Pixton is the world's most popular comic maker and storyboard creator for teachers and students. Create an account for free and make comics for English language arts, history, social studies, math or science assignments.
My favorite solution to this problem and a few related others (like updating my bio and where you can find me on social media) is the meta data route using something like Microformats. Since I provide an
h-card on my website’s homepage, it should be relatively easy for any service to take my URL as my identity (rather than one of my thousands of email addresses) parse my page and find my name, photo, bio, etc. and display them.
Nearly every social silo on the planet wants all of these details, so why should I need to incessantly have to input them manually much less keep them up to date? And I’ve yet to see a social service in the wild that hasn’t asked for my URL, so it’s obviously pretty universal.
Jeremy Keith‘s Huffduffer is a great example of something that already uses this data nicely. It doesn’t pull in my photo (though I think at one time he did have a set up that would poll Flickr avatars?) or my bio, but the “Elsewhere” section of my Huffduffer account lists where you can find me on dozens of social media accounts as well as my own websites. Huffduffer can do this because I gave it my domain name and the service parses my page looking for the
rel="me" tags on my homepage. It could easily pull in my other provided data.
Incidentally Kevin Marks has also proposed a distributed verification system (remember the problem that Twitter had of attempting this?) that uses the
I’ll note that my own website will parse yours to pull in the author name, URL, and avatar to display a reply context for this response on my website! So hooray for microformats! (Though I’ll note that I did modify them a tad for my own idiosyncrasies.) My site does this with David Shanske‘s excellent Post Kinds plugin uses Parse This, which parses for microformats, JSON-LD, and then, if nothing is found it falls back to Open Graph Protocol. He’s been extending it lately to cover a handful of the bigger snowflake services like YouTube, IMDb, etc. to cover some additional edge cases that don’t have good mark up. Incidentally Aaron Parecki has a version of something like this called X-ray, which he uses for various things including microsub readers, not to mention the variety of other parsers available.
I’m sure there may be other versions of this in the wild, but it would be cool to see more social services provide functionality like this.
I can forgive Twitter for stuff like,,,destroying the free world and inciting cancel culture, but I cannot forgive it for taking away the direct link to my profile picture, because I used that link all the time for speaking bios.— Vicki Boykis (@vboykis) November 12, 2019
Why not keep your avatar on a website you own and control? If it’s at a permalink you control, you can even replace the photo and those who hotlink/transclude it will allow you to update it automatically over time. As an example, I keep one of me at https://www.boffosocko.com/logo.jpg. Having a permalink to my own avatar was the only reason I got a website, and now look what I’ve gotten myself into…
If I recall correctly, when you delete or replace those Twitter avatars, the old links go dead and they generate a new link anyway.
It turns out if you visit his site on a cell phone, his avatar rotates with the phone!
The whimsy of this just brightens my day.
I have been noticing some issues recently with a lot of photos not showing up in webmentions I receive. Typically they’re for WordPress or micro.blog sites which may mean issues for Gravatar-based images.
If you want to fix them manually, a recent update allows this.