How to Crowdsource Your Next Social Media Avatar

I try not to change my avatar (the thumbnail icon that accompanies your posts on social networking sites) — people come to recognize your icon and changing it too often might disrupt that.

For the longest time, my avatar was the one on the left — me, in a blue shirt, looking right into the camera. But the photo taken a couple of years (and pounds) ago, so I thought it was time for a new one.

I haven’t fully settled on the left one yet, so for now I’m using the one on on the right which, at the least, incorporates the two colours in my new branding. I’ll probably get a non-creepy photo taken soon enough. ;-)

But if YOU are having trouble picking out which photo of yours would look best as your avatar, here’s a tip: Use OK Cupid‘s My Best Face web application. Yes, the dating site.

Here’s how it works. You upload three or four candidate photos to the site, then other users on the site rate how much they like your photo. (They actually put a photo of you up against another random photo and ask people which one they prefer. They’ll make you do this too for 60 matches to get your report. It only takes 2-3 minutes. Do this away from your significant other. ;-) )

One note: To get voters of both genders (which you almost certainly want), tell the site you’re bisexual when it asks for your sexual orientation. Don’t worry. It won’t report that to your mother.

Once you get your report (it takes a few days), you’ll have a better sense of which photo of yours people prefer. Then, use that for your avatar and delete your OK Cupid profile, lest you answer to those “Um, honey? Why are you on a dating site? Aaaaand why do you say you’re bi?” questions.

Here is my report — click it to zoom in:

Turn on images to see this chart

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