Weekend Musings: Avatars, Blogroll and Polls

Hi everyone!

There is nothing particularly entertaining for this week’s musings. Let’s just say that this week’s musing will be educational instead.

Get Your Own Avatar

I had just turned on the feature on chowtimes to show your avatar against the comments you make. Have you ever wondered how this is done? It is pretty cool and simple.


It seems like most of you does not have your own avatar yet. You might want to consider getting your own avatar. If you don’t have an avatar, the system will generate a graphic pattern to represent you. Not too pretty.

An avatar is an image that follows you from blog to blog appearing beside your name when you comment on avatar enabled websites.

You can assign a proper picture to your own avatar if you want. It is associated with your email address. Here, check this out …the steps are very simple:

[wpvideo HNyK67JS w=600 h=336]

The site to create your own avatar is called Gravatar which stands for Globally Recognized Avatar. The URL isĀ http://en.gravatar.com/

Once you had created your own Gravatar, your avatar will start appearing on blogs, forums and other websites where you interact with your email address.

The Chowtimes Blogroll

The chowtimes Blogroll (link here) is being used more than we expected when we set that up. The intention for the blogroll is just to focus on providing a feed for restaurant reviews. However as we continued to maintain the blogroll, it seems to us that some of the sites we added does have posts not related to restaurant reviews.

We had done some clean-up on the blogroll the past few days. What you see now on the blogroll should be cleaner and should include MOSTLY only restaurant reviews. What we did was to only pull restaurant reviews based on categories (for WordPress sites) and labels (for Blogger sites).

Maybe when we have the time, we will create another blogroll for other categories like recipes and cooking.


Oh … since we are in the blogroll. I wanted to point out that some of the blogs have not created their own favicon yet. You can see from the above icons that I had highlighted in yellow. If you don’t have a favicon made for your site, it will show a generic favicon. In the example above, the orange B is a Blogger sites while the gray globe are WordPress sites.


It is pretty straightforward to create a favicon for your own blog. The favicon (which stands for favourite icon) is associated with your website. This is shown when your site is loaded on a browser (and also on the chowtimes Blogroll). It does add a bit of a professionalism to your site.

The way to create a favicon for your site depends on which platform you uses. The three most common ones are WordPress.com, self-hosted WordPress and Blogger. Just google “create favicon Blogger” or “create favicon wordpress” and you will find lots of guides on how to do that.

Poll — Your Favourite Taiwanese Beef Noodle in Vancouver

That was fun.

I had just closed the poll on the Favourite TBN in Vancouver. I was glad to see such a good response to the simple poll with over 150 voters.

Well, it looks like Lao Shan Dong (LSD) is the run-away favourite in this survey among chowtimes readers. The votes garnered by LSD is almost twice as much as the next closest restaurant.

I am pleasantly surprised to see that Chef Hung came in second. It sort of validated my debate with Suanne who claims that Chef Hung’s TBN is too watery and not good. I keep telling her she doesn’t know what good TBN is. So I am right … 33 of you said so. LOL!

Anyway, if you are curious as to my votes, they are the ones that are in bold and italics.

Poll — Your Favourite Vietnamese Restaurant in Richmond

This poll did not garner as many votes but still it was interesting. It appears that the two top Vietnamese restaurant in Richmond ran neck and neck into a virtual dead-heat. Green Lemongrass pipped Thai Son by just one single vote. These two are clearly the winners over the rest.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Elaine

    I suppose your avatar is purposely set to only show your smile LMAO?

    1. Ben

      Hi Elaine: Been a long while … yeah, I prefer to share part of me only. Anyway, that’s what people see when they see my face … my smile and they can’t see my eyes! Ben

  2. joyluckclub

    Hi Ben,
    Thanks for the Gravatar hint…..let’s see if it worked

    1. Ben

      Hi JLC: That was easy, right? I like your gravatar! Ben

  3. Crispy Lechon

    I like your idea of polls. If one is undecided on where to go for a certain cuisine of food, these polls can certainly help. I wonder if the polls can be made permanent in a tab after the poll has closed.

    1. Ben

      Hi Crispy: Yeah, according to the documentation I should be able to create a page of all polls but it is not working for some reason. I will have a look at it one of these days and see what is wrong. Ben

      1. Crispy Lechon

        Hi Ben, thanks for looking into it. But if its a lot of trouble to setup, please dont worry about it. Thanks again.

  4. joyce

    This avatar thing is cool. I wonder if it works…

    1. Ben

      Well, it is working for you, joyce. I can see your avatar showing here.

  5. mo

    testing my avatar

    1. mo

      eww, i am ‘faseless’! how do i get a new face?

  6. mo

    nevermind, found it. i should learn myself to reed good.

    1. Ben

      Hi Mo: You got to use the same email address you use to post comments to register it in Gravatar. Try again. Ben

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