images 9. What Is an Avatar?

An avatar is a personalized graphic file or rendering that represents a computer user. There are basically two types of avatars: those used at websites, such as on Web exchange boards, and those used in gaming and virtual worlds.

The simplest type of avatar is a small graphics file used on websites. Websites that offer chat boards often enable members to upload an avatar to represent them. The avatar can be a real-life digital photo of the person using it, but is more often an image intended to be a creative alter ego. This might be a game-rendered snapshot of a beast, hero, or heroine; a humorous picture of a pet or cartoonish character; or a design that makes a statement. The avatar appears alongside the user's posts, easily identifying the author for others at a glance.

imagesA personal LinkedIn profile should be a headshot. A business page on LinkedIn can contain the business logo as the avatar.

Your Twitter avatar will be square. You can use your business logo or your picture, but make sure everything fits well inside a square (see Figure 2-1).


FIGURE 2-1: Twitter can have customized background images that will help for adding information that you can't place ...

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