The avatar problem

I’ll be at ONA09 for the next few days, where I’ll meet, probably, a few hundred people I know from the Internet.

But they don’t know me.

I mean, they know what I say and write and produce online, but most of them know my avatar better.

bostonmug100_bigger

That’s the one.  I’m sitting outside at a Cambridge, Massachusetts metro stop in December 2006 on a cold day during a break in an epic walk around Boston with my wife, wearing a (beloved, but now lost) hat she knit for me.

That’s the story of the avatar, but frankly, I’m considerably larger than a 73px by 73px image.

An example of the reactions the avatar problem leads to, from a much later date in Cambridge:

Picture 1

Of course, meeting in person largely solves the avatar problem.

Look for me at ONA. I’ll be the guy wearing the name tag that says “Ryan Sholin” on it.

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