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Is it possible to use a generic avatar if the user's email address is not in gravatar? I'd rather not use the colorful avatars, or the goofy ones that it auto generates.

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Use a generic gravatar where? WordPress.com, for instance, offers a number of different options for undefined gravatars, including a basic silhouette. Implementing such a thing is dependent on the developer of the app. – Al E. Jul 10 '12 at 13:45

Gravatar doc specify 'd' parameter for that:

Code exemple in PHP from Gravatar doc:

$grav_url = "http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/" . md5( strtolower( trim( $email ) ) ) . "?d=" . urlencode( $default ) . "&s=" . $size;
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