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Little Anonymous Blue Avatars

mamachef Feb 20, 2011 06:52 AM

So I've a question. I was totally stroking my own ego by checking, "Who's reading me" and I noticed that all these little anonymous blue avatars keep popping up. No name, no identifying feature, no profile.
Is this the mods? Is that how they are identified?
Not paranoid, just wondering....... : )

  1. alanbarnes Feb 20, 2011 07:07 AM

    It's just people who haven't uploaded an avatar. Hover over one and the user's screen name will appear. Click on it and you'll go to the person's profile page.

    8 Replies
    1. re: alanbarnes
      mariacarmen Feb 20, 2011 07:14 AM

      no, she's saying there are NO names associated with them. all my little blue avatars have names.

      1. re: mariacarmen
        mamachef Feb 20, 2011 07:24 AM

        'zackly. I have exactly ONE that shows a name; the rest appear to prefer to remain unknown.
        Whatever. If there's a mod out there scoping this, would you mind answering before you either delete this or move it to another board, please? Thank you.

        1. re: mamachef
          alanbarnes Feb 20, 2011 08:27 AM

          Okay, that's just strange.

          1. re: mamachef
            Veggo Feb 21, 2011 08:52 AM

            4 of your 7 blue avatars show names.

            1. re: Veggo
              mamachef Feb 22, 2011 07:02 AM

              Four? that wasn't the case yesterday. So the other three are......
              Wynken, Blynken and Nod?
              Larry, Darryl and Darryl?
              Jack, Chrissy and Janet?
              Marsha, Jan and Cindy?
              ; )

              1. re: mamachef
                Veggo Feb 22, 2011 08:17 AM

                I suspect it's Rocky, Bullwinkle, and Boris Badenuff. I only have one mystery blue guy, I figure it's fan mail from some flounder.

                1. re: Veggo
                  Quine Feb 22, 2011 04:33 PM

                  LOL Love the references!

                  Gosh that was a seriously funny show,

                  1. re: Veggo
                    nsxtasy Feb 23, 2011 02:29 PM

                    LOL! Good one Veggo!

        2. onceadaylily Feb 20, 2011 07:44 AM

          I have two or three of those buggers. My first impulse was that it was either the moderators, or Chow. But given that I have a few, I wonder if it might be people who've closed their accounts on CH.

          This was asked about in another thread, but CH never directly addressed the avatars that aren't linked to an actual profile.

          25 Replies
          1. re: onceadaylily
            mamachef Feb 20, 2011 07:49 AM

            Glad to know I'm not the only one, oadl!
            Interesting thought about closed accounts........hmmmm.

            1. re: mamachef
              onceadaylily Feb 20, 2011 07:59 AM

              Or maybe more than one avatar means more than one mod. Maybe it means we've been especially naughty, and bear much watching. ;)

              1. re: onceadaylily
                mamachef Feb 20, 2011 02:18 PM

                Oh, lily, I hope so! Truly I do! : ) and I know, in your heart of hearts, you want that to be the reason too!

                1. re: mamachef
                  onceadaylily Feb 20, 2011 02:30 PM

                  *looks innocent* Who, me? Nooo, pffft.


                  1. re: onceadaylily
                    Servorg Feb 20, 2011 04:08 PM

                    My theory is that each "anon avatar" is equal to some number of deletions, (most likely based on the mini-Helen system - in which, if Helen of Troy was the face that launched 1,000 ships, a mini-Helen is -in this case at least- 100 somethings).

                    So if you have one "anon avatar" it equals 100 deletions over the span of your posting history, and if you have 2 it equals 200 and so on and so forth. If you ever hit a "full Helen" (1,000 deletions) you probably win some sort of restaurant GC or perhaps a signed, autographed photo of Jim Leff in his full doggy mask get up?

                    Perhaps we should retitle these "Mini-Mods" or "Mini-Jacq's" as more "Chowcentric" than Mini-Helen's in our case?

                    1. re: Servorg
                      onceadaylily Feb 20, 2011 06:34 PM

                      I love your theory. I really do (despite the fact that I have not segued a thread about vegetables into an anecdote about my cat in *weeks*). But I think Mini-mods would be more appropriate than Mini-Jaq's. She, despite her seemingly brusque reply to mariacarmen, is usually responsive, and helpful.

                      Have been . . . modified . . . enough to have earned that blue ghost, or three, equivalent? Maybe. But do *not* tempt me to go for the autographed doggy.

                      1. re: onceadaylily
                        Jacquilynne Feb 20, 2011 06:36 PM

                        Aww, I was aiming for funny and mysterious. Sorry if I came across as brusque.

                        I really don't know the answer to this question, so I really can't tell you.

                        1. re: Jacquilynne
                          Quine Feb 20, 2011 06:43 PM

                          As my favorite Mod, the only one any one knows,I just might say to you; sometimes how we mean to come across isn't how it does. But us non-mods can forgive ya, you walked a mike in our shoes now.

            2. re: onceadaylily
              small h Feb 20, 2011 08:37 AM

              I have one anonymous avatar, and I also think it might be a deleted account. But if the account goes, should not the avatar vanish as well? Curious.

              1. re: onceadaylily
                alanbarnes Feb 20, 2011 08:46 AM

                Can you actually close a Chowhound account? There are people reading me who've been banned for life, but their profiles remain...

                1. re: alanbarnes
                  onceadaylily Feb 20, 2011 08:56 AM

                  I think you have to email ch directly and request the closure. (Love *your* new avatar, by the way.) It's odd that they would keep the banned poster's profiles, though.

                  Small h, I just went back over my lists, and I see that one poster that I was reading no longer has an avatar on my list. He's vanished, and could well then be one of the nameless blues now on that list. I suppose it *is* just closed accounts, and that the reading lists are run on a separate program from profiles, creating more/ unnecessary work for the staff to track to delete?

                  1. re: alanbarnes
                    Wahooty Feb 20, 2011 10:22 AM

                    I am 99% certain those anonymous avatars are people who have closed their account or been locked out, i.e. someone who opened a new account with a new username, but their previous identity "reads" you. Deactivated profiles, if you will. I know of one person for sure that was banned, whose avatar comes up as blank when hovered over. I do NOT think they are mods - mods "read" everybody anonymously, and have their own avatars associated with their accounts when they want to "read" someone publicly in their personal use of the site.

                    Also, another vote in support of your new avatar, ab. :)

                    1. re: Wahooty
                      alanbarnes Feb 20, 2011 10:45 AM

                      It's good to have a coaster that comes when called.

                      1. re: alanbarnes
                        Wahooty Feb 20, 2011 11:26 AM

                        and loves you unconditionally. My coasters are cold and indifferent.

                  2. re: onceadaylily
                    Jacquilynne Feb 20, 2011 05:43 PM

                    Well, I don't know what it is -- but I know it isn't the mods.

                    -- Jacquilynne, Community Manager for Chowhound

                    1. re: Jacquilynne
                      small h Feb 20, 2011 05:44 PM

                      Ghosts. There is no other explanation.

                      1. re: small h
                        onceadaylily Feb 20, 2011 06:36 PM

                        Ha, I typed my response to Servorg before I read your (and Jaquilynne's) response. Ghosts in the machine, then.

                        1. re: small h
                          mamachef Feb 22, 2011 07:19 AM

                          Curiouser and Curiouser. (Thank you Lewis Carrol)

                          1. re: mamachef
                            small h Feb 22, 2011 07:29 AM

                            "I've often seen a user name without an avatar," thought Alice, "but an avatar without a user name! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in all my life."

                            Lewis Carroll really does come in handy.

                            1. re: small h
                              mamachef Feb 22, 2011 10:25 AM


                              1. re: small h
                                Quine Feb 22, 2011 04:34 PM


                              2. re: mamachef
                                mariacarmen Feb 22, 2011 10:28 PM

                                and the Mod's grin remained, quite some time after he had disappeared.

                                1. re: mariacarmen
                                  Quine Feb 22, 2011 10:43 PM

                                  I Love you!!!! Cheshire is my total Fave, I use several renderings for Advatars.
                                  And perfectly, totally point on in this. Perfect.

                                  "and the Mod's grin remained, quite some time after he had disappeared."

                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                    mamachef Feb 23, 2011 05:27 AM

                                    OMG what a perfect contextual reference.
                                    We IS a brilliant bunch, we is.

                              3. re: Jacquilynne
                                onceadaylily Feb 20, 2011 06:43 PM

                                That just builds the mystery. Have the engineers weighed in? Not that this is a huge issue, but if there is something on the site they can't track, it is strange. I think it's likely just a glitch with account deletion though. How boring.

                            2. mariacarmen Feb 20, 2011 10:01 AM

                              wouldn't it be nice if the Mods actually explained the phenomenon instead of watching the endless speculation? maybe they like it.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                Jacquilynne Feb 20, 2011 10:50 AM

                                If we knew what caused it, we'd tell you -- but we don't, so we can't.


                                -- Jacquilynne, Community Manager for Chowhound

                                1. re: mariacarmen
                                  mamachef Feb 22, 2011 07:11 AM

                                  Makes me visualize a chessboard, with all of us CH'rs as the pieces, and a mod. sitting over us, gleefully rubbing hands together and cackling while they ponder their next seemingly arbitrary move...

                                  1. re: mamachef
                                    goodhealthgourmet Feb 22, 2011 08:52 AM

                                    awesome visual :)

                                    1. re: mamachef
                                      Quine Feb 22, 2011 04:35 PM

                                      reading thsi post after reading the lewis carroll references, try that concept, Red Queen?

                                      1. re: Quine
                                        mamachef Feb 22, 2011 05:08 PM

                                        Giggling madly.....I didn't even make a connection 'til you said it, Quine......but, so perfect.

                                  2. eclecticsynergy Feb 20, 2011 11:40 AM

                                    I suspect the anonymous avatars may represent visitors who are reading but don't have chowhound accounts, or members who haven't signed in.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: eclecticsynergy
                                      small h Feb 20, 2011 11:59 AM

                                      But you can't create a reading list unless you have an account. I'm pretty sure.

                                      1. re: small h
                                        eclecticsynergy Feb 20, 2011 12:44 PM

                                        Yes, but I don't think you need an account to click on someone's profile and read their posts. I could be wrong; haven't tried this without signing in...

                                        1. re: eclecticsynergy
                                          eclecticsynergy Feb 20, 2011 12:49 PM

                                          I just logged out and tried it. Works fine, you can browse but you can't post.

                                          1. re: eclecticsynergy
                                            small h Feb 20, 2011 12:52 PM

                                            You can read posts without being logged in, sure. But you can't add someone to your reading list without being logged in. And the only way an avatar will show up on your profile page (under "People Reading Me") is if its owner has added you to his or her reading list.

                                            1. re: small h
                                              eclecticsynergy Feb 20, 2011 03:10 PM

                                              Ah, didn't know that.

                                      2. mamachef Feb 20, 2011 02:20 PM

                                        Sounds to me like we're right back to...square one. Even with the edifying comments by Jacquilline et al. : )

                                        1. goodhealthgourmet Feb 20, 2011 06:14 PM

                                          i have four anonymous ones. never noticed that before - kinda creepy! i have to assume they're linked to inactive accounts...though if Jacquilynne hadn't spoken up to let us know that they're NOT for the Mods, i would have been tickled by the idea that it requires four of them to keep an eye on me :)

                                          ETA: one of the ghosts is someone i [was] reading...three [were] reading me.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                            onceadaylily Feb 20, 2011 06:40 PM

                                            I have three, but, after examining it today, only two are on my 'I'm reading', and one on my 'reading me'. The latter popped up first, and I thought at first it was the mods, and then, maybe, Chow. How vain am I. ;)

                                            1. re: onceadaylily
                                              Quine Feb 20, 2011 06:45 PM

                                              You can read ghosts?
                                              Fun thread.
                                              LOL such great responses to such a trivial little blue spot.

                                              1. re: Quine
                                                onceadaylily Feb 20, 2011 06:57 PM

                                                You can't read ghosts, Quine; they can only read you. They just sit in your 'I'm reading' list, and wait. They wait, until you are, presumably, ready to receive their message. Which makes me wonder if my blue spots have anything to do with a negative bias toward durian in my profile . . . hmmm.

                                          2. goodhealthgourmet Feb 20, 2011 07:16 PM

                                            i just had a funny thought - what if one of the avatars in the "Who's Talking" section on *this* page was an anonymous one? now THAT would be creepy!

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                              Quine Feb 20, 2011 07:34 PM

                                              LOL now I know you are silently laughing and saying "Made ya look! Made ya look!"

                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                onceadaylily Feb 20, 2011 08:19 PM

                                                Damn you, lady. I just zeroed in, even after reading Quine's comment, and said, "Oh, it's small h."

                                                I do like a mystery, perhaps too much.

                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                  goodhealthgourmet Feb 20, 2011 09:15 PM

                                                  okay, i'm still laughing as i type this...thanks to both of you for some much-needed comic relief :)

                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                    mamachef Feb 22, 2011 07:16 AM

                                                    Now you've got me compulsively going back-and-forth and trying to figure it out by process of elimination!
                                                    This can't be healthy.
                                                    I wasn't paranoid when I created this posts, but I might be now...

                                                  2. h
                                                    HillJ Feb 21, 2011 09:39 AM

                                                    I just checked my avatar list and one is nameless. I guess I always thought that was a CH who flew the coop.

                                                    1. Miss Needle Feb 21, 2011 09:51 AM

                                                      I know that this was discussed previously on CH. Tried to do a google search and found the thread but can't access it -- and there's no cache. Looks like it may have been deleted.


                                                      If you want to read part of the thread, just google mysterious blue avatars chowhound.

                                                      9 Replies
                                                      1. re: Miss Needle
                                                        The Chowhound Team Feb 21, 2011 09:52 AM

                                                        That thread was a duplicate of this one.

                                                        1. re: The Chowhound Team
                                                          Miss Needle Feb 21, 2011 10:00 AM

                                                          Oh, then it must have been some other thread. I do recall this conversation before (or I'm getting the craziest case of deja-vous). I remember it having to do something with CH members who have deactivated their account.

                                                          1. re: Miss Needle
                                                            Quine Feb 21, 2011 03:22 PM

                                                            Ghost in the machine....:-)

                                                            BTW when people say that do they mean the song or the philosophy?

                                                            1. re: Quine
                                                              mamachef Feb 22, 2011 07:18 AM

                                                              I always mean the philosophy, along the lines of, "there are still a few bugs in the system, y'all."

                                                              1. re: mamachef
                                                                Quine Feb 22, 2011 04:37 PM

                                                                Lots of folks only think It as the Police Song, which is based on the Philosophy. Damned we all here are one clever and witty crowd. This has been some of the best and fun threads in a long time,.

                                                                1. re: Quine
                                                                  donovt Feb 22, 2011 04:53 PM

                                                                  Completely off-topic, but it was the name of a Police album, but not a song.

                                                                  1. re: donovt
                                                                    Quine Feb 22, 2011 05:24 PM

                                                                    My bad you are right, I just so associated the concept on the songs that I thought was also in a lyric.

                                                                    Thank you, as I just had to read all the lyrics of the album to refresh my memory and now my inner Ipod brain is playing it for me! :-)
                                                                    I seriously love that.

                                                                    1. re: donovt
                                                                      Quine Feb 22, 2011 05:25 PM

                                                                      And it only reinforces the fun of this thread and how clever, witty and diverse a group we all are.

                                                                      1. re: Quine
                                                                        mamachef Feb 23, 2011 05:27 AM

                                                                        Amen, Quine. Amen.

                                                        2. eclecticsynergy Feb 22, 2011 12:00 AM

                                                          That extraordinary feeling of deja vu...


                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: eclecticsynergy
                                                            mamachef Feb 22, 2011 07:06 AM

                                                            I can clear up the Deja Vu issue: both posts were mine. I posted one, and it got removed to I didn't-know-where, and I got a little miffed and fired up another one. Apologies to the people who thought they were having a psychic or at least deja vu experience. These two posts were fired off on the same day within 2-3 hrs. of each other.

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