Custom control to show a Gravatar image in ASP.net web pages
A Gravatar is an avatar image hosted by the respective service at http://www.gravatar.com. Their new UI is very slick and can even grab a picture using your webcam (if you have Flash player installed and respond affirmatively when asked to allow gravatar’s webpage it to access your webcam).
The service Gravatar offers may seem simple, but it’s very handy to manage/update your avatar/image at one place and reuse it transparently at all web sites that support this form of an avatar (it’s especially popular in bulletin boards / forums). What I hadn’t realized at first is how easy it is to use the gravatar at sites you register at: you just don’t do anything – you’ve assigned one or more e-mails (one is defined as your main one) at Gravatar site and then all sites you register at with one of those e-mails just find the Gravatar for you (you can check out my gravatar at the comments section of the HitEmUp Game @ MIX – I just commented there and MIX used my gravatar image – however the MIX site didn’t bother to confirm my identity so anyone else could have commented impersonating me by just giving my e-mail)
If you’re making your own website you can checkout their API info and some reference implementations at http://www.gravatar.com/site/implement/. For ASP.net which mostly interests me, they point to a nice Gravatar Custom Control at http://www.freshclickmedia.com/blog/2008/02/gravatar-aspnet-control/.