Our second task in the Education.au Blogfest relates to images, and I'm hoping to learn a bit more about useful tools.
I use quite a lot of images on my posts, mainly to create more white space around the text.
I actually have a number of avatars and images that I use depending on who I am posting as.
The top one, the galah, is the one I use on my book blog, the one underneath is one that I've used in online forums etc, and the bottom cartoon character is one that I created for using in OzProjects.
One of the drawbacks of our current Education.au blogs is that we don't have any avatar images attached to our "about" pages, so nobody really has any idea of what we look like. In fact, that's something I try to remedy today.
On my me.edu.au page, I was using yet another image, but yesterday I changed it over to my "headphones" one.
What do you feel most comfortable with - a "real" picture or an avatar? Can an avatar help in saying things about you that a photo doesn't?
For my images I use a combination of photos that I have taken, items I can find that use Creative Commons licences on Flicker, together with XnView that I really couldn't be without. XnView is particularly good for playing around with screen dumps and I use it a lot for cropping and creating new images.
I think the layout of your blog post is pretty important. There should be lots of white space, and if you use images, then you tend to shorten the length of the lines of text, and that makes it easier for people to read.
You should also avoid writing dense paragraphs. Images will help you break them up and once again make things more readable.