Saturday, 3 January 2009

How important is your online avatar?

This little devil has been my online representative for a year now
He and I formed an allience on the day I joined Twitter, courtesy of a Markmedia lesson in social media at Uclan, and decided I wanted a cute avatar instead of the default o_O brown square Twitter gives you.

Now he's my avatar on all my networks, apart from LinkedIn, which has an old photo of me, as I figured a red demon might not be the ideal professional representation. On Utterli he flutters around, but on most of the sites he's a static beastie. And he's definitely a boy as far as I'm concerned, which is weird considering he represents me.

I'm massively attached to him and by using the same avatar on all sites, it's easy for people to know it's me. Although since I'm alisongow just about everywhere, I guess it's not really a Mastermind situation.

But recently, I've started to feel a little uncomfortable having a cartoon devil as an avatar, because it doesn't seem particularly, well, transparent. Am I hiding behind an image? Would it be more open and honest for me to use a photo of me than upload my devil?
I don't know if anyone else even cares, but I'm starting to feel a little hypocritical about not showing my face online.

I also notice increasing number of people on Twitter are changing their avatars to real photos of themselves, and I wonder why that is.
So I turned to Ask500people just to see what the consensus was.
If you have the time to vote, please do. My little devil may depend on you...
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