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Gravatar Still Dead: Time for a Replacement?

Gravatar is a service that links your e-mail address with an avatar image of your own choosing. It is very popular, and also a great way to find comments from people in a massive amount of comments. It is also a great way to express yourself through an image on other blogs.

A gravatar, or globally recognized avatar, is quite simply an 80×80 pixel avatar image that follows you from weblog to weblog appearing beside your name when you comment on gravatar enabled sites. Avatars help identify your posts on web forums, so why not on weblogs?

Unfortunately, the service has not been “working” for quite some time. The last post on the Gravatar blog is around three weeks old, saying that the new servers and system should be up soon.

The pre-renders are complete, the mod_magnet script for lighttpd is done and tested, I’m just waiting on the setup of the new servers. Once setup is complete, I’ll get this sucker deployed, and we’ll see what happens. I’m still working on the Gravatar 2.0 admin site, I’ll keep you posted. Thanks for your continued patience.

For all I know, the site could be up and running later today, but I am pretty sick of waiting. I haven’t enabled Gravatars on BloggingPro yet because it ran too slow when it did work, and now it does not work correctly.
I know the service was created and ran out of the goodness of Tom Werner’s heart, but this is getting rediculous.
Other than getting people to adopt the service, why hasn’t someone created a newer/better gravatar type service? It is just an image hosting service basically. And with over a month since Tom posted that the new Gravatar service was “imminent”, we are all frustrated and tired of waiting.
Someone fill this niche please! Because it does not look like Tom is really passionate about doing it anymore. Again, I could be wrong, and the new service could launch today, but if you think you can do better, now would be the time to try because there are hundreds of frustrated people commenting on the rediculousness of the Gravatar developments.