You know those little pictures you see posted next to comments on blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites which identify the author?

Me

Sometimes you’ll hear them called gravatars (globally recognized avatars), but many just say “avatars”.

I like to call them ADvatars since they “ad”vertise who we are.

In some ways they are like our calling card.

Since they brand us in blogosphere, it’s suggested we use the same image on all sites we frequent and that they represent how we want to be known, whether by our photo, our logo or an image which best represents us.

Today’s Lesson

Recognition online is very important.

So the questions become, “What is the best way to brand ourselves?”, and “How will others recognize us?” .

By our name? By the name of our blog? By our avatar? Or, all three?

To test what brands us the best in blogosphere, I’ve created a little game.

Listed below are three columns with the names of 20 random blog authors, the name of their blog, and their avatars.

I then scrambled each category.

To play, take time to study each list and see if you can match the author to their avatar and to the name of their blog.

Don’t cheat. Honest answers will help all of us to gain better recognition in blogosphere.

Ready to match them up?

Good Luck!

AUTHOR
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1) George
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2) Keith Davis
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3) Kelvin
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4) Mandy
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5) Hilary
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6) Tess
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7) Raul
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8.) Lisa
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9) Tony
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10) Joella
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11) Heather
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12) Linda
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13) Chania Girl
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14) Julie
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15) Wendi
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16) John Hoff
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17) Evelyn
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18) Friar
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19) J.D. Meier
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20) Lori Hoeck
BLOG NAME
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Practically Intuitive
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Alien Ghost
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Heather Villa
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WP Blog Host/Blog
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Trottersville
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Blogs With Wings
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Positive Letters
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Mandy Allen.com
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Sources Of Insight
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Tumblemoose
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Puppet Kaos
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Easy Public Speaking
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Living Happiness
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jbulie’s blog
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Think Like A Blackbelt
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Life’s Little Inspirations
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Abundance Tapestry
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The Bold Life
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Roses 2 Rainbows
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Deep Friar
AVATAR

Today’s Assignment

How did you do?

How do you recognize  fellow bloggers? Is it by their name? The name of their blog? Or their avatar?

Care to share?

signature for blog post.

P.S. To repeat what I mentioned in an earlier post, for those of you who haven’t added an avatar/gravatar to your profile; it’s very easy. Refer to my post titled, “How To Get and/or Add A Gravatar to Your Post Comments”. If you have any questions of need help setting up your avatar, please feel free to ask.

Want more of the game? See: How Branding Works In Blogosphere and Are Domain Names Overrated?; earlier posts in which we matched other bloggers to their avatars.

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Look Who's Talking
  1. Haha — yes, I recognize many here. A fun game to play, Barbara. My best recognition is visual, but the blog title is a very close second. Those I read regularly though — I know all three.
    Barb
    Check out Barb Hartsook’s awesome post.Do You Check In With Friends Every DayMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Barb,

      I hear you. When we visit a blog on a regular basis, we’re more apt to recognize the author by any method.

  2. Cute and fun game Barbara. I seriously tried to match the name with the blog with the picture. I did okay, recognizing some of them, not all. I’m sure you know better. I did learn one thing ~ for me, I recognized the name with the face and not the name of the blog. I think this is because I like to look at who is the writer. In fact, that’s how I identify my readers, by first name. Good one.

    Julie
    Check out Julie @ jbulie’s blog’s awesome post.ㄥ❀∨モ criticism ♥My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Julie,

      I’m like you. The name of the blog is usually the last item of the puzzle, but eventually I learn that, too.

  3. Alien GhostNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    That was fun! I could only match all three elements in just a few, but I noticed that just the picture was enough to know who is, what blog, what kind of content, etc. Just, and only looking at the pictures.

    When looking only to the blog’s name the results were lower; and when going by the names only the result was about the same as going with the blog’s names but could relate more in a personal level.

    Really interesting! It seems that, at least for some people like me, the picture is the biggest communicator of all in order to relate, memorize and accept as a part of a personal world.

    Probably for many other people it works better by words instead of pictures; still it seems it is really important these days to include a clean, clear picture as a required branding element, be it a logo or the face of the blogger.

    Very interesting and fun! 🙂

    Raul
    Check out Alien Ghost’s awesome post.Blogging and TelepathyMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Raul,

      Your comment reminded me of when some of us didn’t use avatars for blogging, thus the name became the most important element.

      Yes. A good photo becomes important if we’re looking to brand ourselves.

  4. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    Oh I only had a bit of trouble with 2 and it was putting the real names to the site and picture….this was a fun post for a summer weekend. Thank you made me smile!
    Check out Patricia’s awesome post.Such a Beautiful DayMy Profile

  5. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – This is a fun game. There were 8 pics I didn’t recognise. I tend to remember both pics and names of people but I’m not always good at remembering blog names.
    Check out Cath Lawson’s awesome post.New Business Mistakes- The Hidden Startup KillersMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Cath,

      I know what you’re saying. Usually the name of the blog is the hardest thing for me to remember, too.

  6. Kelvin KaoNo Gravatar says:

    I either can recognize all three, or I can’t match up any of the two at all. The ones I recognized are mostly what I am already subscribed to and read regularly. I tend to look at the avatar first and then go back to the first column. I am someone that needs a last name to attach to a person since a common first name, like, say, Jennifer can be anyone. Also I have a habit of changing the names of rss feeds in my feed reader to the blogger’s name, so I tend to have better recognition for blogger names than blog names.
    Check out Kelvin Kao’s awesome post.Russian Spy Ring Case Likely a Movie Promotion StuntMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kelvin,

      You raised a good point. When those who comment only use their first name, it can be confusing, especially if there are more than one commenter with the same first name.

  7. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. thanks for these .. I will be back to visit the blogs I don’t know – once I’m through this period of move and unsettlement .. some I recognise, some I know but don’t visit, and some I don’t know – so it’s great to have your recommendations ..

    Thanks – I sometimes think of the ones you’ve done previously like this … and certainly if one sees a avatar .. it identifies the commenter more easily .. so for simplicity our avatar if it stands out; but in general .. all three should be important .. name, blog and avatar .. I think .. there has to be a tie in.

    Have a good Sunday and thanks for including me! Hilary
    Check out Hilary’s awesome post.A Century of Aces Afghanistan to Zimbabwe My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Hilary,

      You’re right. All three elements are important to our online profile, however, if for some reason our readers don’t remember one element, it’s good to know we have two other options to leave our mark.

  8. Fun game! The pictures I mostly recognize from comments. For the blogs that I frequent, I recognize the name. I’m going to come back and visit some of the ones that I did not know. 🙂
    Check out Heather Villa’s awesome post.Weekend Reading- My fav’s from this week- 7-16-10My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Heather,

      Glad you liked the game. Yes. if we look at the avatars in comments we’re more apt to recognize who’s who.

  9. Tony SingleNo Gravatar says:

    Yup, like many here I recognised who was who from the “advatars”, but then I’ve always been a very visual person. I was then able to quickly associate those images I knew with the names in my head (without even reading the names in the list). I think you’re absolutely right – branding can be pretty important! 🙂

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tony,

      Yes. I feel if our desire is to make a name for ourselves in blogosphere, it’s imperative we brand ourselves accordingly.

  10. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    What fun! I missed a couple but hey, it works! Good idea!
    Check out Linda’s awesome post.The Texas Green WarsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Linda,

      I’m happy to hear you had fun with this lesson. I thought it would be a great way to show how branding can work in blogosphere.

  11. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    LOL, Barbara.
    Maybe it’s just me, but… I had a lot of trouble matching up Practically Intuitive’s blog name with their avatar. 😀

    I recognized all of these avatars, though there were a couple of blog names that I couldn’t match with them. In some cases I was more familiar with the name of the blogger than the name of the blog.

    For me personally, the avatars are the most recognizable. There is more to identify with there, re colour, shape, image, the feeling you get when you see it, etc. It’s easier to identify with the image as there are more “hooks” than the words when they stand alone.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      LOL Davina,

      I was wondering if anyone would catch that one. 🙂

      That’s true. With avatars there are more options. Even if we don’t use our own photo, we can use other images to convey who we are and how we want to be branded.

  12. Angelia SimsNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,
    That is so interesting! I definitely recognized the ones I knew by photo and immediately knew the url and name without even looking.

    Amazing how visuals work.

    🙂
    Check out Angelia Sims’s awesome post.Sunday’s Healthy Reflection – Problems or PossibilitiesMy Profile

  13. I was able to match 9 out of the 20. 🙂
    Check out vered | professional blogger’s awesome post.Voskos Greek Yogurt- Review- Giveaway- RecipeMy Profile

  14. Lori HoeckNo Gravatar says:

    I matched images and names better than the name of the blog, mainly because I see them in comment sections.

    (I still use that hat almost daily in the summer, by the way.)

    Thank you for the fun and insight.
    Check out Lori Hoeck’s awesome post.Independence Day song for targets of narcissistsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Lori,

      Yes. Paying attention to the avatars in comment sections is a great way to learn who’s who.

      P.S. Your avatar will never go out of style as long as you wear your hat. 🙂

  15. George AngusNo Gravatar says:

    Heehee. What fun!

    I got about half of them. I had to look at the avas and piece it together from there. Clever girl, great post!

    George
    Check out George Angus’s awesome post.I Don’t Know What I’m Writing AboutMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you George,

      It helps if we use process of elimination, doesn’t it? Glad you had fun with it.

  16. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    Interestingly I could recognize all the faces, but I couldn’t necessarily match them to all the names. Some of the blog names are really sticky.

    I think it’s great that with the right brand or the right idea, we build something bigger than ourselves that has a momentum all it’s own.
    Check out J.D. Meier’s awesome post.Selecting the CustomerMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi J.D.,

      That’s true. Once we know the power our avatars have, the possibilities of what we could do with them is only limited by our imaginations.

  17. FriarNo Gravatar says:

    I’m just flattered that a small-time player like me made your list. 🙂

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Friar,

      Small time player? You’re not giving yourself enough credit. 🙂

      • FriarNo Gravatar says:

        Thanks for your vote of confidence. But based on the “huge” number of comments I get, and my blog traffic, I ain’t’ exactly Seth Godin. 🙂
        Check out Friar’s awesome post.Perfect-July SummerMy Profile

        • Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

          Duh – Seth Godin doesn’t have blog comments. He switched them off when folk got annoyed with him for suggesting we click each others ads.

          Be careful when you’re comparing traffic – a lot of Seth’s traffic is from Social Media sites and they don’t generally hang round for long. And Seth can’t do Viking cartoons either.
          Check out Cath Lawson’s awesome post.New Business Mistakes- The Hidden Startup KillersMy Profile

          • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

            You’re right Friar, you’re no Seth Godin, you’re FRIAR, the blogger, the artist and the cartoonist.

            And like Cath said, Seth can’t do Viking cartoons or write like you. 8)

  18. It’s a fun game Barbara 🙂 Unfortunately, though I have heard certain names here and seen some avatars, I am unable to recall their blogs. The reason could be that blogosphere itself is a big collection of smaller networks. Your network has certain intersection with mine but not much. Probably I would identify 40 or 50 blogs and their avatars in my networks anytime 🙂

    You made a great point here..
    Check out Ajith Edassery’s awesome post.How to Diversify your Blog Income Streams and De-risk your Online BusinessMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Ajith,

      That’s a good point. Depending on who’s community we’re visiting, the faces will be different. And like you said, some will intersect.

  19. FriarNo Gravatar says:

    But you know what?

    Take the biggest blogger you know of (*Insert Cool Kid Name here*). A serious A-Lister..who’s name we all speak of in hushed tones, and who’s every word we hang onto.

    No, go into any big city, and randomly ask the average person on the street if they’ve heard of them.

    I bet you 95% haven’t. Maybe even higher.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Friar,

      That’s very true. The bloggers we speak of, those who we call “a-listers” are (almost) unknowns in the general population. I’d say it’s probably higher than 95%

      And I think that’s true with most “professions”. Those who are in them, know who’s at the top, but if we’re not in that arena, their name holds no value to us.

  20. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    Hello Barbara,

    I could only match those blogs that I knew. What an amazing exercise to teach us on branding. I found the various responses by the bloggers interesting! I thought it would be the url rather than the avatars that stick! Hmmm….it seems that I may not be right.
    Check out Evelyn Lim’s awesome post.Inception Movie Review- Your Mind Is the Scene of the CrimeMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Evelyn,

      That is surprising, isn’t it? I know when we did this exercise in previous posts, the results were about the same. It is amazing how much weight our avatars hold. Who knew?

  21. Chania GirlNo Gravatar says:

    This was a very enlightening exercise, Barbara. Like a lot of other people, I recognized gravatars more than anything, then names. Wow. What does that say about the blog name?

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post … and for including me, too! (I was surprised!)

    Hope you are well. 🙂
    Check out Chania Girl’s awesome post.The Joy List 11 July 2010My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Chania Girl,

      It is surprising, isn’t it? How much weight our gravatars hold. All the more reason to use one to build our online presence.

  22. Hey Barbara,
    Thanks for including me in this! I really thought it would be the domain name but for me it was the avatars! Amazing eh, you have a way of keeping us on our toes!
    Check out Tess The Bold Life’s awesome post.NoWordz Photography and Caroline ManriqueMy Profile

  23. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    You’re welcome Tess,

    What you said echos many of the comments. We may think the name of our blog should be memorable, but instead it’s our photo, logo, or image.

  24. This is an exercise in futility for me. I am absolutely h-o-r-r-i-b-l-e with faces. Actually it’s names, I see a face. I know that face. But where do I know it from? What is the name that goes with that face?

    It’s a constant source of embarrassment. Back in university one of my psychology professors assured me it was the way my brain is wired and not some failure of my character. it still bothers me.

    Out of all the people on this page I can only put names and blogs to two of the faces. Yours and mine. And you aren’t even on the game list. LOL

    Seriously, though, I love it when people use avatars that are photos of their real faces. It personalizes their words and I see familiar faces everywhere online. I’m more likely to take the time to read the comments of the faces that ring a bell in my head than the ones I don’t know.

    So even if I don’t remember your name I remember your face. You’ve made a connection and that connection influences me. I’m sure others with horrible memories for names feel the same way.

    It’s important for us to get our faces out there.
    Check out Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella’s awesome post.@font-face The Future Of Fancy Blog FontsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      LOL Joella,

      I don’t think you’re alone in not being able to put a name to a face. I know many people in the real world who are the same.

      I agree. When I see the avatar of a blogger I’m familiar with, I’m more apt to read their comment, too. It’s fun learning more about them, isn’t it?

  25. That was fun. It made me feel I should have a more eclectic blogroll, as you introduced me to some excellent blogs that I wasn’t aware of. Sometimes I get trapped in my own niche a little to much. The ones I did recognise were by there avatar, as many of your commenters realized. Its that “I’m good with faces but terrible with names” syndrome. Thanks again for a thought provoking post.
    Check out Terry Tiessen’s awesome post.My Problogger 7 Link Challenge 7LinksMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Terry,

      Getting trapped in our own niche, or community easily happens to bloggers. With time usually being an issue, it’s tough to branch out and read more blogs.

      I’m happy to hear you found more blogs to add to your list. Whomever you visit, I know you won’t be disappointed. Everyone who has commented are terrific writers.

  26. Keith DavisNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara
    I’m late to the party on this one.
    Thanks for including me in your list – I may have to include you in my blogroll as a real thank you.
    For me… the photos get my vote every time and sometimes a catchy blog name such as… Blogging Without a Blog.
    Check out Keith Davis’s awesome post.A splash of colourMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Keith,

      Thank you, but it’s not necessary for you to add me to your blogroll. 🙂

      What I like is how you use an avatar which isn’t a photo of yourself, nor a anime, so it gives bloggers more ideas of their choices for avatars.

      P.S. I’ve often thought I messed up when naming my blog, but it has turned out to be quite memorable. Who knew?

  27. Great tips, I love reading good posts that show the internet in greater depth. Recognition is very important in the blogosphere. Anyways, I wanted to introduce myself, I am Whitney Segura, a 21 year old internet marketer from Lafayette, Louisiana. You will be seeing a lot more of me here.
    Check out Whitney Segura’s awesome post.Tips for Building Back Links to Blogs with Comment KahunaMy Profile

  28. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you Whitney,

    It’s great to see you here, and I look forward to seeing more of you in the future. I wish you well with your online endeavor.

  29. Mandy AllenNo Gravatar says:

    Brilliant! It made me realise that some blog names that are not the name of the author, I actually have no idea who the author is! I too recognise pics more easily and it invokes a clear vision of the type of writing I am likely to find on the blog. I love my gravatar and have had loads of great comments about it so will probably never change it! It’s one of the pics in my Animoto ‘video clips’ page on the blog.

    Enjoy the journey.

    Mandy
    Check out Mandy Allen’s awesome post.How do you relaxMy Profile