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Everyone seems to be on Twitter these days. Or on Plurk. Or Gravatar. Or MyBlogLog. Or Digg. Or Votetime. Or one of the million other social sites out there.

And all of those sites use an image on your profile. But what sort of image works best?

A photo of yourself? Or your logo? Or just a cool design?

Why Use A Photo?

twitter-photos

  • Much more personal. The idea behind sites like Twitter and Gravatar is to get closer to your readers; to form bonds and have a regular conversation with them. Using your photo is the easiest step towards making things more friendly, and simply put, more human.
  • Anyone can do it. Not everyone is a designer, or has the money to hire one. But anyone can pull out a camera, snap a photo and upload it. If you don’t think your logo is really up for it, then don’t worry, you’re in the same boat as most people! Use your photo instead.
  • Stand out as an individual in a team of bloggers. A lot of blogs now have multiple authors, or don’t highlight their writers very well. If you work as part of a team, it could be good to get a little individualism with your own photo, not the company logo.

    Alternatively, Adelle Charles from Fuel Your Creativity has a great solution. She uses her photo as the main image, but still has a tiny logo in the bottom right.

    twit-adelle

If you do use a photo, it’s probably a good idea to have the same photo on your site (Well, a slightly larger version!). It highlights the link between your blog and your social profiles. You want people to know who you are.

Why Use a Logo or a Unique Design?

twitter-logos

  • More room to be creative. Photos of yourself don’t usually stand out from the crowd much. It’s hard to be ground breakingly creative with a mugshot. A few million MySpace users have tried, but the results weren’t always the best.

    A design can be whatever you want. And a great design is going to catch a lot more eyes and be more easily remembered the next time its seen.

  • Branding for you and your site. If someone visits your site and sees your logo, and then winds up on your Digg profile a few days later and sees the same logo, they’re going to make the connection. Or vice verse! And if they liked your blog, they’ll probably add you as a friend then.
  • Photos can be hard to recognize. Twitter images are small! I’ve seen some photos so many times now that I’d know them instantly, but if I’ve only seen an image once or twice, it takes a little longer to stick for me. And the poses in some photos can make it even harder.
  • Appearance changes over time. Imagine you use the same photo everywhere for a year. It’s going to be pretty well known in your circle after that year. But do you still look that way? No? Well, when you update your photo, are people going to get confused? Will the ones that just about know you get lost altogether?
  • Can be very easy to do! I said above that taking a photo was easy, and it is. But if your blog already has a nice logo, it’s even easier than having to get the camera out!

My Conclusion

My conclusion is that, like most things blogging, it comes down to your own opinion. Personally, I just don’t like seeing my own photo very much! I don’t have one on the site anymore, and I can’t think of any I’d like to see on other sites, so I’m sticking to my logo.

Photos don’t make things any more interesting to me. I’m just as happy to see a bunny-eared anime girl, as a real person. The important bit is that I see the same bunny-eared anime girl each time, so I know who the person is.

A creative image might get a few more people to view your profile, but a friendly face might add some character to your words.

Which do you use, and why do you do it that way?

PS – As a last note, check out the just-launched Just Tweet It. It’s a directory for finding other Twitterers (And adding yourself to!).

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