A Well Known URL For Your Personal Avatar
Well-known URLs are pretty neat. I’ve even dared propose one before here on my blog.
And now I’m here to propose another:
The idea is: anybody that owns a domain can put their avatar in a well-known location.
I’ve already implemented this for my own site. You can see it here:
In some ways, this is really just for me. I often find myself needing an avatar of me for one reason or another. At first, I put a file in my Dropbox folder so that I could access it on any device whenever and wherever I needed it. But then I thought, “What’s even easier than accessing a file through a service like Dropbox? Accessing a URL.”
And, remembering that
.well-known URLs are a thing, I figured why not put it at a URL I can remember and easily share with others?
Think Gravatar but on a web where your domain is your social handle.
I don’t know how you’d actually go about making
.well-known a standard — it looks complicated. And there’s probably a lot more considerations you’d want to spec out, like:
- What’s the recommended size for the avatar?
- What format should it be in? Can you request that?
- What aspect ratio should it have?
- How do you specify (optional) alternatives?
- Should you be able to provide avatars for more than one person under a given domain?
Those are all great questions. I don’t know the answers — but KISS is probably your friend here.
That said, if you’ve ever found yourself needing quick access to your commonly-used avatar (and you own your domain) do yourself a favor and put it at a URL you and others will remember:
- I’m using Netlify which is a static file host but the URL is extension-less, so I use Netlify’s redirects functionality to point the extension-less URL at the file on disk. ↩
- Just think of the possibilities this could open. Bluesky is letting you set your domain as your social handle, imagine if other services followed. And updating your profile photo across them all was as easy as putting a new file at
.well-known/avatar. There’s a whole world of possibilities! ↩