For as long as I can remember – for as long as avatars have been a part of the Internet – the visual representation of “me online” has been a photo I took a decade ago, in July of 2003, and then applied a whole lotta red to. I appreciated the photo for its slight hint of whimsy and for its ability to stand out in a forest of avatars. But this morning it suddenly struck me as “so 2003” and I resolved to update it.
Thanks to iPhoto’s automated face-detection, I had a lot of pictures of myself to choose from, 387 in all:
Alas I couldn’t find one I liked: once I eliminated the fuzzy ones, and the ones that made me look puffy, and the ones where I was wearing glasses that seem to be from 1974 and the ones where I had an unfortunate haircut, there wasn’t much left.
Fortunately I found the answer on Flickr’s Photos of Peter page.
Four years ago at the last reboot conference, in June of 2009, Alper Çuğun took a photo of me that I’ve always liked: it wasn’t posed, I had one of the best haircuts of my life, and, well, Alper takes a good photo:
I’m also wearing a slightly whimsical look – am I about to laugh? – that I like. So I took that photo – generously made available by Alper under a Creative Commons license that allows me to re-use and adapt it – and cropped out a chunk of it, and the end result is this:
With new avatar in hand, I set about updating the Internet. There are likely hundreds and hundreds of places of scattered ye olde avatar around the net, but fortunately there are a 5 or 6 places where it’s seen a lot that were easy to update:
Oh, and that “header photo” that you see in several of those screen shots above? It’s one I took in the Vitra Design Museum several years ago, near dusk, looking up at the sky out of the central courtyard of the main pavilion.
If you’d like to update your address books, instant messenger clients and so on, here’s a selection of sizes of the new avatar: