Auto-organic backlinking in Blogspace
June 25, 2002 6:48 AM   Subscribe

Auto-organic backlinking in Blogspace
Jon Udell has an intriguing article describing the automatic backlinking used by Disenchanted and other sites. For example, if you link to a Disenchanted article, it automatically links back to you. Udell writes:
More than economy is at work here, though. Offering backlinks is a strategy that furthers the ambition of every blogger to engage other minds. It does so by enlarging the surface area and altering the shape of the posted article, which is the unit of information currency in blogspace.
What a groovin' idea. I like that the backlinking is automated, essentially creating new networks of knowledge with every post. Is anyone else doing this? It seems that if this "feature" were included in existing blogging engines, it could change the shape of the net.
Link courtesy of Kairos News
posted by mecran01 (22 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Is anyone else doing this?,, and the mighty Phil Ringnalda, amongst others.

Yeah, it's a very cool thing indeed.

(Aside : It surprises me that the first thing I thought when seeing this post was "Why here rather than at Blogroots?". Shows how much the #006699 has changed in recent times, I reckons. Not that it's an inappropriate post here, by any means. I'm just saying.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:30 AM on June 25, 2002

Flutterby has been doing this for a month or two. It seems like a cool idea, though I haven't actually clicked many of the links yet. I am still waiting to see what this phenomenon will turn into.

Why would this be posted at Blogroots? Is that where blog discussions are supposed to go now? I didn't realize that was a discussion site.
posted by Mars Saxman at 7:34 AM on June 25, 2002

I thought about blogroots too, but I think they have a submit/wait program, and I don't want to wait around for someone to post the story. Metafilter provides instant gratification.

Incidentally, the homepage of disenchanted shows that 71 people (as of 10:30 a.m. EST) have clicked on the link already. So there's a 70:1 read/post ratio as of this moment. Sounds about right.
posted by mecran01 at 7:35 AM on June 25, 2002

This idea's been floating around the weblog world for a while now -- the first place I recall seeing it was about two years ago on
posted by jjg at 7:37 AM on June 25, 2002

It's the next logical step of the recent referrers scripts that so many of us use.

From Disenchanted:

3. Metafilter (referals: 79)
Disenchanted a hot new subject on "MeFi"? No! We just paid 'em.

Psst, jon - referral has two Rs in it.
posted by iconomy at 7:53 AM on June 25, 2002

Similarly, in the works is Thread the Needle (discussion site), and then there's that whole Google Related Stories hack for MovableType.
posted by mikhail at 8:05 AM on June 25, 2002

ghosts of xanadu is pretty fascinating and should be posted on blogroots :) reciprocal links!
posted by kliuless at 8:05 AM on June 25, 2002

backlinks are useless once the page is in google's index (scroll down for the backlinks).
posted by arf at 8:06 AM on June 25, 2002

I modified my backlinks Perl script to set a maximum number of links to display and a minimum threshold of referrers for each backlink. Also, you can add '' to the exclusion list, if you don't want it to show up.
posted by waxpancake at 8:10 AM on June 25, 2002

I've noticed that stavrosthewonderchicken's wonderful site does this as well. I'm definately writing this code into my new sites.
posted by password at 8:18 AM on June 25, 2002

[Thanks for the props, password, but the referrers script I use is for my site as a whole, rather than each individual post. The post-level autobacklinking and ad-hoc idea-network generation (*nods to owillis*) based on each post is the supercool bit here, I think...]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:35 AM on June 25, 2002

is the yaywastaken referrer script back up and running? i removed a few months ago because occasional crashes on the yaywastaken site would manifest in very slow loading on mine.
posted by grabbingsand at 8:43 AM on June 25, 2002

Yes, has nice referrers displayed on your site with a javascript you can paste into your html. It's still working on my archive pages, but I took it off my front page because it was taking forever to load. So that was their site crashing was it? I love the idea though.

I think the way Disenchanted has implemented it is even better, especially that it shows links to individual posts - and I love their description of it too.

I'm just reading Steven Johnson's Emergence (very enjoyable) and he argues that the web will never be self-organising (it's disorganised he reckons) because it has no feedback, i.e. links only go one way. This kind of script completely changes that. Because most bloggers already have used their private referrrer logs to see who links to them discussions between blogs have grown forth and blogs cluster (Mark Bernstein's done some neat a-life blog experiments showing how blogs after muddling around for a bit tend to cluster). And with clustering, well, we're self-organising. And the sky's the limit :)
posted by jill at 9:01 AM on June 25, 2002

Little Green Footballs has a nice refferer script - php based, running in 10 minutes, to be installed on your own server. It's halfway down the column on the left.
posted by iconomy at 9:02 AM on June 25, 2002

just a brain fart, but this could get (more) interesting if there was a common protocol or central server that recorded and shared chains of links, ie: you went here, then here, then here
posted by sawks at 11:10 AM on June 25, 2002

, but this could get (more) interesting if there was a common protocol or central server

Yeah, it's called DoubleClick :)
posted by vacapinta at 11:32 AM on June 25, 2002

Also, I'm not sure why Norton was unable to generate excitement about this.
posted by vacapinta at 11:44 AM on June 25, 2002

Sorry about the double-post. All I can say is that I searched for the link three times, and twice using google. Also the metafilter validation thingy told me I was ok. Regardless, I think this has been a useful thread.
posted by mecran01 at 2:14 PM on June 25, 2002

I agree. Dont mind me, Im in a grumpy mood today :)
posted by vacapinta at 2:18 PM on June 25, 2002

posted by dabitch at 2:28 PM on June 25, 2002

All the tongue-holding I'm doing for my cat-trapper thread is having a ripple effect.

BTW everybody, not law, not politcs, but PATRIOTISM is the last refuge of the scoundrel. I can't imagine a more important time to get that right.
posted by NortonDC at 3:25 PM on June 25, 2002

I thought about blogroots too, but I think they have a submit/wait program, and I don't want to wait around for someone to post the story.

The approval process doesn't take very long. We are notified by email as soon as you post a link, so unless all three of us are offline for a long time (*very* unlikely) your post should be approved pretty quickly. Since the article is from May 3, I don't see the rush. This is just the type of stuff we'd like to discuss on Blogroots, for future reference.
posted by megnut at 3:47 PM on June 25, 2002

« Older Is the FBI dragging   |   Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments