Avatars, like the running clock over to the left, are optional. But they are required if you want to advance your title beyond New Member. (See What Membership Titles Mean for more information.)
Also, if you don't select your own avatar, you may be given a flag for your country. We like flags! (If this happens to you, you are welcome to change it.)
To select an avatar, login, then click on the My Account button, then the Avatar tab. Click on one of the Avatar Galleries until you find a graphic you like, then click on it.
That's it! The graphic you selected will now appear below your user name in all of your posts just like running clock does over to the left of this text.
The only problem is that the Avatar Galleries are very limited. So feel free to use any graphic you like, just so it is 76 by 76 pixels or smaller, and a file size of 10,000 bytes (10 kb) or smaller. How do you know? Right click on the running clock, then click on Properties. You'll see Size and Dimensions, and you can do this to check out the graphic you like. We keep the size of the images small so that the pages will load fast and not be too cluttered.
If you need help reducing the size of an image, just let us know! You can e-mail it to us and we'll reduce it for you.
To find your own image, try searching Google for "free avatars" and you'll find thousands. Or search Google Images.
Though you'll have more fun searching with Google yourself, here's an example of a free avatar site: