Avatars and free web space?

Pat Murphey

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Nov 16, 2002
Lafayette, NJ
If I understand "my profile" correctly, an Avatar can be created by putting an image in "my picture". I also understand that MSN will no longer be available to store web images unless one is a paid subscriber to MSN 8. I found that hpphoto.com allows up to 10 megabytes of free web image storage. Use the "create link for auction" button to get the URL for posting.

The problem is that the space for the URL for "my picture" in the Grumble is about 6 to 10 characters too small for the hpphoto URL.

Can that be fixed?

Pat :confused:

[ 05-29-2003, 12:55 PM: Message edited by: Pat Murphey ]
Pat, Pat, Pat . . . Allow me to enlighten you.

The space in the profile for "my photo" will display a photo only when people look at your profile. That photo will not appear anywhere in your posts. Personally, I've never been able to get that function to work and I haven't seen a profile where it does work. In my case, I think it's much more important that Grumblers know when my birthday is, anyway. (It's Dec 31, so you don't have to look.)

The avatar is a different deal altogether. Moderators get to designate a custom avater from any suitable (or, in some cases, not-so-suitable image.) The rest of you peons only get to choose from a library of stock avatars. This fact nearly caused a mutiny when it was first revealed. I think most Grumblers have gotten over it, but I sometimes see John Ranes pacing in front of my shop with a torch.

Custom avatars are really the ONLY perk of being a moderator. We work cheap.

There are plenty of stock avatars to choose from, but there is some duplication among Grumblers. I find this un-nerving, for example, when I get Jack Bingham mixed up with Jin Wicked.

Some people find the avatars so annoying that they have them turned off so they don't have to look at them.

If you see a graphic at the end of somebody's post, it's probably a URL in their signature. Be aware that, if you include a picture in your signature, it will eventually show up in every post you've ever written. If I did that, I'm pretty sure it would crash the Grumble and I'd have a lot more than just John Ranes to worry about. Signature graphics eat up a lot of Grumble resources.

More than you wanted to know, huh?
Oops, I forgot.

The free MSN photo hosting is still there, though it was supposed to shut down eight days ago. Still another case of Microsoft lying to its constituents. I just know it'll head south as soon as I post some more photos on it.

I do pay a modest annual fee for additional Hotmail storage space, so maybe that helps, since the MSN photos site is tied to my Hotmail address.

I actually registered for the HP site a while back and haven't used it. About every six months, I get a reminder that I need to at least visit it or it will be deactivated. It seems pretty easy to use and well thought-out.

I give it about 6 more months before it becomes fee-based or disappears altogether.
Thanks Ron.

Where do you find stock Avatars?

If my posts get to be a significant number, I'll remove the graphic. For now I consider it my identity.

I know this one, let me answer it before Ron. You need 25 posts Pat, and then you are a "True Grumbler" and the whole world of avatars open up to you. I guess they want to know you are serious about being a Grumbler before they let you into the Avatar vault!

I'll try to remember December 31 is your special day. Normally, I just try to remember december 31, but all of us grumblers get your great guidance for a bargain price. I'm going to put a note in my book to send you a dollar, or maybe a wallbuddy. Better yet, how about a flashlight your jaunts through the woods?
Thanks Kathy,

That was my 25th post. As a recently retired airline pilot, I found one that is just right.

Congratulations, Pat, on your new Grumbler status and avatar. I imagine the steep dive configuration of that plane is just an asthetic consideration, or it might be strafing the moderators with the custom avatars.

Katman, thanks for the thought, but my jaunts through the woods are normally in broad daylight. Otherwise, the squirrels would all be sleeping.
BTW, Emibub lied. You'll need 24 more posts to be a True Grumbler (they keep raising the bar) and you could have had an avatar after 20 posts.

Here's the breakdown:

0 posts: Grumbler in training
20 posts: Grumbler
50 posts: True Grumbler
100 posts: CGF, Certified Grumbler
200 posts: CGF II, Certified Grumbler II
500 posts: MGF Master Grumbler
1000 posts: SGF Supreme Grumbler
4000 posts: Picture Framing God PFG

I don't know what happens at 10,000 posts, but it'd better be good!
Darn, here I thought I was being helpful. Oh well, I meant well.............Ron, isn't there something for 2000? I'm closing in on it. :eek:

[ 05-29-2003, 03:46 PM: Message edited by: Emibub ]
Ron, may I ask your source of information regarding the discontinued hosting service on MSN?

I also use this service and have had no notification at all about it being dropped.
Lance, here (again) is the text of the email I received on May 7 from MSN_Newletters@hotmail.com

Action Required - Storage Policy Change

If you are an MSN 8 subscriber, your storage options will not be affected by this change.

What is changing on MSN Photos?

MSN Photos will no longer offer online storage of photos for users who are not MSN 8 subscribers. If you currently have photos stored on our site, you can download them to your computer. The deadline for downloading your photos is May 21, 2003. After this date, all your photos will be removed from our site and you will no longer be able to access them. We ask that you please take action today, so you don't lose your valuable photos.

Thank you for using MSN Photos.


The message is then repeated in about 12 other languages, though I don't think Kiwi was one of them.

I received a second identical email a week or so later, possibly because I maintain two separate MSN "communities."

The whole thing looked and felt very odd, and I couldn't find any mention of it at the "communities" site.

Maybe it was a hoax. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone else who uses MSN photo hosting and may have received this message.

Doesn't that return email address (which I didn't notice until I went back and looked again just now) seem a little strange? I don't think Microsoft really uses Hotmail.

Kathy, at 2,000 posts you become a Double-Decker Supreme Grumbler, which is more than most people can handle.

[ 05-29-2003, 05:06 PM: Message edited by: Ron Eggers ]
Since you first mentioned it, Ron, I haven't seen any such notification from MSN either. I have 2 thingies with photos on MSN.

Originally posted by Ron Eggers:
There are plenty of stock avatars to choose from, but there is some duplication among Grumblers. I find this un-nerving, for example, when I get Jack Bingham mixed up with Jin Wicked.
Hmmmmm.....I've seen pix of both. I know a really, really good eye surgeon, if mixing Jin and Jack is a problem....
But they both use this

There are a couple of other avatar overlaps, but I believe that is the most dramatic.
Thanks for the info on avatars. Went and picked one out so now I'll get to see it AND find out what kind of grumbler I am. (probably still in training) Your avatar is my favorite, Ron. You deserve it!

[ 05-29-2003, 08:12 PM: Message edited by: lindas3 ]
Honestly, now, didn't anyone else think that last post was from AnneL?

Thank you, Linda. It's very fortunate I don't get everything I deserve.
Ron, the official Hotmail news announcements have orange text and the MSN logo. I think it may have been a hoax.
I wouldn't worry about duplication...

There appears to be about 3300 grumblers and only 199 avatars.

I change mine to match the holiday or season, although it would be great to insert my own small image.