We walk around the real world as flesh and blood beings. When we wander into the cyberworld on the social web, we can appear as an avatar. Avatars are images (drawings, animations, or photos) that represent us as we post comments and other content. Online friends begin to recognize you by your avatar. Some people change their avatar based on their mood or whenever they change their hairstyle, but they always get to appear the way they want.
Virtual worlds and game sites have moving three dimensional avatars that walk through cyber environments. And last week IBM and Second Life announced that they are working on a platform permitting universal avatars -- characters that could move from one site (or world) to another.
Avatars are just another way the social web is becoming part of our global culture. Do you have one on your page?