I have a HUGE announcement to make…

…but first, if you haven’t yet entered my contest to win an Amazon gift certificate, the party is still kicking over on my last post for two more days, so join in while there’s still time!

Anyway, now for the announcement. After much deliberation, rumination, constipation and sleepless nights, I have finally made the decision to…

Change my WordPress gravatar photograph!!!

I know, aaaggghhh! Right? Our gravatarΒ pics are how we are recognised around the blogosphere, so changing it is not a decision to be taken lightly, oh no, but there comes a time when it has to be done. Maybe we’ve grown tired of our old pic, maybe it seems out of date because we’ve got older (OBVIOUSLY that’s not the reason I’m changing mine, ha!), maybe we were never really happy with it in the first place. My current gravatar picture is this:

Vanessa current

It’s not that I don’t like that picture anymore, it’s just that I’ve always felt it was a bit too posed and not very friendly looking, it’s like I can’t even be bothered to look directly at you. So I’ve decided to switch to one that is a bit more natural, and hopefully more friendly, and it’s bang up to date having just been taken this past weekend:

Vanessa new gravatar

It’s not as glam as the original, and it’s a bit fuzzy, but I feel it’s more me (not theΒ fuzzy bit, but the less glam and more friendly bit!). I thought I’d better warn you about this impending change so that you didn’t have a shock and think “Who’s this weird chick impersonating Vanessa?!” Now you’ll know that I am the weird chick! I’m going to do the change tomorrow.

There’s a chance I might have SLIGHTLY exaggerated the importance of my announcement in my post heading, butΒ exaggeration is the marketing way you know. A bit like these snacks we bought recently, see how at the bottom they describe themselves as ‘Tiny moments of extraordinary pleasure’ –

SnacksThey were quite tasty, but if I was going to compile a list of the top ten things that give me moments of extraordinary pleasure, these probably wouldn’t appear. Sorry Walkers.

I’m thinking of changing my WordPress theme too, does anyone know if you can preview your blog in different themes without actually making it live each time because I can’t figure it out? EDIT. Don’t worry about this now, I’ve got it!

What things give you moments of extraordinary pleasure? …actually, scrap that, this is a family show!

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90 responses to “I have a HUGE announcement to make…

  1. Vanessa,
    I do like your old gravatar, this is how I’ve come to know you. But I do love the smile in your new incarnation.
    Le Clown

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  2. You’re gorgeous no matter what you say. OK I change my pic way too much.

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  3. You might be joking but swapping out your gravatar REALLY IS a big deal! I changed my pic when I switched my blog to self-hosted and it was a huge, anxiety-producing hassle! You’d think all it would take is a few button-pushes but it went on for three days.

    You can swap out your theme and preview it without going live. I have absolutely NO CODING SKILLS whatsoever and was able to figure it out, which would indicate the level of intelligence required was right around single-celled animal.

    The new pic is great but I liked the old one as well. It was “sort-of troubled art school chick who listens to a lot of Morrissey.” But I’m also partial to girl-next-door, so either is superb.

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    • Ah, well we’ll see if I have trouble changing my gravatar tomorrow then. I think I must have been of the single-celled animal mentality when I attempted to preview new themes previously because I couldn’t get it to work, but I’ve tried it again now after people commented and it works just fine!

      Yes I did like the old pic which is why I chose to to use it in the first place, but I think my true personality comes out more in the new one, but thanks for the compliment on both!

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  4. I love the new smiley pic–and yes you can preview new themes–just hit preview when you are presented with the themes–I did that awhile back and changed my theme

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    • It’s funny because ages ago when I tried looking at new themes, whenever I hit preview, all it did was show me a generic view of the theme without importing my blog to it, that’s why I was asking on here in case there was some special trick to it, but after a few of you commented, I tried again and it worked, so it must have just been a blip or me being stupid when I tried it before!

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  5. What’s not to like about either picture? As long as the Gravatar pic is of your lovely face and not a bag of crisps, I’ll be happy.

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  6. A lovely pic! But now the header on your blog looks so very serious!

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  7. Oh, this announcement definitely calls for Ruffles & Flourishes! I like the original picture because it’s dramatic – staring into the distance with slight wistfulness, awaiting that shining knight who will soon come riding down the road! The new one is very nice too – it has that clean, fresh-scrubbed, windblown look (and not meaning to offend, I might even say an All-American Girl look – LOL!) – and definitely direct and friendly.
    I know how to preview a new template on Blogger, but I haven’t got a clue about WP.

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    • Ruffles & Flourishes, I like that! Yes, the wistful look was good for a while, but now it’s time for the more natural and friendly look, and I’m not offended by you saying an All-American Girl look, I’ve been called worse!

      I’ve figured out the previewing now.

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  8. I’m still reeling over this news about the change of gravatar. I hope I can connect the slightly more fuzzy and funny pic of you with the more serious look-away pic of you. It’s going to be tough for a while!

    Seeing a goldfinch. That’s my answer to your question. Love those little yellow birds!

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  9. Vanessa you are a sight for sore eyes in either photo… I love the new one… you’re gorgeous .. when we played golf you had that darn golf cap on so I didn’t get to appreciate your true beauty… but this new photo shows your personality to the fullest… Love the photo…
    Checking for a new theme, when you see something you might like preview it before you change…

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    • Thank you so much, I wasn’t showing pictures in order to procure compliments, but that doesn’t mean they’re not welcome! πŸ™‚

      The previewing didn’t work when I tried it previously, but all seems well now!

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  10. Love!the new picture, my dear! It shows your true, playful nature. Your smile lights up my screen! πŸ™‚

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  11. I love the new picture. You look warm and friendly.

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  12. The new one is a great picture – lots of energy and motion. (although the color/contrasts aren’t as intense and dramatic). Good pix for a writer.

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    • Thank you. Yes, the original picture was taken by a professional photographer and the new one is a snapshot taken on a phone, so the quality of the photo is obviously not as good, but I decided it was better to have me as me!

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  13. I like the newer picture too — it really shows off your personality! Go for it.

    As for tiny moments of extraordinary pleasure, two words: Ferrero Rocher. Mmm mmm good. πŸ˜‰

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  14. I like both of those photos and you’re lovely in each one, but I think I prefer the new one—having seen your funny videos, it seems to match better with the live version of you!

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    • Thanks Madame. Yes, I think at first when I set up this blog, I tried to portray a more glossy image of myself, but now that you’ve seen me looking rough too, I can be more real in my photos! (I know you didn’t say rough, you said lovely, but I’m saying rough!).

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  15. I like both. But the new one says “Hi! I’m fun!”. πŸ™‚

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  16. Yes, you can preview your blog in different themes without making it live.

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  17. I like them both as they show different sides of your personality.

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  18. I need to update my FB photo as well – still has my grad picture from 2 or 3 years ago.
    Or I could just delete my FB account. Either way…

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    • I tend to use the same headshot photo on all my stuff. I’ve already changed FB to this windswept one, and I’ll probably change it across Twitter and LinkedIn and anywhere else I am too at some point!

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  19. I liked the old one, and I like the new one even more. It’s true, people feel they know us by our picture, but if they like us enough, that’s all that matters. True followers will always keep up. xx

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  20. Those bites of extraordinary pleasure look like Sunchips here. They are my favorite chips–and do give me pleasure while I’m eating them…and then extreme guilt after I’m done as I realize how many empty calories I just inhaled. It’s hard to stop at a hand full. I like your smiley gravatar. So cute and friendly. But I already knew you were friendly from your comments. Good luck with all your changes. My hat is off to you. (Please pass the Sunbites back to me)

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    • Well these Sunbites might be a better choice for you because they come in little individual bags with no more than a handful in each one, so it’s easier to stop at a handful! Thank you, I’m glad I came across as friendly anyway, now the gravatar will match!

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  21. Oftentimes reading your blog gives me moments of extreme pleasure. Did someone already say that? Do I get bonus entries in the gift card raffle by sucking up?

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  22. I love both photos, but I don’t deal with change well. If we pass one another on the WordPRess street and I blow you off, it just means I didn’t recognize you.

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  23. I think the smiling, new one better reflects the tone of your posts and comments. πŸ™‚ The “preview” feature is sort of helpful, but I’ve learned that different things portray your current content differently, if that makes sense. Very few will show your existing header, for example. And some will show all your current widgets while others show only a few. If there’s a rhyme or reason, I haven’t figured it out. πŸ˜‰

    No matter your gravatar or theme, I’ll keep reading. πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks J, yes that’s how I feel, the new one is a better reflection of what goes on around here!

      I’ll have to have a play around with previewing different themes and see how I get on! The only thing I don’t like about this theme actually is that when you’re on any of the pages with a post, it doesn’t show any of your side widgets, and you can’t get it to either, they only show on the home page. So after the first time when people discover you and follow, they only probably go straight to the posts each time and they never see those things you have carefully selected for the sidebars!

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  24. Great photo! I always figured you were friendly and smiling by the posts (and comments) you make, but you’re right, this new gravatar photo proves it.

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  25. Whoa! Even without the drum-roll this is is big news. I can’t remember exactly how it goes, but I think there’s a saying about style being more important than substance (or something like that). These days I take it to mean that a new Gravatar pic is more important than a new post. Either way I’ll keep reading – I like a cheery smile, and a good laugh always helps.

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  26. That smile rules!
    Go for it!

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  27. I like the new photo, relaxed and friendly! Though as I’m not quite ready to show my face to the world and so have an avatar that’s my foot in a roller skate, what do I know?!!

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  28. I like it a lot. In fact it’s made me want to think about changing my gravitar photo, because I know haven’t gotten any older. I like the one on your footer too. Maybe I should get me a footer. What I probably should get are some of those “tiny moments of extraordinary pleasure.” They look a lot like “Sun Chips” in the US. I don’t think they’re tiny moments of anything though. What I probably should do is write something on my blog.

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    • Howdy stranger. Your gravitar pic is good already because you’re smiling and friendly looking in it. Someone else mentioned Sun Chips, so I just looked them up, and yes, they do look very similar indeed! But yes, it probably is time you wrote something on your blog! But only if you want to that is…

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  29. Haha! Well done on the big anouncement. So often I write something, thinking no one will want to read that so I leave it as a draft and never hit publish. I’ll have to hit publish more often without over thinking things.
    I like both pics, to be honest. One shows the serious, thoughtful Vanessa, the other shows the fun and carefree one, just like the pic with hand-over-mouth at the bootom of the page. (You saw/heard/did something naughty! πŸ™‚ )
    As for test-driving a blog theme, yes! I still don’t know how to do that apart from the using the little preview feature. Please share! πŸ™‚

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    • Yes, I just write whatever I feel like writing! The title is important, I bet if I had titled this post ‘I’m going to change my gravitar’ I’d have had a lot less hits! That picture at the bottom with my hand over my mouth was one that I took especially to accompany a post I did ages ago about playing pranks, so you’re right about the naughty bit! Somebody else then used that photo to make me that banner pic. The preview feature didn’t even work when I was trying it out ages ago, which is why I asked on here, but then when I tried it again it did! I’ll have a play with that some other time.

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  30. Vanessa, I would like you in any shot. You do have a genuine beauty but more importantly is the beauty that emanates from your words…don’t ever change that!

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  31. I think it’s good to have an author pic that looks like you and captures you in a happy moment. This new one really does that! πŸ™‚

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  32. You can’t even see my eyes. Can I have a prize for the least friendly gravatar? πŸ˜€

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  33. Vanessa – now I feel I can really talk to you. Before I always had the sense that there was something holding me back – I realise now it was because your hair just wasn’t windswept enough. Phew, now we can truly be friends.

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  34. Some people do change their gravatars often and I get confused easily so wonder who they are. I think the odd change is alright and you have a fun and breezy blog so a picture that matches is a good thing πŸ™‚

    Happy choosing a new theme. So many choices and so little time …

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    • I think once every year or two is reasonable when it’s a photo of ourselves, because we do change! And if you pick a photo that has a nice memory to go with it, like I have with this one because it was taken on a lovely day out, then so much the better.

      I have a feeling it will take me hours and hours to pick a new theme, so I’m not sure when I’m going to tackle it!

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      • Good point about the photo. Mine was taken at Ironbridge and just after I’d started blogging and tweeting. I needed a picture and took that one. Nice memories and I do think of that holiday whenever I see that photo (and it’s EVERYWHERE)

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  35. I suppose a change is as good as a rest but I like both your photos. If you’re happy, we are also. Smile.

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  36. I always enjoy coming over here, Vanessa, because you always make me smile and laugh. Your new Gravatar picture drives that point home extra-strong! I did like the old one, too, but the spontaneity in the new one is so indicative of what makes Vanessa-Chapman.com so much fun. πŸ˜€

    I’ll be family-friendly and say one of my favorite examples of extraordinary pleasure is having new photos taken – especially if they are fun photo experiences, like yours!

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    • Thank you Mayumi. Yes, when I chose my first gravatar pic, I wanted something that I felt made me look good, but then I realised it’s better to pick one that shows my personality more! So I’m more comfortable with the second one now. It is fun having new photos taken! It always used to be fun waiting to get films back from being developed, but now we don’t even have to wait for that!

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  37. Yes, so you did change it! I got tired of mine, and changed mine too. It’s refreshing. I like your new friendly, smiling face.

    Like

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