I don’t already know) if they sat next to me at Hogan Bros. or GBM based on these tiny images.

    Not trying to be difficult, but I feel that maybe LoGroNo is over-reaching in the earnestness category on this point.

    Besides, the Bella me is so much cuter. I mean, look at that gorgeous red hair!

    So, yeah, this is simply a plea for lightheartedness on this little issue.

    Now, I’m off to watch one of your extremely talented progeny act in one of my silly plays.

    As always, much love to the three of you, from me and from the Bella inside me.

  3. Are you suggesting I look like a monkey? I do share 98.5% of my DNA with chimps. and I am the ape in charge.

    Seriously, I loaded a bunch of pictures and thought they would cycle through at random. I guess you have to change them from time to time, so you will various pictures of me with and without monkeys.

  4. So, Brendon, let me get this straight. I asked, “Will you please change your photo to something more in keeping with what we’re hoping to do on this site?” (not unlike the way one might ask in another social setting, “Would you mind moving your chair?”) and your response is, “NO. Bugger orf.”

    Is that an accurate summation?

  5. Some gravatar comments: why does Sean’s gravatar have no mouth and Griff’s no chin? Is this a statement of some sort about them? Lurking Will’s half-picture is the new style of Time Magazine for pictures of their columnists, alas. Bright’s picture is not bright on my computer screen. My visiting brother Brad from Idaho showed me how to lighten mine. As for Brendon as Bella, well….perhaps we should let Brendon be Brendon, unless he starts a trend and unless his wife is not pleased with the face he is presenting to the Internet world with his name, which she shares as his better half (definitely the better half in the case of Bella–Ann is much prettier).

  6. Tracy,

    Nice attempt to rephrase my brilliant argument into an offensive bit of spittle. I thought their were tone requirements that you had to maintain? I guess if you put the words in someone else’s mouth, it’s okay?

    Where will this madness stop, Tracy?

    Will you be a Resemblance Police Officer?

    How about pictures that sort of look like the person? What’s the threshold? In the LoGroNo labs, will scientists be conducting double blind tests to make sure that 95% of randomly polled residents can accurately label a person after seeing their tiny picture on this site? Those failing to reach that measure will be asked to pull their picture.

    I’m not sure a new person to town would recognize Sean or Gilly from their images on this site, for instance.

    What if a very large man with lots of hair and a beard loses a ton of weight and shaves his head and face? When you bump into him on the street, and, after a few moments of staring, you are able to just barely remember who he is, would you ask that man to post a new gravatar to LoGroNo that facilitates the external (not on this site) communication between citizens? Something that looks more like the new him?

    What if someone has plastic surgery or gets disfigured in an accident or dyes their hair and gets several facial piercings?

    See what I mean about the Resemblance Police?

    Have you considered that pictures might actually discourage participation in the site, especially from new readers? Even though it’s not a requirement, people aren’t necessarily going to know that. They may hold off because they’re not in the picture club. Something to think about.

    What if someone makes a comment on this site, and some crazy person objects to it so much that they track that person down from the picture on this site and kills him or her? Do you get sued for helping to facilitate this heinous crime? (This was hyperbole for hyperbole’s sake.)

    So, Tracy, what I am saying – not what you are saying I’m saying – is will you move your chair and recognize when you are taking things far too seriously?

    I thought you were pretty good at recognizing when people were jerking your chain.

    Yeah, I’m half-serious in my objections, not because I think the Gravatar Project (patent pending) is bad in its motives, but rather because your humorless objections seem unnecessary, almost silly.

    I guess the only personality you want injected in this site is from the three of you? That actually is a big mistake in terms of facilitating communication and attracting visitors. It’s not like I was putting anyone down. A community is made up of individuals with very different personalities. Variety goes much further to encouraging traffic than meaningless strictures.

    So, what you are saying is a lettuce icon will be a better representation of me than a drag picture that really looks a lot like me? Doesn’t make any sense.

    There is another issue here that’s actually more serious than some of my tongue-in-cheek hypotheticals above: My gravatar image shows up on other sites as well. What gives you the authority to ask me to remove it? I don’t want to manage 5 e-mail accounts with 5 gravatars. LoGroNo has no claims on the gravatar images as they apply to other sites, right?


    So, how do I remove the oh-so-bitterly-offensive gravatar image from this site without removing it from other sites where I’ve left comments? You put the images online here using Gravatar which is in no way owned or controlled by LoGroNo, seems to me you have to take whatever images people have established in that program, or ban those individuals from your site, or create a proprietary, in-house image host for LoGroNo only.

    Tracy, I’m not telling you to “bugger orf”; if you want to spin it that way, fine. I’m telling you I don’t agree with the logic or the reach or the purported effectiveness of the gravatars. I thought this site was about discussion, not allegiance. I want “Bella” to stay on other sites.

    So, Tracy, will you move your chair, please? If not, then ban me.

  7. Ohhhh, and you spelled my name wrongly just to jerk me again…

    Ummm… maybe I should rephrase that…

    Alright, fine, you got me. I’ve heard you were an acid wit, but consider me well-jerked like Jamaican chicken or…

    Let’s leave it at Jamaican chicken.

    I knew there was a reason I loved you guys.

    Well, I like you guys… I mean there’s no way I’m French-kissing Ross and Griff again, no matter how much they pay me this time. You on the other hand… well, I’ve heard a few things from my good friend, Ed Settera…

    PS: I also fully recognize that I make for a very homely woman at best, which, since Bella does resemble Brendon in many ways, maybe doesn’t speak well of me in my “home gender”.

  8. Oh, what is going on here? Wow.

    Brendon, I spelled your name wrong earlier, and sorry about that. I can’t spell for the life of me, but you shouldn’t have to suffer the consequences. And you look beautiful, by the way.

  9. No big deal, Holly… Tracy spelled my name wrong on purpose only because I have rejected her amorous advances so many times…

    (Full Disclosure: Tracy won’t return my calls.)

    (Fuller Disclosure: Their not calls so much as me standing outside her house and hollering her name, plaintively. Perhaps I should hold a boom box above my head while doing so?)

    (Fullest Disclosure: Come to think of it, I’m not sure it’s actually Tracy’s house.)

    (Fullester Disclosure: I’m not even sure it’s a house really; more of a police station-type-thingy.)

    Jessica, I’m glad you high-five my comments, but could you clarify exactly what number the variable ‘N’ in “Nth degree” is representing?

    If it’s N= -3, then you are actually not high-fiving my comments, but rather high-1/125ing them, which would mean you support them less than one percent. On the other hand, if it’s like N=97 or something, then, well, you are high-reallyhugenumbering them. Which would be freakin’ awesome!

  10. The gravatar I sent in is really a picture of my identical twin. Hehehe.

    Also, I agree with BE, but won’t admit it cuz he didn’t spell ‘they’re’ correctly, and no spell check would check that out, but I forgive Ann and she can forgive BE for me.

  11. Yeah, Bright, I caught my misuse of their / there / they’re after I posted, but, alas, no editing enabled for li’l ol’ me. Sometimes you get going quickly and don’t catch things.

    I wasn’t able too sleep to much last night because of it. It was two much.

  12. The Enders join the Gravatar gang!

    Britt Ackerman (#19) your test photo is working, however, that doesn’t really look like you. She’s cute, tho!

    Jessica, how about you next? I have some photos of you that I’d be happy to loan you for your Gravatar.

  13. No doubt…Britt’s a major babe.
    In spite of my extreme hesitation, I was all set to create my Gravatar. But once I realized it wouldn’t meet Tracy’s guidelines, I kinda lost interest. Sorry.
    Of course, now I see this thread and realize the pressure’s on….do I maintain my individualism or join the pack???? What a quandary.
    Griff, as I recall, most the of the photos you have of me quality as blackmail material….

  14. Geez….let this be a lesson for everyone: Try to do a little community-building (by requesting relatively accurate photos to go along with our real-name policy) and be forever demonized as the squelcher of individual expression.

    Oh, well, I guess I’ll take one for the team.

  15. One thing I noticed about the Try Umph Er At I is that they are not very flexible.

    If someone wants to self express, just start a self express train thread.

    Be *and/both*, not *either/or* – it’s the 21 st century peopol, peopol!

  16. Geez. I seem to have extreme proof-reading problems of late.

    No apologies necessary, Tracy. I think my need for “self-expression” is based primarily on insecurity — a partial or obscured or “artistically-rendered” image of myself is much preferable (to me) than the real thing.

    But, it seems now that I, too, will be joining the crew….watch out, LoGroNo, here I come (with sincere thanks to mister wigley, of course)…..

  17. @Griff 9:29
    Tell the truth, tho: did Peter help you?

    No. He often does, but I didn’t need to ask him this time. On the other hand, the earlier comments were useful at places where I might have made the wrong guess.

    Speaking of help, any time you can find time to steer me through the bewildering maze of WordPress (or send another ministering angel), I’d be very appreciative. (Peter and Jesse are still bogged down with moving aftereffects.)

    And are there in-person get-togethers for locallygrown bloggers? I’d be glad to meet more of you, but my driving is quite limited, and in the winter, nonexistent.

  18. Linda, there are some good public transportation busses in Northfield,
    and a good taxi company, too. They can get you to the library, restaurant
    or shopping. If you are a gardener, I can see if I can get you a guest space
    at the garden club’s luncheon next Tuesday. Email me at bright@beautywood.com and I will fill you in on the particulars. Also,
    I’ll have a cup of tea with you when the weather warms up a notch.

  19. Linda,
    Welcome back to town…there is a growing group of bloggers, commenters, lurkers and online junkies who get together from time to time. We aren’t sponsored by any particular blog or organization, and it’s all very informal. We just had a party Saturday and we’re looking at meeting for happy hour somewhere soon. It’s just a way for newcomers, oldtimers, returnees, commuters and others to get to know each other socially without committing to a particular activity or organization. If you — or anyone else — is interested, just drop me an e-mail and I’ll be sure to keep you up to speed as we figure things out. I can guarantee there will be no dues, no agendas, no volunteer requests, just conversation and adult beverages. In the meantime, if you need a ride anywhere, anytime, let me know and I’ll do my best to get you there and back. Some of us just weren’t meant to hibernate.
    Anne editoranne@yahoo.com

  20. No worries, Griff. Did you think I’m a boy ’cause I look like I’m in drag in my pic like Brendon? Anyway, I’m a girl. 🙂 Hey, what would it cost us to have you remaster our website? Send me an email at britt.ackerman@gmail.com.

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