Automagically Building User Profiles with Gravatar

by Santosh

The Gravatar API offers a simple shortcut to automagically build user profiles, including the user’s mug shot.¬†Construct the user’s email hash by md5’ing her email address, then request the user’s public image by constructing her unique URL.¬†Essentially, a signup wizard needs to just ask the user for her email address. No permissions needed.¬†This allows Gravatar-enabled users (usually bloggers on wordpress) to skip uploading the profile photo altogether. Nice alternative to Facebook Connect and a great ingredient for user delight.

Here’s my public avatar and my public profile.