Avatars, Yes?

Possibly. I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing. But you’ll notice most guys in comments now have a mysterious silhouette next to their message, while the clever ones have a clever picture up. If their picture is of boobies, it won’t be for long, trust me.

Anyhoo, either click on one of those or click here and you’ll be taken to Gravatar, where you can upload your pic. First you’ll need to create an account using the email address you enter when you leave a comment here, but it’s very quick and non-intrusive. The email address must be all lower-case, so you may need to switch to another address for commenting here if you currently use a sIlLy l33T handle or something.

Images should be 50×50 max (though Gravatar seems to explode images of that size into 80×80, so I’m a bit confused at the moment), and safe for innocent eyes – you’ll be asked to age-rate it when you upload, and when you do select ‘PG.’ If you upload a picture of a distended rectum and still label it PG so that it shows up here, you can rest assured we’ll keep deleting your comments until you grow up.

In some cases there’s a wait before your avatar shows up, so patience, laddie. If you just want to check that your avatar’s working, you can always simply look at a previous comment you’ve posted, rather than adding a ‘testing…’ one to the boring mountain of ’em already in this thread, though it’s understandable if you’re not sure where you last commented. Definitely don’t follow up a test comment with another one if the first doesn’t work though, because that’s just annoying and makes it harder for us to check for real problems – just hit refresh once you’ve made your Gravatar change. The avatars work retrospectively too, y’see.

Other than that, go get ’em. Mine’s working, look:


  1. Andrew Farrell says:


  2. Ben Hazell says:

    Testing ;)

    May I suggest that the default image for ‘folk without avatars’ be a Rorschach inkblot image…

  3. Lh'owon says:

    Oops, accidental post, nothing whatsoever to do with testing.

  4. Aquatopia says:


  5. Aquatopia says:


  6. Lh'owon says:

    Heh, in a fit of genius I managed not to select my avatar after uploading. I are clever.

    (last post, promise)

  7. Alec Meer says:

    Okay, so one ‘testing’ is fair enough if you can’t find a recent comment you made elsewhere on the site. But one person posting multiple tests in this thread is just a bit inconsiderate, given they can simply press refresh on this page and their last comment will reflect their avatar changes.

  8. Alec Meer says:

    Also, I’ve a) found a better default avatar icon (with thanks to those who made/started making an alternative) and b) added a comments preview thingy, so you can check your URLs and whatnot work before you post.

  9. The_B says:

    Oo-eer Alec, with all these WordPress plugins you may break the internets!

    (Despite the fact I have a habit of installing a fair amount of shiny plugins on my own blog ¬_¬)

  10. Cargo Cult says:


    For those of you not knowing how Gravatars work: the blog takes your otherwise hidden email address, runs the one-way MD5 mangling algorithm on it, and gets a big long hexadecimal ‘key’ unique to that email address. It then puts an appropriate image link in the page, which makes your browser ask the Gravatar servers* for an image corresponding to that key string. It’s equivalent to putting your email address in that image link, except spammers would need a ridiculous amount of computing power to reverse that MD5 mangling.

    So basically, if you have a Gravatar associated with an email address, every single comment you’ve posted with that email address will now have your Gravatar next to it. Even if it was a long time ago.


    * Assuming there’s no caching being done on the blog…

  11. arqueturus says:

    Death’s head?

  12. Alec Meer says:

    Yes, yes?

  13. arqueturus says:

    Heh, great character been years since I thought of him.

  14. Kismet says:

    Does it work? Does it? It does.

  15. Solario says:


  16. wiper says:

    Is I is or is I ain’t visible?

  17. Xagarath says:

    That Death’s Head avatar is possibly the best I have yet encountered on the internet.

  18. MPK says:

    The inevitable sig-test-me-do.

    Oh look, a preview window. What’s the countdown to it becoming self aware and pre-empting our comments before unleashing global thermo-nuclear war?

    Or should I lay off the Czech beer?

  19. CrashT says:

    Obligatory testing post.

  20. Iain says:


    Czech beer is the bestest. Apart from perhaps the Oktoberfest beer that Sainsburys are going to stop selling in a couple of days because it’s no longer October… Ah, well. Only another 11 months to wait.

    Oh, and test.

  21. finished_okami_a_while_ago says:

    This is a bit like the moment during a party, when all the lights go on and sudenly you see, who you’ve been spending the last few hours with.

  22. Alex Hopkinson says:

    You really should have used “Avatars, Yes?” as the topic title!

  23. AbyssUK says:

    testing – inside out teddy bears make me cry

  24. Alec Meer says:

    A fine point, Alex. Obscure 80s comicbook references FTW.

  25. MPK says:


    The only problem I have with Czech beers – and eastern european beers in general – is that they think 5%abv is weak.

    Zywiec is a fine Polish lager that can also be used to aneasthetise cows.

  26. Tom Edwards says:

    The system will occasionally randomly forget to display your gravatar, or spend months trying to load.

    There’s a handy WordPress plugin that lets you cache gravatars locally. Away from FTP access I forget what it’s called…

    Also, my gravatar rocks.

  27. Alec Meer says:

    Tried it. Didn’t work. Or at least it didn’t work easily and quickly enough for me not to lose the motivation to keep faffing around with it.

  28. KindredPhantom says:


  29. KindredPhantom says:


  30. Iain says:


    My liver is intimately acquainted with Zywiec. My local supermarket stocks Lech and Tyskie, as well. They’re both equally good for anesthetising cows (and Glaswegians).

    The latter is especially good, if only because it’s an onomatopoeia for the sound my girlfriend makes whenever I get a bottle of it out of the fridge…

  31. James Lyon says:

    Can you see me? Huh? Huh?

  32. Icarus says:

    I’m afraid I have to post a “testing” comment, since I don’t remember if/where I’ve commented on RPS before. I chose ‘G’-rated now, so let’s see if it works.

  33. KindredPhantom says:

    Hopefully working.

  34. Watcher95 says:


  35. Watcher95 says:

    one more try

  36. Thiefsie says:

    wooo twin bee!

    it has to be g rated people :)

  37. Fat Zombie says:

    Testing, testing.

  38. Nameykins says:

    testing, one two three

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  40. mr distended rectum says:

    i am testing this NOW

  41. party gowns says:

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  42. Berzee says:

    testing, indeed

  43. Jolly Teaparty says:


  44. LudwigTheurer says:


  45. KIm says:

    It dosn´t work for me :(

  46. steadystate says:


  47. Shodan says: