For years I have been using the exact same avatar across various social media platforms. It's the little image of my head, tilted slightly to the side, with some buildings in the distance and an orange post immediately behind my head.
I thought, for this week's HNT, I would reveal where that head-shot came from.
First, I stole the image from a friend's blog back in about 2005. Taras Shuper, a buddy I used to work with at Chapters Online had a list of his blog friends on his side-bar which included images. Shupe (as he is affectionately known my many pals) had cropped that image of my head-shot from a picture I had posted on my blog. I thought it was a cool picture - so I started using it as my avatar for my profile on this blog. As I branched out into various other online social media, I used the same picture.
I thought it would be important for people to be able to recognize me across different platforms, so, using a consistent avatar is one way of ensuring people know that it's the same Mark. I also potentially confuse people since I write fiction under the name "Mark Leslie" and am known in the bookselling world as "Mark Lefebvre" and in various other circles I use the full "Mark Leslie Lefebvre" -- thus, the consistent avatar assures people it's the same me.
The original picture that "Shupe" cropped was one that Francine took of me on the Staten Island ferry. We were in New York City for our anniversary many years ago (I believe it was in 2003), and she snapped this shot of me - we were "close" to the Statue of Liberty and I wanted to get some pictures of us with the beautiful New York city skyline in the background.
New York is an absolutely beautiful city. I have also recently made some changes in my life (which will be revealed very shortly on this blog), in which New York features quite prominently. So I figured this NY picture is rather appropriate right now.