Is it possible to use different
avatars on different SE sites?
Yes, all you need to do is g...
I would really prefer not to have to
jump through hoops with different Open
IDs or multiple email addresses.
Hey, stop interrupting buddy. As I was saying, wait, what was that? Oh, hoops. Yes, we'll technically you wouldn't be using a different email address. Many email services allow one to salt their own email address without using a different email account as follows:
firstname.lastname@example.org is my existing email account. You can add any string of valid email address characters after the +. There's nothing to set up in your email account - just make up some word, add it after the plus, and any email sent to that new address will go to your regular email account. For the purposes of the rest of this question I'm going to refer to the "pollyanna" portion of my email as a salt. You don't have to worry about what a salt is, technically, just note that when I say salt or salts, I'm talking about the made-up portion of the email address after the plus sign.
If you hash that and check out the gravatar, you'll find the gravatar I used here for some time when I was Pollyanna. All the email still went to my gmail account,
email@example.com, but as far as gravatar was concerned, I was using a different email address.
On gravatar, I simply added that email to my normal gravatar account, and now I can select the avatar I want to use for my Stack Overflow account as well as the avatar for my meta account from one gravatar account.
In other words you need only one email account, and one gravatar account, and the liberal use of salts to generate a custom gravatar for each site. It's already built in to the services you use. The only problem is if your chosen email provider doesn't support this email feature, in which case you might need one additional email account, and you can set it up to forward to your regular account.
With SE branching out as much as it
has, I think the need for this is
greater than ever. The way you present
yourself on SO may be different from
how you want to appear on Gaming or
Cooking, etc. I would probably want a
very serious, boring image for SO, but
something more fun and on-topic for
To each their own. It comes down to branding and branding strategies, and there are a lot of techniques and tricks of the trade. Fortunately for budding self-marketers, it's easy to implement with the current system.