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I have been very interested in a service allowing people to show an Avatar image next to their comments that they leave on weblogs. It adds a nice personal effect to the comment. When I finally found out where to upload an image of myself I found out that they are not accepting new users…what gives?
This is where Blogatar comes into play. Blogatar gives weblog authors (or any type of web author) an easy way to retrieve images for people commenting on their site. Non-weblog authors will love to have their image on file for when they comment on weblogs that are using Blogatar.
Even though Blogatar is designed for weblog use, I am sure there are a million other reasons to use it and I am excited to see what direction it goes!
On the left-hand column of the Home page is a simple form asking for your email address and an image to be used as your Avatar. Before filling out the form, read through the list of “Things to consider when uploading your Avatar to Blogatar”. After you have submitted an image, an email will be sent to you with a link to review the image. Click on the link and view the uploaded image. You will be able to Accept or Reject the image. Once you have accepted the image, the image will become your new Avatar (overwriting older Avatars you have used in the past). It is that easy!
The retrieval of avatars is as simple as calling a web address. The best way to explain this is to show an example URL and then go through each part of the address.
The parts of the URL are as follows:
- http://www.blogatar.com - (Mandatory) This is the page that the images are retrieved from.
- ?email= - (Mandatory) This is the variable getting passed to the URL holding the email address. The weird string that is shown in the example (7cda6d72dea143444196485cb8fc6b2c) is the email address that you are trying to get the Avatar for. The reason why it looks so weird is because it is encrypted to help secure all of the email addresses used. The encryption used is md5. If you are not familiar with this, please take a look at PHP.net for a good tutorial.
- &size= - (Optional) By default, every image that you call for will be 60px x 60px. If you would like a different size, you can add this variable with a value of 20,40,60,80, or 100.
- &default= - (Optional) I am horrible designer. If you type in an email address that does not have an Avatar, Blogatar will send back a default Avatar image that is not too pretty. Since most of you will probably want to use a better image for default Avatars, I have added this variable in the URL to allow you to give a URL of an image that you would prefer to use.
For now, that is all it takes to retrieve an image from Blogatar. I am sure new (optional) variables will be added to the URL in the future to give more features!