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How To Give Your WinnipegFIRST Profile An Avatar Picture

If you've recently joined the WinnipegFIRST community by registering a Profile, then congratulations! However, you might be wondering how you replace that temporary placeholder image on your Profile page with a picture of yourself.

Currently, WinnipgFIRST uses a globally recognized avatar image for user's Profile pictures. These pictures are provided by Gravatar, and are based on the e-mail address you've registered with us. This allows users to have a single, consistent image associated to their profile here at WinnipegFIRST, and any other site that supports Gravatar images.

To set up a Gravatar image for your profile...

  • Go to Gravatar
  • Click the signup link
  • Punch in the same e-mail address that you've used to register your WinnipegFIRST profile
  • A message will be sent to that e-mail address with a confirmation code. Open up your e-mail program or site, and find that message... the subject line should be "Welcome to Gravatar".
  • Click the link with the confirmation code, or copy-paste that link into your web browser. You will be redirected back to Gravatar.
  • Choose a password. This does not have to be the same password as your WinnipegFIRST password.
  • You may or may not be asked about Gravatar's newsletter or web feed. I suppose that's your choice :)
  • Finally, you'll be registered with Gravatar. You'll see your e-mail address has "no gravatar" associated with it. Click the "add a new one" link directly below that grey box.
  • Choose whether you will be using an image file from your computer or elsewhere on the internet. If you choose your computer, you will be presented witha small form which will get you to browse your harddrive for your image file. If you choose the internet, you will get a small form where you'll need to provide a URL to the image file online.
  • Whichever source you choose, Gravatar will load the image file up, and provide a tool that will allow you to scale and crop the image to exactly what you like. Just drag the image around and use the slider to make the image bigger or smaller. Once you're happy with the choice in the selected box, click the "Crop" button.
  • Gratavar will then ask you to "rate" your new image avatar, using the standard movie ratings levels (G, PG, R, and X). This is used by a variety of sites to filter out inappropriate or offensive images. Warning, WinnipegFIRST currently only accepts Gravatars rated "G".
  • You'll be back to your main screen, with you e-mail address in the grey box, and still no Gravatar selected. However, you'll see your new Gravatar sitting below the grey box, waiting to be applied. Click on it, and confirm it's the one you want to associate with your registered e-mail address.
  • If successful, the grey box should now have your new Gravatar image within it.

If you return to WinnipegFIRST, you'll now see your new Gravatar being used not only on your Profile page, but anywhere you've left a comment. Please note, in the recent months, we've noticed Gravatar has had spotty connection problems, so your Profile image may not update immediately.

While developing the dev.winnipegfirst.ca site, we are debating whether to continue using Gravatar for Profile images. The alternative is to handle avatars directly within the site. If we move to internal avatars, you would be required to re-submit your Profile image, but those images would load faster and with consistency. However, you would lose the ability to have a globally recognized avatar through Gravatar. What's your opinion?

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Wil Alambre of Visual Lizard

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