What’s a gravatar? Gravatar stands for “Globally Recognized Avatar”. It’s the picture you see, particularly in the comments section of blogs.
Why should you get one? Well, would you rather get into a conversation with someone who’s picture was a white chess pawn on a grey background, or with someone whose face you could see? A gravatar essentially puts a name to the face. It helps build your online presence because when (for example) you’re at a conference and you meet a blogger whom you’ve interacted with online, there’s a better chance they’ll recognize your face, giving an “ISYOT (“I’ve Seen You Out There”)” response. This is a good thing :)
It’s free to setup a gravatar and it couldn’t be easier to setup. You only do it once and that’s it forever.
How does it work? Gravatar essentially matches a picture with an email. You don’t need to give gravatar your name. When you use that email address to comment on a website, if the website supports gravatars, your picture will come up after your comment is approved. So simple! WordPress supports gravatars automatically, as do many other blogging platforms.
What’s the benefit to you? People will remember you and your contribution to the conversation a lot better if they see your face. That’s why places like Facebook and Twitter have profile pictures for users of their sites.