To avatar or not to avatar? I guess the question should really be, to avatar a cartoon or other created image, or to avatar a photo?
I really, really like the idea of using animated avatars when blogging with kids. I haven’t yet started blogging with the kids in my classes at school, largely because I know there are so many privacy and security issues that I have to wrap my head around before I can present this to parents. I know that I need to be confident and knowledgeable in my responses to questions about student safety. And I don’t feel that I’m there, just yet. But protecting kids’ identities through using avatars such as these, sounds like a brilliant idea.
However, for myself, I’m quite happy to have my own identity out there. When I looked at Murcha’s picassohead and then her own picture on her blog, I felt much more connected to the “real person” Murcha, rather than the picassohead. And then when it came to choosing a photo for my avatar, well, I just love this one.
It was taken last February during the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. I was a volunteer and in this photo I am wearing my official blue “smurf” Vancouver 2010 volunteer jacket, my volunteer Vancouver blue toque, and those great red Winter Olympic mittens that had maple leafs (or is it leaves?) embroidered into the palms.
This picture was taken right outside of the Vancouver Convention Centre, which became the Vancouver Olympic Media Centre throughout the duration of the Winter Olympics, and was right next door to the plaza that housed the Olympic Flame.
The globe had nothing to do with the Olympics, it was, and still is in the convention centre. I’m not even really touching it, if you couldn’t tell. The globe is huge, and is hanging at least two stories above where I am standing with my arms in the air. But I love the idea that all of us volunteers, Vancouverites, Canadians, and really everyone, were carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders for those two weeks, and we all had great big smiles on our faces. And we did. We really did. The 2010 Winter Olympics got off to such a shaky and tragic start, with the death of the Georgian luger in his practice run on the day of the opening ceremonies, the snow that never came to Cypress, but the events went on incredibly well there, and we had some of the warmest winter weather on record. But we found our groove, and people rose to the occasion. For two weeks, we weren’t “no-fun-couver” anymore. People were happy, and excited, and friendly. It was incredible to feel the spirit in the city during those weeks last year.
And this picture, and those memories, still puts a great big smile on my face.
For part deux: RSS feeds:
Yes, I use them and I really like them. That said, I only have four subscriptions right now, but I am constantly overwhelmed by the number 1000+ of items in my reader. It’s too much! I’ll add more as I learn more about how to use hte Reader effectively, and convince myself that I really don’t have to keep up with everything.