A couple of days ago I received a lovely gift from the generous and all round fabulous person that is Sue Beckingham.
This little, very photogenic “mini-me” got me thinking – particularly as I tweeted out a picture of it
maybe I should update my twitter avatar, and wouldn’t this be the perfect image to use. Then I started thinking – always a mistake. I’ve had my current twitter avatar for as long as I’ve been on twitter, which is over 12 years now. Back then, I wasn’t sure what this new fangled micro-blogging thing was all about, how long it would last etc and I didn’t really want to use an actual picture of me. 12 years on, and I still haven’t changed the little green cartoon version of me on twitter. It’s become part of my online identity. It’s maybe even a bit of a brand. So, in true indecisive and procrasternation style I thought I would ask twitter what to do.
Tweeps – help me decide I've had the same twitter icon for a looong time (over 10 years) – is it time to change?— Sheila MacNeill (@sheilmcn) September 23, 2019
Whilst the voting was ongoing I got some helpful replies from David and Sue
I think it is useful having a photo so people can instantly recognise you when meeting face to face for the first time— Sue Beckingham (@suebecks) September 23, 2019
Throughout the day there was an underlying existential air about the remain or leave aspects of the poll – which was very spookily reflected in the poll results.
The current poll score is close to a Brexit type scenario!— Emma Nicol (@emmanicolwork) September 23, 2019
The final result was 48% to stay with the current icon and 52% to change. But like that other referendum, it’s not just that simple to change.
Quite a few people said that they look out for familiar, easy to recognise icons (like mine) when they scroll through their twitter steams. I do the same. A few fellow twitter cartoon avatar peeps called for some solidarity
It would be nice to see you stay and stand in solidarity with us cartoon avatar folks. 🙂— Kate Molloy (@hey_km) September 23, 2019
At the same time Sue’s point about a photo is relevant and probably “best practice”, particularly now as I am and independent consultant. A little green cartoon figure isn’t probably what the brand advisors and social media experts would advise. But, I have a well established twitter profile and on my twitter page there is an actual photo of me. On the other hand the other image I was thinking of changing to is a little lego figure. So whilst that might be recognisable, it’s still not ‘me’, and it might imply I have an special interest in lego, which I don’t. What to do, what to do? Of course twitter had the answer
We demand the election of a new @sheilmcn and then a revote once we have negotiated a new icon, which we may or may not back.— Phil Barker 🐝 (@philbarker) September 24, 2019
Is it risky to try a new icon? Probably not, but have I got the right image to change to? Probably not. So you know what I might just do what Phil has suggested, or I might not. Feel free to add to my indecision in the comments