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89: WordPress avatars

December 3, 2011

When you leave a comment, a picture appears next to your name. However, if you haven’t uploaded a picture, WordPress will generate a custom avatar using your email address (example to the right). Each is different, and since it stays with the email address it sticks with you and can eventually become your identity.

You’ve probably seen them in the comments on this blog and others. And, you may have noticed that since they’re symmetrical, they function as a sort of Rorschach test. What do you see?

Here’s what I see, when I look at your comments.

Let’s start off with the one I can’t help but see. Every time I look at this icon, I see a little blue person drooling with excitement, and now so will you.

You get the idea. This is going to be a long post, so get your scrollin’ finger warmed up.

Starting off with some interesting ones. We have Hair Lady, Pink Robot, and Banana Spider.

Since these are random, they sometimes look alike. Coming up we have Matt and Chris, the mustache brothers.

All of these you’ll see are pulled from my blog comments. If I miss you, try your hand at your own. I’ll host them here if you send them to me.

This next batch is composed of intricate avatars that all look like complete bodies.

This one is cool because it doesn’t look like a face to me. It’s a tricycle. It’s usually hard not to see a face when something’s symmetrical.

Next up we have another pair. Walrus-men, featuring my dad.

Alexander wins the prize for must unambiguously awesome avatar. Don’t mess with this guy.

Apparently WordPress really likes Batman, or maybe just bats. Because I was able to find 4 different occurrences of this shape:

If you scroll fast, it looks like an animation. No, not really. You may have noticed my dad’s second appearance. He used a different email.

There’s a special group I’ve been saving. It’s a group that makes no sense, even after I drew them. Have a look.

I’m affectionately referring to the top one as “Cruciflex” the middle as “Electric Briefcase” and the bottom, she goes by “Wheel Cat!”

How about some chubby-cheeked animals?

My mom’s gopher icon is quite angry with you.

And one more. I saved the weirdest for last.


So what do you think? Did I get them right? Would you do it differently? Wanna just see what your generated pixel art looks like? Leave a comment and find out.

Thanks, and see you next week!

28 Comments leave one →
  1. December 3, 2011 3:37 am


    • theswope permalink
      December 25, 2011 1:36 am

      Gotta know my pixelface.

      Apparently it’s a necklace charm of Geodude.

  2. December 3, 2011 5:19 am

    Honestly was just leaving a comment to see what avatar I’d get, then I realised I’d signed up for a WordPress account and was then disappointed.

    • December 3, 2011 9:56 am

      Ha! Yeah, sorry to everyone who already uploaded a picture.

  3. December 3, 2011 6:21 am

    Great interpretations.

  4. Shegz Afolayan permalink
    December 3, 2011 8:47 am

    I love these. I never really noticed.

  5. Annie permalink
    December 3, 2011 10:03 am

    OK. I had to post a reply just to look at my avatar. I enjoyed your interpretations.

    • December 3, 2011 10:10 am

      Hey, Annie. Yours was a semi-finalist in the pool I was pulling from. I had to leave about half of them out to finish on time 🙂 I see an angry eagle eating a snake, what about you?

  6. December 3, 2011 4:02 pm

    Lynn Bull is definitely a radio. Now I get to see mine 🙂

    • December 3, 2011 4:04 pm

      Mine is definitely a monster dude who is throwing his hands up in despair, because part of his head fell apart. The green dots on the sides of his head are his ears.

      I kind of want to leave a comment using each of my other two emails now to see what they get. Sorry if it gets obnoxious.

  7. December 3, 2011 4:05 pm

    Email #2’s avatar looks like a top hat/UFO combo.

  8. December 3, 2011 4:07 pm

    Upside down skull with 4 eye sockets and ears being put in a box. Okay, I’m done.

    • December 3, 2011 4:08 pm

      Last comment, it’s a giraffe skull. Or a goat skull, some animal with horns.

  9. December 3, 2011 5:24 pm

    Haha, those are cool! I’ll never be able to look at WordPress avatars the same way.

  10. December 3, 2011 6:20 pm

    Man, everything you see are faces but I just see tables and chairs and televisions 😦 The first one, for example, looks like two ping pong balls on a ping pong table.

    Does tell a lot about a person’s character, doesn’t it?

  11. December 3, 2011 9:22 pm

    Aw man, now I’m sad that I have my own picture. I like the bats and walruses the best.

    I think Jay’s email #2 looks like a baby octopus.

  12. December 4, 2011 1:17 am

    Love the Moosecopter. funnily enough i said the word to myself before I saw that you’d written it!!

    Great post

  13. Susanna permalink
    December 4, 2011 8:18 pm

    That’s pretty much what I look like all the time.

  14. December 5, 2011 6:35 am

    Well done … and thanks for the humor.

  15. mark Hepworth permalink
    December 5, 2011 11:14 am

    Kyle, Your interpretation of Carolyn’s Icon is actually dead on.

  16. December 5, 2011 10:05 pm

    Very cool! I see faces in the wood on the back of our toilet door, and in the way a towel hangs sometimes…I actually DON’T think this makes me special lol 😀

  17. Serena permalink
    December 8, 2011 1:26 am

    This was such a cool idea. Love it!

  18. December 12, 2011 1:39 pm

    My randomly generated avatar on my own blog isn’t anywhere near as pixelated as the ones on your blog, so I don’t know what my avatar looks like here. Let’s find out!

    • December 12, 2011 1:42 pm

      I see either a bat flying between (dodging) two blow darts, or a chipmunk with his little paws up in karate crane pose.

  19. Deborah Hepworth permalink
    December 13, 2011 9:00 pm

    An angry gopher, heh? I’ve always been curious how your mind works…these are great insight! Quite interesting interpretations.

  20. Desiree Cross permalink
    April 17, 2013 11:41 pm

    I might draw my own, but at the very least wanted to see what the pixelated image looked like… Here goes nothin…

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