Cartoon avatars: the concluson

Sometimes it’s easier to let others to make the choice.
When it came to deciding whether my little devil avatar was actually something I was hiding behind, rather than being my online representative, I turned to the people.
The Ask500people specifically; the poll was a simple Yes/No question: Do you prefer it if someone uses their own photo as their online avatar?
And the result was a surprise.

There were 424 votes from around the world and supporters of the ‘photo’ option got off to a flying start. I was a little surprised, I have to say, but once the poll hit the front page the ‘Nos’ really got into gear.
The fairly overwhelming conclusion was 256 votes for No and 168 votes for Yes – 60% to 40% if you prefer.

So I decided to keep my red devil because of the poll? Yes… and no. What swung it (and would have done even if the vote had gone the other way I suspect) was this Markmedia‘s rather sensible advice: “He makes it so much easier to pick you out from the drab masses. Feel the same about Jo’s cat“.

So perhaps the conclusion I should draw from my adventures is that lively conversation, debate and opinion are more important than what your online personification is. I enjoyed setting up the poll, promoting it and talking to people online about it far more than I would have done if I’d just made a decision and gone with it.
My little devil must be laughing his head off at all this.

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About Alison Gow

I'm a journalist, particularly interested in story-telling, networks and digital innovation.
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4 Responses to Cartoon avatars: the concluson

  1. adders says:

    I think there’s something to be said for a distinctive icon amongst the generic flow of headshots. That’s why I standardised on the rather scary contrasty image of me recently.

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  2. Liam says:

    Think choosing a male devil to represent you online says a lot about you Alison. Do you think Freud would have any comment?Personally I always opt for avatars rather than photos I have Marvin the Martian on facebook and the laughing Quaker on Twitter.

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  3. If I looked like Liam, I’d opt for an avatar too … joking Liam!I think you should try and replicate your avatar in a photo Alison – a quick trip to the fancy dress shop and you’ll have the best of both worlds.

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  4. Alison Gow says:

    @adder I liked your old headshot because you’d stuck with it for so long but the new one is instantly recognisable – I can always pick you out of a line-up (if that doesn’t sound too sinister) @Liam I <>love<> your laughing Quaker just because it’s so different. @xxNapoleonSolo Oi! don’t knock the devil when you’re channelling your inner D’Artagnan in that hat – the Muskahounds version

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