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Do you use Gravatars ?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Digital Doctor, Dec 7, 2011.


Do you use Gravatars ?

  1. Yes

    15 vote(s)
  2. No

    22 vote(s)
  3. No, Gravatars ? Isn't that a bad vector graphics video game from the 80s ?

    4 vote(s)
  1. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    Gravatar: A Globally Recognized Avatar


    Your Gravatar is an image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog. Avatars help identify your posts on blogs and web forums, so why not on any site?


    Is anyone actually using Gravatar ?
  2. Claudio

    Claudio Well-Known Member

    No, Gravatars ? Isn't that a bad vector graphics video game from the 80s ? o_O
  3. mrGTB

    mrGTB Well-Known Member

    No, I found in the past when using WordPress coming with gravators used in comments. Many times they would cause page hanging because gravator image wasn't loading. It's one the first things I disabled right away in XenForo., mainly because I found it a pain in WordPress
    Fuhrmann likes this.
  4. Shelley

    Shelley Well-Known Member

    That reminds me something i should be disabling.
  5. RastaLulz

    RastaLulz Well-Known Member


    I personally love Gravatar as it is very convenient, and I don't have to worry about uploading an avatar on every single website I visit; either when I register or want to change my avatar.
  6. DSF

    DSF Well-Known Member

    NO, for security reasons.
  7. ChemicalKicks

    ChemicalKicks Well-Known Member

    What are the security concerns?
    RastaLulz likes this.
  8. ChemicalKicks

    ChemicalKicks Well-Known Member

    I don't know anything about WordPress really but in the options of XenForo when enabling/disabling this feature it does say that users who already use it won't lose their avatar when you switch it off, which would suggest that it updates/saves locally. I wouldn't think it loads ondemand every page (now anyway).
  9. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Gravatar avatars are not stored locally on the server.
  10. ChemicalKicks

    ChemicalKicks Well-Known Member

    How can they remain after the product has been disabled, that was the only reason I was keeping it enabled. :)
  11. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    The option in the ACP is just to allow members to associate their account with their Gravatar.

    Disabling that doesn't disassociate it or block it, it just stops any other member from associating it from that point on.

    To remove any existing Gravatars, you need to run this query: UPDATE xf_user SET gravatar = ''
    ChemicalKicks likes this.
  12. Floris

    Floris Guest

    Yes, I certainly do.
    It's like having Facebook friends listing, or Tweeting a thread.
    It's another third party social interaction to make the social aspect of the community so much nicer.
    Not only that, it's easier for users to sign up - 'oh nice, avatar is already there' ..
  13. mrGTB

    mrGTB Well-Known Member

    I see your point about the social networking aspect and all. But I would sooner focus more on keeping the site running faster and more optimized. Not allowing some 3rd party services to help slow your forum down. Each to their own, but when I used WordPress and linked to my own Gravator with it, I just found too frequently Gravator avatar was taking a while to load up stopping comments from being displayed until it had.

    I don't mind using the 3rd party services if they are very reliable when used. But I never found Gravator was and hence why I made a bee-line after installing XenForo and disabled it right away. I've already seen how problematic they can be loading avatars slow.
  14. Floris

    Floris Guest

    I prefer user-experience and interaction which result in a good mood-, good conversation-, good content community, over SEO, and a few milliseconds of lag and advertisement impressions.

    I know news sites that don't use ajax technology, because every page load is another ad impression. Not only that, they split their short article up over at least 3 pages.

    What I would do is value the reader and take away that frustration. Offer a subtle advertisement that is worth something to them, have an organized one page article, and if there's rich media involved to not limit this to 200 pixels max but offer a great quality experience. If a company can spend so much money on trying to trick the user for ad impressions. They can spend that much money on the extra disk space and traffic as well.

    Personally I rather sign up on a site where I don't get stuck in the account completion steps with required questions, extra captcha, avatar and signature management, and what not. All I want to do is drop a comment to participate in a great discussion.

    I can't really justify sacrificing losing a good poster that feels welcome and was about to post on topic. Over a few milliseconds he or she wouldn't even realistically notice.

    I am glad XenForo uses ajax where it's logical. Uses features to provoke positive participation. And uses third party services to connect users for a warm welcome.

    What's next? Throttling their connection speed to guarantee a low average for all visitors, so the server load stays below a certain value? One rather has a slower browsing experience than a higher server load?

    It's all a balance, and I for one am glad that XenForo has great features, understands social media and aggregates that data, and also syndicates it. A site shouldn't be limited to their url anymore, a site shouldn't be limited to their feature anymore, it's a platform, an interaction, it's part of a puzzle we know as the web.

    In the example of Gravatar being unstable. It happens to me once on XenForo.com here the other month. For 12 minutes. That's once, since the first day I used gravatar ages ago. Not only that, as a user I can go to my profile and upload an avatar.
  15. mrGTB

    mrGTB Well-Known Member

    But isn't forum loading speed a major part of the user experience these days on forums? I mean, who likes posting and or using a forum that suffers from slow page loading at times and intermittent problems due to 3rd party services? It's one of the most important aspects today of running any site, people won't waste time these days using a slow forum. Forget the SEO part of it all with Google prefering fast loading sites, that's not why I personally do it. I don't even have Google + active on my forum, that should tell you something.

    In fact I don't even own a Google account anymore, I closed them all the other day, including my Google AdSense account.

    Keep in mind as well, your using VPS and a fast one at that. Some of us are using Shared Hosting so have think more carefully about keeping the forum running as fast as possible.
  16. Floris

    Floris Guest

    You're arguing no increased server load by no-cookie domain image loading (and cached after it's load in the browser) and the less than handful of milliseconds against user experience. When you load this thread you can't even tell when it's loading which ones are locally stored or remotely.

    You're of course free on your site to not use gravatar. I just share my opinion as to why I choose for the user experience.
    RastaLulz likes this.
  17. mrGTB

    mrGTB Well-Known Member

    I'm not not arguing, just giving my own view. :)
  18. Floris

    Floris Guest

    In the NL |een argument| is like I support your point with this argument ..
    I translated too literally I guess. Didn't mean it as 'disagreement discussion'.
  19. mrGTB

    mrGTB Well-Known Member

    Each to their own really, personally I'm of the opinion Facebook, Twitter and Google + are useless anyway for getting members. And I only use the Twitter button because I do actually post in Twitter and use the service.

    But that's entirely another story, and again just my own view about them.

    Actually, it would be interesting to learn how many XenForo users here have actually had users from Facebook logging into their forum using it.
  20. ChemicalKicks

    ChemicalKicks Well-Known Member

    I've got it switched off now, if its anything like Facebook/Twitter and Goggle then it adds to page loss time. Theres a massive improvement to be had with social media switched off.

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