New avatar standards

Today is the first day for a few weeks that I have released updates to the chinposin platform. Today we implemented a new way for archiving and resizing your images.

If you visit your homepage, like mine, you will see that each avatar now has it’s own embed widget, and there is also an Ambient Avatar widget. Your Ambient Avatar is your current avatar. So if you change your twitter picture, your Ambient Avatar will be updated wherever it is embedded.

Your original image is now downloaded and this image is then used to create a 100 x 100 thumbnail that is used for the widgets. If your original image is smaller than 100 x 100, your widget will look distorted.

The next chinposin release will generate images at the following sizes:

512 x 512, 256 x 256, 128 x 128, 100 x 100, 48 x 48, 32 x 32, 16 x 16.

You will then get the ability to embed any of your images in your avatar timeline, at any of the image sizes, anywhere you want.

This poses a few questions for us technically, but more so for the community. Looking though the growing archive of avatars, it is not common for people to upload images sized as big as 512 x 512. A lot of people upload thumbnail sized images smaller than 100 x 100. So it is clear that avatar standards require a change of thinking for both service operators and users.

So in terms of sizes, always upload the largest image as possible for your twitter picture. This will then give you more flexibility for circulating you image. We will then center and crop and size your image to all the sizes.

We have been planning to implement this for a long time. My only defence is that I have a day job, and until some angels find us, the updates are happening as and when.

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May 17, 2008. chinposin.

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