It’s all about the avatar, baby. Don’t believe me? Well yes, content is king, but it needs to be noticed. Your diamonds are trying to stay afloat in the cesspool of spam, viagra, trading on forex, and all sorts of other trash. And yes, killer titles are also a part, but a crappy avatar can ruin all the time and effort that went into the otherwise compelling piece of content you’re oh so proud of.
So, here is a list of 7 suggestions I have for having a compelling avatar:
1 – Don’t be the tool that uses the community default icon.
This one should be a no brainer when engaging in any community. Why get lost in a sea of default icons? Tamar “Schwagwhore” Weinberg wrotoe a good piece on Digg default icons making the difference in the upcoming section of Digg.
2 – Big or Small?
Some like to take up the whole 120×120 box, while others like to overpixelate. Some like tiny, but my opinion is the bigger the better.
3 – Seasonal?
Sure, why not. I personally don’t, but here’s an entertaining one:
4 – Company Logo? Sure, but maybe just the icon. People aren’t going to squint to try to read your whole company name at 120×120.
5 – Attractive People.
People like to see attractive people. But don’t go overboard like sexyseo, or you might get your avatar yanked off mybloglog.
6 – Just Plain You.
Folks like Digidave (Propeller admin / citizen journalist) just have an avatar of themselves. Plain and simple. Then, people even recognize you at events. Good show.
7 – NO copycatting. Seriously. I will smack you personally.
Ben Yoskovitz of Instigator Blog will probably smack you too. He had a good post about having an avatar so good that others try to steal it. Again, if you copycat an avatar, you are a moron.
Ultimately, how do you choose? try an avatar and see the response you get. See if you get an increased number of friends and votes. Ask others. The Thinking Blog went so far as to asking its audience which of 5 avatars they should use in a poll!