By way of explanation…

John A Karr asked in the last post’s Comments:

… where this weird icon thingee come from beside my posts? Deviltry!

Have no fear John! It is not the Devil at work at all! I’ve enabled Gravatars (Globally Recognized Avatars) on my commenting to allow you all to affix little images to your names – you’ve no doubt seen them at work on other blogs. I like the little pictures attached to people’s names. I think they make the threading and comment flow a lot easier to follow, and they also add a bit of character to the conversation.*

Anybody can make a Gravatar – just go here and you will get all the info you need. A Gravatar is attached to an email address, so once you have one, it will be used on any and all Gravatar enabled sites where you comment.

If you don’t have a Gravatar, however, here on The Cow you will be assigned a Wavatar, and that is the little face about which John is asking. Wavatars are designed by Shamus Young at Twenty Sided, and are very clever. Based on the information in the email address you use to comment, Shamus’ Wavatar code ‘rolls’ you a unique Wavatar that will consistently appear wherever you use that email address (on Wavatar enabled sites, obviously). Shamus calculates that there are 55 billion possibilities for unique Wavatars, so the likelihood that your Wavatar will look like someone else’s is vanishingly small.

I don’t mind how you choose to proceed on The Cow – I like the Wavatars a lot because they seem quite amusing, but feel free to create and use a Gravatar if you prefer. If you choose to comment anonymously, then no image is assigned at all.

This has been a Tetherd Cow Ahead Public Service Announcement.


*And I intensely dislike the embedded ‘Reply’ function that’s popped up on many platforms recently – in my opinion it encourages people to read only their comments and the replies to their comments, which I feel is contrary to the blogging community spirit.