As an Internet beginner I was spending a lot of time creating profiles. I don’t mean creating lots of accounts, I mean spending lots of time on each account’s profile. To a small extent it was a matter of what nick to choose (my most usual real-life one? or something completely new? or even the string of characters on my ID card?), but mostly it was about contemplating how to fill in the boxes (should I reveal my age? my sexuality? my location? &c). I used to be troubled especially by the boxes in which you’re supposed to characterise yourself in a few (or not so few) words. How to make it short but telling a lot?

(In fact, one of the reasons for creating this website was having a “home base”, to which I could point out with a link without filling in anything other than the “compulsory” details elsewhere. Indeed, later on I even blanked out much of the information from those profiles that I had created before launching this site.)

One reccurring item on these profile pages is a picture. Somewhere it’s called a “devil” (ICQ), somewhere an “avatar” (FnaG), somewhere a “userpic” (LJ) and so forth, but the principle is the same – a kind of a visual signature or nick. I used quite a few of these, but sooner or later was always dissatisfied with my choice. Always began to consider them either not Scottish enough, or, alternatively, Scottish in a too ostentatious way. (I still like the logo I made up for this site, but using it for example at FnaG would remind one of the “wha’s like us?” syndrome.) Nevertheless, when I was led by the Cal Merc to the Gravatar website, I decided to give it one more try.

After some consideration I concluded that I was still happy with the snap I used for my “About” page here and used a cut-out of that. (Actually, I already had used it elsewhere, namely on YouTube.) It’s Scottish all right, but refers to the nick to which I’m quite used by now even more, it’s easily recognizable in the thumbnail size and neutral enough to be used anywhere and everywhere.

So that yesterday’s anniversary of the day back in ’91 when I eventually lost my virginity I celebrated by something quite asexual – namely, setting the gravatar to my FnaG profile and posting my first Cal Merc comment using this nick’n’pic.



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