Avatard 101: How to Lose Friends and Influence No One

Be polite. Don’t slouch. Comb your hair.

You thought it was just nagging when Mom used to say those things. But she had a method to her madness. The woman who brought you into this world wanted to ensure you always made a good impression.

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Do yourself a favor and remember her words when you select an avatar or head shot to display in social media channels. 

I’m not saying you need to look like this, or this. It’s OK for your mugshot to reflect the real you. But make it a current, professional photo. And for the love of all that is holy, have it composed properly so your doesn’t get chopped off.

In addition to that, here are a few guidelines worth mentioning:

  • Pets? No. You'll never get laid.
  • With Brother or Sister is “OK.” But it might raise some questions you don’t want to answer.
  • With spouse is acceptable. BUT BE AWARE: When you switch to a single photo, we'll think you got divorced - but we won’t ask.
  • Just your baby. Awwww, isn’t that CUTE?. Yeah, I know. But … no. Don’t do it.
  • You and your child? Fine if you have one kid. But if they're not all in there it gets weird. Make sure the photo is not so small that you appear to be molesting puppets. And UPDATE IT! I don't want to shit myself when I see your kid at a BBQ drinking a beer and calling his parole officer.
  • A cartoon head? My assumption: You’re single and have few friends.
  • Blurry, dark Avatard usually means you start and comment on threads to yourself.
  • Photos of your parents? OK for one day. Otherwise we're wondering if they died - but we won’t ask.
  • Photos of fabulous destinations! No. It makes us hate what we're doing now.
  • Photos with drinks in your hand? No. You cannot sleep on my couch when you can’t pay rent.
  • Don't swap Avatards out too quickly. Your witty comment could get skipped if we're sifting "the wall."
  • If you love a sports team, you may replace your Avatard for important games and then return it back to your usual photo the following day.
  • Political stance or “cause-based” Avatards. Mmmm, Fine! ONE FUCKING WEEK! That’s it! And for the love of your quest, please tell us the significance of the disco mirror ribbon in your photo description. Otherwise it’s just annoying.
  • You and girl/boy-friend? No. We’re not basking in new-found puppy love, and we now hate that you are.
  • Close up photos? Must have all your face in it or we'll un-follow out of compositional spite.
  • Dress in a manner that gives us no sense of your weather. We don't care and might hate you if it's better than our own.
  • Brands/logos: See "sports teams.”
  • Quotes of inspiration, or Angels? No. This means you've gotten fat, hate yourself and or have joined a cult.
  • Sunglasses? Nothing say "douche" or "whore" faster.
  • QR Codes? Sure, as long as it pushes to your webspinning Juno e-mail.
  • Artwork as Avatards work if it's your art ONLY. If not, you shop at Walmart.
  • Celebrity Avatards? These are a cry to end your life.
  • Black and white Avatards — oooh trés elegant! Or no photos of you exist other than what was scanned from your school newspaper in 1989.
  • You working out? You seriously don't look at yourself enough at the gym and need to torture us with your sweaty chicken stix?
  • Wearing no underwear beneath that snazzy outfit. Not a chance. You think no one will know. But your mom hates commando.
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One more thing, look to services like Gravatar to manage your avatards if you start doing a lot of guest authoring. It will help to have a epicenter to control your personal brand.

Posted on June 29, 2013 and filed under Blogging, Business, Brand, Management, Social Media.