Gravatar is back
In case you just read the heading and are wondering what a Gravatar is, I'll help you out, as it was confusing to me when I first heard about it. Gravatar stands for Globally Recognized Avatar and is a way for people to add uniqueness to their blogs. For a short time, Gravatar.com was "offline," causing thousands of blog avatars to break, all over the blog-o-sphere.
Apparently what happened is the creator of Gravatar is out of the country, and coincidentally the renewal fee came due for his domain name. Unable to pay it, the site domain name no longer pointed to the IP address. There were a few work-around solutions proposed, but what really made the difference is that Alan Bell stepped up to the plate and took one for the team. He contacted the ISP for Gravatar, offered to pay the domain renewal fee, and essentially saved the day.
So, if you want to see what all the fuss is about, head over to Gravatar and upload your own cool user icon. It's free, so you might as well. Then, when you comment on this site (and many, many others) you will see your uniquely crafted picture next to your name.
I guess I will take this opportunity to explain what my gravatar is all about. It's not just some random symbol that I am using because I'm a poser and think that foreign, Asian-looking characters are über-cool. No, this is the Japanese kanji for the first half of my father's family lineage, Takimoto. So, the symbol stands for "Taki," pronounced "tah-key" not "tacky" as I've heard some people say it. So there, now you know.