I came across Gravatar about a year ago and signed up - since it was free and the blog I was commenting on support it. Nice idea.

Today I logged in and decided for 10 of your US bucks, I could add extra email addresses (which was something I wanted to do). $10 a year. That's not much, so I paid up.

Unfortunately, that's when it all went wrong.

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Really all I wanted to do was use a different email address. I could have signed up again, but I felt it was a good enough idea (by the chap who runs Gravatar), that I should cough up the cash.

Sadly, when ever I tried to add my extra email address I would get an 'application error' from Ruby (nice to see a Ruby app though).

When I tried to upload a different photo it would simply hang and timeout (perhaps it was a pre-emptive blocking of my mug!). I did manage to add a new picture by uploading to my own servers and pointing to it like that - but none the less...

The cropping tool was very nice - and it was nice to see it was just via JavaScript.

Ultimately though, I had just paid for the service, I thought I could submit the bug. Oh no.

The help wasn't implemented. There wasn't a contact form. I checked the blog - but there didn't seem to be any way to add any comments, and when I visited the developer's home page it was "dead" (up, but retired) and the site it redirected me to was down.

Not a great start.

All that said, I still think it's a great idea and I am planning to implement it in to this blog, and some of my other projects when I get the chance.