Howto: Create a Gravatar brand icon

Recently I talked about how to make your brand image icon show up when sending to Gmail recipients. Today I'll talk about how to do the same for a different set of smaller ISPs and email clients.

Gravatar is a system owned by the folks behind Wordpress that allows you to upload an image or photo that is then linked to an email address. The primary use of the system is to show user icons for commenters on Wordpress blogs, from what I can tell.

An interesting secondary use is to use this "Gravatar" image to represent the sender of an email message in an email client. Email client and ISP support for Gravatars is not broad. According to this article from Zendesk, support for this is specific to users of Airmail, Sparrow, Postbox, and the Thunderbird email client. And I am led to believe that Thunderbird support requires a plugin.

However, signup is easy, so why not do it? It'll extend your brand image reach just a little bit further, with only a little bit of work.

Here's how to do it:
  1. Go to www.gravatar.com.
  2. Click on the "Create your own Gravatar" button.
  3. Enter the email address that your brand or company uses to send emails from.
  4. Choose a username. This must be unique. Don't be funny here, as it may later show up in some other place that we don't expect.
  5. Choose a good password, and don't lose it.
  6. The Gravatar system will send a confirmation email to the address you specify. After you receive that email, click on the "Activate Account" button within. The message comes from noreply@wordpress.com.
  7. After you click on the activation button, you are returned to the website. Click "Sign In" to log back in to Gravatar.com.
  8. You'll land on a "Manage Gravatars" page. It'll say, "Whoops, looks like you don't have any images yet! Add one by clicking here!"
  9. Click on the "click here," click on "Upload New," and click on "Choose file" to select your image.
  10. Click "next." You'll be led to a screen where you can crop the image, if desired. Click on "Crop Image" to continue.
  11. "Set rating" for your Gravatar image. Is it safe for all? Then select "G" rated and submit.
  12. You now have a Gravatar image uploaded.
That's it! You're done, and your Gravatar image should display alongside emails from you, when sent to recipients who use any of those handful of ISPs or email clients.

I suppose that if your social media brand ambassador ever decides to respond to comments on Wordpress blogs, you'll be covered there as well.

Howto: Make your brand icon display in Gmail

Looking to make your brand's logo show up next to emails you send to Gmail recipients, but you're not sending from a Gmail account? I think I've figured out how you can do that. Read on.

Inbox by Gmail: Bye bye

Do you use Inbox by Gmail? If so, you've got until March 2019 to enjoy it before it shuts down.

H/T Delivery Counts.

Spam in a post-GDPR world?

Spam levels are down a bit, according to various reports. Is GDPR to thank? Truth be told, Spamhaus says, that GDPR actions taken by legitimate companies sending legitimate mail might have reduced the amount of mail they send, wanted or unwanted, but those companies weren't the biggest sources of spam to begin with.

The real issue, Spamhaus says, is that GDPR is "hampering organizations from effectively stopping career cybercriminals from defrauding innocent people."

Why? Because good guys fighting the bad actors sending bad mail utilize WHOIS data to help identify and track those bad actors. The effective gutting of data in WHOIS in response to GDPR impedes that good work, as shared by John Levine.

This isn't news to me. Hiding or redacting domain ownership has long been a pain point for anti-spam and internet security folks.

Now Hiring: Merkle

Hey, you! Are you looking for a deliverability-related role? Merkle's got you covered. They're good people. Find more about the role (and how to apply) here.

Test Authentication Here

I finally repaired my long-broken DKM/SPF/TLS checker, you can find it here.