I’ve just seen a new WordPress feature underneath all WordPress.com blog posts. It’s a “Like” button, which, when clicked, shows a Gravatar image for all the bloggers who like your post. Your Gravatar (Globally Recognised Avatar) is an image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog. Avatars help identify your posts on blogs and web forums and can be a cartoon, a photo or any image you identify yourself with.
When you “like” a post two core things happen. First, the blog post’s author sees your “like” and can click-through to your Gravatar profile. Second, clicking “like” saves the post in your homepage dashboard (in the “Posts I Like” section), so you can share it with others, or just keep it around for future reference. If you’re interested in keeping track of how many likes your own blog posts are receiving, there’s a new “like count” column on the “Posts > Edit Post” screen. This will show you the total like count on each of your posts, right next to the total comment count.
I think this is an awesome new way to discover other interesting bloggers, and start new conversations with people who — literally! — like you. If you haven’t updated your Gravatar profile yet, now would be a great time to upload a picture, a link to your blog, and any other details. Editing your profile is easy, just remember that all of your profile information is public!
If you’d prefer not to display likes on any of your blog posts there is an option to turn them off under “Appearance > Extras.” You can still enable or disable likes selectively on individual posts through the “Show likes on this post” checkbox when editing or writing a new post.
We didn’t discuss Gravatars in our last course, but can certainly include this in our next WordPress.com-Starter-Course if you like. You can let me know what you think by leaving a comment underneath this post and by ‘liking it’. 😉