Gravitar vs Fluid Identity

I’ve finished my first Make by creating a meme to open my Twitter account.

I feel like I should now wash up somewhere.

Now that’s only mildly curmudgeonly, so I should add a few words about the “Gravitar” which “allows you to have one picture that represents you across a variety of sites including Twitter and WordPress.” For me, that’s not exactly the best pitch in the world.

I love the idea of an image or icon that makes online communication more personal. But I hate the idea of a common identity or persona across the web. By God, one of the great virtues of the web is that you can establish different identities and interests without the baggage of any fixed self.

Yes, greater transparency on the web would help with all the creeps and sociopaths who use the cloak of anonymity to say awful things about everyone. But it’s a small price! We need the freedom of different masks and different selves! And it’s no secret that the greatest advocates for a common online identity come from commercial entities who need a fixed target for optimum exploitation.


By the way, my icon for my new twitter account is the father of photomontage and one of my heroes, John Heartfield. Much of his work attacked Hitler and the Nazis in their rise to power. You’ll find some of his images below:




4 thoughts on “Gravitar vs Fluid Identity

  1. Gravatar will allow you to associate different email addresses with different images. You will still be able to switch identities depending on which email you decide to use when interacting in various websites. In short you’ll still be able to maintain fluid digital identities on the web…..

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