Avatar noun av·a·tar \ˈa-və-ˌtär\
1: the incarnation of a Hindu deity (as Vishnu)
2a : an incarnation in human form
b : an embodiment (as of a concept or philosophy) often in a person
3: a variant phase or version of a continuing basic entity
4: an electronic image that represents and is manipulated by a computer user
(Definition courtesy of Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)
Those of us in the blogging world are most concerned with the 4th definition. Our avatar is our calling card. It represents us wherever we go in the WordPress world, and it even follows us beyond the WordPress friendly confines when we venture onto other internet sites.
When you’re out and about, visiting other blogs, a brief glance down at the avatars attached to comments tells you who’s already come to the party. You perk up when you see a friend and gravitate toward them. Or you may be drawn to an unfamiliar face when their words lead you to investigate a possible new friend.
Your avatar is uniquely yours, and the same goes for your blog’s header. Instead of being a traveling calling card, however, it’s the welcome mat at your home.
The problem with avatars is they’re so small that you sometimes can’t make out the detail. Even if you can, you may not know what it means. We choose our avatars and headers for very specific reasons, but the significance isn’t always clear to others. Inquiring minds want to know.
Here’s what my avatar and heading mean to me.
The avatar is a picture of me playing on a sproingy, metal sheep. It was taken when I was in Frankenmuth, Michigan with family about 6 years ago. We were strolling, shopping and trying to digest a huge lunch when I spotted the sheep at a kiddy playground. I had to hop aboard. This picture (carefully arranged, then selected from an exhaustive series of shots taken by a professional photographer, and then meticulously Photo Shopped), shows how fun and spontaneous I am.
I used to use a landscape photo of the Connemara region of Ireland as my header. The beautiful austerity of the area touched my soul. I changed it because that poetic crap isn’t funny.
My current header depicts the evolution of mankind from dumb primate to fully-upright, evolved Man. Things went kinda downhill from there until it arrived back at me. The tag, “you say you want an evolution” is a play on words from the Beatles’ song, “Revolution.” You’ll notice the ever-present picture of me on the sheep now sports painted-on yellow hair and red shoes. This highlights the fact that I am a glamorous, (used to be) natural blond. I also like to think of myself as having the kind of life that calls for fire-engine red, stiletto heels, even though I can usually be found in Easy Spirit Fun-timers with the Dr. Scholl’s orthotic inserts.
That’s me, now what about you?
Fellow bloggers, what does your header show? How about your avatar? If it’s a picture of you, why did you choose that particular shot? And are you really a Hindu god?