Incarnate is a REST-based service that uses peoples’ usernames to find their avatars on the web. To do this, Incarnate queries Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Xbox Live and YouTube.
Adding Incarnate to your website is easy.
If you use WordPress, download the WordPress plug-in or search for the Incarnate WordPress plug-in from within the WordPress gallery, then follow these simple steps:
If you use another blog engine or content management system, you will need to manually add Incarnate to your website. Don't worry; it isn't hard. Download this sample to get you started.
You might have a custom theme that doesn't exactly match the WordPress guidelines. If you'd like to use the plug-in with your theme, you'll need to get the "Power User" code from the settings page and add it to your template.
You can make changes to the look and feel, but you'll have to edit both .php and .js files.
There are two places where the Incarnate UI is created: The first is in the static HTML that gets inserted into the comment form. You can see this HTML on line 399 of wp-incarnate.php. This HTML string represents the static html comment form. If you modify this html, take note of the various IDs of the form values. Don't change these!
This HTML snippet works in conjunction with the incarnate.js file, which is where the dropdown of avatars is generated. Each div (containing the incarnate image and provider image is displayed) is generated on Line 131.
No. Incarnate is entirely anonymous and finds avatars based on public profile pages available on social networking sites. Incarnate uses different techniques—parsing the page for the hCard microformat, using an API given by a provider, or regular expressions—to find avatars.
For incarnate, Gravatar is seen as another provider. Gravatar works differently than the other avatar providers, in that it keys off of an email address, instead of a @username. So, if you put an email address into the Incarnate input box, it will resolved to gravatar automatically.
If you are using the WordPress plug-in and a user puts nothing into the Incarnate input box, the plug-in will attempt to use Gravatar. However, if the user does use Incarnate, it will override Gravatar and use the "incarnated" avatar instead of keying off the email input box.
Yes. Incarnate is hosted by Mix Online, for anyone to use. It supports JSON-P so it can be called from any domain, and it’s deployed to Windows Azure so it scales well.
To learn more about the Incarnate service endpoints and syntax, see the service definition.
Yes. The source code to the Incarnate service is available for download and can be self-hosted. It requires IIS 7 to run.
Yes. Incarnate was designed to be extensible, so new providers can be added to the service. Download the service source code for documentation on how to implement a new provider.
See this post for more on the thinking behind Incarnate and some of the technical details.