Random question, I log in with my Google account. Is there some sort of mechanism that will use my picture from Google (or Google +) as my account image on sp.se? I don't really want to create an account on a separate web site for the sole purpose of having a picture to assocaite with my account.

  • You mean Gravatar? If you set it up there then it is used everywhere... works on most wordpress blogs too.
    – Kit Menke
    Oct 27, 2011 at 18:30
  • Correct, I don't want a gravatar account for the sole purpose of a profile picture when other accounts that you can log into the site with, store a profile photo as well. Oct 27, 2011 at 18:32
  • You may get a more definitive answer on SE meta; since this is more core SE related.
    – Stu Pegg
    Oct 28, 2011 at 8:50
  • That's true, I'll ask there. Oct 28, 2011 at 10:47
  • @PirateEric If you get a useful answer, could you link to it here, please? Questions with no answers on Meta make me feel strangely uneasy.
    – Stu Pegg
    Oct 28, 2011 at 11:50
  • Actually, each site's meta is monitored so we should eventually get an answer here.
    – Kit Menke
    Oct 31, 2011 at 13:49
  • Didn't find much useful on my brief skims through SE Meta. Will look at it in more detail to see if something useful comes about. Oct 31, 2011 at 13:51
  • @Kit's correct - it's perfectly fine to ask stuff like this here. For feature-requests that aren't SharePoint-specific, you might not get a lot of attention from other users, but we do try to get through all of them sooner or later.
    – Shog9
    Nov 27, 2011 at 18:28

1 Answer 1


I don't really want to create an account on a separate web site for the sole purpose of having a picture to assocaite with my account.

Then don't. I rather like the image Gravatar generates for you based on a hash of your email address... Think of it as The PirateEric flag.

We use Gravatar because it works, it's (usually) fast, and it's orthogonal to whatever other services you might be using for authentication. Sure, you might find it convenient if we dragged your Google profile image onto the site - but plenty of others would find it a shocking breech of privacy... Same as if we exposed the name you use on Google, or your circles, or used the top post in your stream as your bio text.

Beyond that... Stack Exchange allows you to associate as many different credentials as you care to. If you want to have your Facebook, Google, Yahoo! and LiveJournal accounts all associated with your profile here, you're free to do so. If we started exposing personal information from them, which one "wins"? Does your Facebook picture trump your Google photo? Do we use the LJ picture of you with your family, or the AOL picture of you passed out drunk with "geeklord" scrawled with a Sharpie on your forehead?

These are decisions we don't have to make, and problems you don't have to worry about, all because we place the choice of user name and picture completely within your hands.

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