Monday, January 08, 2007

aka Alfred

The Internet use of the Indian word, Avatar is rather odd. It’s been used in its current meaning for years, apparently: as far back as 1985 according to one source. But it’s appearance on Internet forums, such as myLot, is probably more recent.
For those who haven’t come across an avatar in this style, it now usually appears in the form of a picture to the side of a post (a blog post, or forum post, rather than one on the side of the road!) and is intended to convey something of the character of the person writing – this is necessary in view of the fact that in most forums anonymity is the norm, with people’s real names hidden behind user names.
MyLot’s avatars can be one of your own pictures, and for me that’s preferable to some odd cartoon, or computer-produced job. On the other hand, on another forum where I sometimes write, Paypost, you can choose your own avatar from a fairly limited selection available. The closest picture to my way of presenting myself online was Alfred, the butler to Bruce Wayne, aka Batman. Since I tend to write what might be classed as ‘stuffy’ posts, ones that try to bring some sense to posts that consist of nothing but the ‘I hate politicians’ type of nonsense, Alfred isn’t too bad an avatar. But maybe I should fool everyone and go for Bruce Wayne instead…

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