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Why are there not more avatars?

In looking and reading CH often, maybe too often cause I love it in here, learn so much, I notice that not many people have an avatar. It's easy to upload or download whatever the term is and wonder why more people don't have one.

Also does anyone ever go into where it says 'who's reading you or who are you reading'? Whatever that verbiage is?

So, if you are among the few that do use an avatar, why is it significant to you and/or what is it? Pictures are small and it's often times hard to tell.

My picture is my favorite kid in my screen name, it's a singing group for those that don't know.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I tried to play around with mine, but couldn't figure out how to change it. That's me. Technologically impaired.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Kagey

      You need to have a photo downloaded to your My Pictures file on your computer.
      Click on the "upload avatar" button under your avatar on your profile page.
      The screen goes grey ...scroll to the left and click the Browse button
      This brings you to your picture file....
      Click on a photo you want as your avatar
      Click on Save... et Viola! You got avatar....

      There are some folks here who find avatars intrusive and unnecessary. Obviously, I'm not one of them.

    2. I remember the introduction of avatars onto CH: there was much wailing and rending of garments. Many thought they portended the downfall of the site as a whole, which obviously didn't happen. Others, like me, just thought the default avatar looked stupid. Someone pointed out that you could get rid of it simply by creating a picture file that was plain white, so I did.

      1. Considering that you need a magnifying glass to even see the avatars on a decent high-resolution screen, I'm sure most people don't even notice them or get annoyed trying to look at them. It's not any better if you click on avatar to go to the profile -- where the avatar goes from minuscule to merely miniature .

        All that being said, mine is of a spontaneously erupted (otherwise known as volunteer) calabasa that grew in my backyard.

        1. With so many posters on CH, avatars help me remember who some of them are. I'm more visual than literary. I may have issues remembering who chowxyz123 is, but if I see a pic of a mushroom or whatever, it helps me remember them. And that's why I like avatars. Not sure why some people hate them so much.

          I've got a love-hate relationship with Hello Kitty. She was even present at my wedding -- as a small doll in a hanbok. As I live in a small 1 BR apartment, I can't have all these Hello Kittys running around as I try to be a minimalist (and an adult). Chowhound is my only outlet where I can indulge in my Hello Kitty fetish.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Miss Needle

            Ah, case in point. I've always noticed your avatar, but only because it's pink. Purple. Pink. Whatever - it's not black & white, so it's noticeable. But I never ever would have guessed it's Hello Kitty. The avatars are so tiny that I find most of them just... not annoying, but superfluous. I tried adding one when I first came here (it was a loaf of challah bread) but couldn't make out what it was. Even though I put it there! Just too small to bother with.

            But Miss Needle, yours is cute. *G*

            1. re: Catskillgirl

              Thank you! Feminists like to say Hello Kitty's got no mouth because she's not supposed to speak. I like Sanrio's approach in that Hello Kitty just speaks from the heart!

              Catskillgirl, you've got a point about it being difficult to identify what the avatars are. Some are a bit more obvious, like goodhealthgourmet's -- though she looks like she's about to give you a good flogging with her rolling pin! : ) But it is difficult to tell what some are. But I think whatever it is -- things like colors or shapes do help me id a poster. But I am a person who always made diagrams and charts when I was studying for exams. And I'm always bad with names but pretty good with faces.

          2. I just added an avatar yesterday because I realized how easy it was _ and I'm as technologically impaired as they come. Mine is a trifle I made a couple of years back. But it's true they're really too small to see.

            1. okay, well, now I at least know why so many don't use them. like one person said in here, it helps me to remember 'you' when I see an avatar that I recognize. but case in point, not necessary I suppose, I just like doodles of any sort...like this one my husband took on our recent vacation to Montana or was it Wyoming? hum, won't show up, maybe too big of mega bites or gigs what ever that word is...

              1. and yes, they are soooooooo small it makes them seem useless after all. just so you can see, here is Sebastien and his avatar as taken by me at a concert...

                1. I put a real chowhound in my avatar (Simba, though I didn't name her), but no one has commented. Maybe I'll get a shot of her stealing a pork chop!
                  Actually, I am more annoyed by the lack of photos of food or restos. They are easy to transfer from files, and the cap on file size or number ( 4 per entry) is realistic (try uploading photos to eG and you'll see that Chow is easier!). But the photos I post are an addenda or footnote, an extra step to see, and to back out out of. This could be easier and more usefull. I wish more were posted.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jayt90

                    Awww, that's a very sweet avatar! See - I would never have seen her except for your text. Maybe it's my monitor, maybe I'm just old, but those tiny pix don't do anything for me!

                  2. I think it's also that a lot of people who post here were posting before chowhound became part of chow.com and thus, before avatars became an option, and so maybe it's just laziness.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: DanaB

                      I went w/ Jim Leff's suggestion and posted a blank.

                      1. re: NYchowcook

                        Yeah, I guess I should do the same, but, well, l'm lazy ;-)

                    2. I'm similar to Miss Needle - very visual. Since I seldom take photos it took a while to find an image. Mine is of a kid poking a knife in an electric socket - I liked that it had a retro look and it pretty much illustrates the extent of my technological expertise! (My SO had to preform the magic to get it to become my avatar.)
                      I also like the "mad scientist" bent of a kid who would do that - I try to use that philosophy of not ruling out anything immediately during brainstorming sessions. I hope I do this with a bit more care than my avatar!
                      Gio- I read the words on instructions like you have provided and they just become a zillion winged creatures flying off in random directions...But every now & then I catch one!

                      1. Is this feature new? I accidentally had my cursor over an avatar and it magnified it for me. I can now see what these avatars are!

                        16 Replies
                        1. re: Miss Needle

                          Not new -- old. But broken for a very, very, very long time. It looks like Engineering fixed it.

                          1. re: Jacquilynne

                            Had no idea. Well, that's great news.

                            1. re: Jacquilynne

                              That still does not work for me. :-(
                              IE version 7

                              1. re: Gio

                                I have it working on Firefox but not with IE7.

                                1. re: jayt90

                                  I've let Engineering know that it's not as fixed as it looks.

                                    1. re: Jacquilynne

                                      Please let them know that it's only 16% fixed, the Firefox market share according to this Wikipedia article ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozilla_... ).

                                    2. re: jayt90

                                      it also is now working for me, too, on firefox. yay.

                                      1. re: jayt90

                                        me too Jay [foxfire], your dog is darling

                                        1. re: jayt90

                                          I'm running IE 6 and it doesn't work. I hate to upgrade. *G*

                                      2. re: Jacquilynne

                                        this is a cool feature. Almost tempted to start looking for an avatar...

                                      3. re: Miss Needle

                                        I had no idea this could happen if you cursered it that way. Thanks for the tip, it really does make it see-able.........is that a word?

                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                          Are you talking to me? Are you referring to the sign above my kitty? I've got no idea what it means. For all I know, it could be a curse word. If anybody reads Japanese, would appreciate a translation.

                                          1. re: Miss Needle

                                            Hardly a curse word. The lettering, in white, reads, "Itadakimasu" (phonetically, that's "ita-da-kee-mas"), which basically means, "let's eat", or "time to eat." Japanese people say it, in a traditional sense, just before a meal. So it's pretty appropriate.

                                            1. re: Polecat

                                              Thanks! Quite a suitable phrase for my avatar. Guess I've seen too many Hello Kitty "massagers" for me to be a bit suspicious.

                                        2. You can add Firefox 3 (just released). I use it for some things, IE7 for others.


                                          12 Replies
                                          1. re: jayt90

                                            I cannot upload an avatar on Firefox 3 or IE 7, I get the error message below. This is pretty ridiculous - photo upload is basic functionality so I can't understand why this has been such a problem for the engineering team.

                                            "Validation failed: Uploaded data type was unknown and could not be processed"

                                            1. re: danentin

                                              Could it be the size of the file? I uploaded mine in IE 7 - haven't tried it in Firefox. What kind of file is it?

                                              1. re: MMRuth

                                                MMRuth, this is going to seem like an odd question. But can you please tell me what your avatar is? The pic is kind of blurry. Is it a dog eating from a bowl, or is it a pot of flowers?

                                                1. re: Miss Needle

                                                  You are right - it is a bit blurry - will try to fix. It's our dog licking out the empty round box of Mont d'Or.

                                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                                      Mont D'or? as in Vacherin? As in the Swiss/French mountain cheese of legend? Oh to be MMRuth's dog....

                                                      1. re: moh

                                                        Indeed. He also gets to lick out the caviar tins .... on the rare occasion we have it. This weekend it was the bowl from the pasta with bottarga.

                                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                                          MMRuth, did I mention I am an excellent dog? I am toilet-trained, can be taught to fetch reading materials of all sorts, very friendly with children and visitors. I am hypo-allergenic, don't shed a lot, am very affectionate, can walk myself. I can even cook a meal or two. Please, seriously consider my application as pet. Woof!

                                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                                        Thank you, MMRuth! Very cute! And I have to say that he or she's a very lucky dog.

                                                  1. re: danentin

                                                    What kind of file were you trying to upload? Jpg? Png? Gif? Bmp?

                                                    1. re: danentin

                                                      just to let you know, mine was done via foxfire mozilla.....

                                                  2. My avatar is my dog Chloë Zoë when she was just 7 weeks old, She is a Chipoo (half chihuahua, half poodle) and at that point her ears hadn't decided if they want to be up or down. Since then she has the bat ears of the chihuahua.

                                                    Now I wonder why sometimes you can scroll over the avatar and see it larger, so you can tell what it is, and then on some you can see there is an avatar, but when you scroll over it it just shows you a blank spot with the posters name in it. And then on some it doesn't even get larger at all, it just sits there. Hmm.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: danhole

                                                      Danhole, your dog is ridonkulously cute. Never heard of a Chipoo before but can see why you picked her.

                                                      1. re: grayelf

                                                        Thanks grayelf! They told me she was a Choodle, but it became too obvious that there was more Chi than oodle, so . . . the only poodle trait she has, beside being very smart, is some very curly hair on her back by her tail!

                                                        1. re: danhole

                                                          I used to have a Choodle, but we called her a Chihuoodle or a Poohuahua. Yours is adorable!

                                                    2. My avatar is Carl Jung. The reasoning probably seems obvious.