Gravatar

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Gravatar
Logo Gravatar.png
Web address gravatar.com
Commercial? Yes
Type of site Avatar hosting
Registration Optional
Owner Automattic
Created by Tom Preston-Werner
Alexa rank positive decrease 1,276 (April 2014)[1]

Gravatar (a portmanteau of globally recognized avatar) is a service for providing globally unique avatars which was created by Tom Preston-Werner. Since 2007, it has been owned by Automattic, who have integrated it into their WordPress blogging platform.

Designs[edit]

On Gravatar, users can register an account based on their email address, and upload an avatar to be associated with the account. Gravatar plugins are available for popular blogging software; when the user posts a comment on such a blog that requires an email address, the blogging software checks whether that email address has an associated avatar at Gravatar. If so, the Gravatar is shown along with the comment. Gravatar support is provided natively in WordPress as of v2.5[2] and in web based project management application Redmine beginning with version 0.8.[3] Support for Gravatars is also provided via a third party module in the Drupal web content management system.[4]

A Gravatar avatar can be up to 2048 pixels wide, is always square and is displayed at 80 by 80 pixels by default.[5] If the uploaded avatar is larger or smaller, the avatar is scaled appropriately. Each Gravatar is rated with an MPAA-style age recommendation, which allows webmasters to control the content of the Gravatars displayed on their website.

Webmasters can also configure their system to automatically display an Identicon when a user has no registered Gravatar.

Gravatars are loaded from the Gravatar web-server using a URL containing an MD5 hash of the associated email address. However, this method has been shown to be vulnerable to dictionary attacks (in one real-life example over 10% of the email addresses of a set of forum users could be determined from the Gravatar URLs combined with the forum user names) and rainbow table approaches.[6]

Metadata[edit]

User's profile data is available in a number of metadata standards, including hCard, JSON, XML, PHP, and vCard as well as via QR Codes. The raw data formats (JSON, XML, PHP) use the Portable Contacts standard.[7]

History[edit]

For some time the Gravatar service remained unmaintained. The maker became busy with working on a new version of the service, as Gravatar's popularity grew and more bandwidth was required. On 16 February 2007,[8] "Gravatar 2.0" was launched. Besides an improved server script, users also noticed other improvements, such as being able to crop and use an image already hosted on the Internet. Support for two gravatars per account was added, between which the user can easily switch. "Gravatar Premium" was also launched, which allows unlimited e-mail addresses and Gravatars per account.

On 11 June 2007, Tom Preston-Werner announced that 32,000 new users had signed up since the launch of Gravatar 2.0.[9]

On 18 October 2007 Automattic acquired Gravatar.[10] After doing so, they offered all previously paid services at no cost, improved server response time,[better source needed] and refunded those who had recently paid for service.[11]

Matt Mullenweg announced on The Big Web Show on 2 December 2010 that Gravatar was serving approximately 20 billion images per day.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gravatar.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  2. ^ "Wordpress Codex — Using Gravatars". Codex.wordpress.org. Retrieved 2009-12-10. 
  3. ^ "Redmine v0.8.0 RC1 changelog". Redmine.org. Retrieved 2014-01-06. 
  4. ^ "Drupal Gravatar Integration". Drupal.org. 2007-11-24. Retrieved 2009-12-10. 
  5. ^ "Gravatar — How the URL is constructed". en.gravatar.com. Retrieved 2009-12-10. 
  6. ^ Gravatars: why publishing your email's hash is not a good idea Developer IT, December 8, 2009
  7. ^ "Open Profile Data". Gravatar Blog. Gravatar. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "Welcome to Gravatar 2.0!". blog.gravatar.com. 2007-02-16. Retrieved 2011-07-01. 
  9. ^ "Gravatar Blog — Updated Croppr & Stats". blog.gravatar.com. 2007-06-11. Retrieved 2009-12-10. 
  10. ^ Riley, Duncan (2007-10-17). "Automattic Acquires Gravatar". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2010-08-03. 
  11. ^ "Gravatar Blog — Automattic Acquires Gravatar". blog.gravatar.com. 2007-10-18. Retrieved 2009-12-10. 
  12. ^ "The Big Web Show #29: Matt Mullenweg on 5by5 (41m40s)" (MP3 audio, MP4 video). 5by5 Studios. 2010-12-02. Retrieved 2010-12-12. 

External links[edit]