Trackback to Guide Beginners
July 22, 2003 1:35 AM   Subscribe

Beginner's guide to trackback. Old news to most here, but with even Radio Userland now implementing the technology, trackback has the potential to be another kind of spam, with gratuitous self-links popping up all over the place. When everyone can blog, will the Blogosphere be the next victim of Usenet's neverending September? Whether providing "community support" or "publishing tool", how long before popular bloggers are forced to implement Bayesian trackback filters?
posted by cbrody (10 comments total)
Or you could just turn it off.
posted by cbrody at 1:36 AM on July 22, 2003

(I don't mean to derail, but I just wanted to say that the first snarkier-than-thou mefite who pops in to say how sick they are of the neologism 'blogosphere' gets a smack in the back of the head. Thank you.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:41 AM on July 22, 2003

I don't know. I use TrackBack once in a while, but it's rare, and only when I think I actually have a valid topic, which could be open to disagreement.
posted by Samizdata at 3:03 AM on July 22, 2003

Oh, and I've not got an issue with 'blogosphere' per se. I guess it's as good a term as any.

ducks for good measure
posted by Samizdata at 3:05 AM on July 22, 2003

Trackback is a good first attempt at "closing the loop" between different web content systems. However, it is too restricted IMHO: limited to text only, and open to everybody that talks TB --i.e. the receivers are wired to accept everything from everybody. I think TB 2.0 could and should do more to hasten the arrival of the semantic web.

Blatant self-plug: my newsbot uses TB to add-back information to a user's weblog. I think it's a decent first step, but it's hitting the limits of TB itself...
posted by costas at 5:22 AM on July 22, 2003

cbrody: how long before popular bloggers are forced to implement Bayesian trackback filters?

And here I thought Irony was Dead... The much touted democratization of publishing leaves some A-list Cabal members wringing their hands over the traffic increase when people do actually link to them? And how did the "popular" bloggers get to be popular in the first place - what's the definition of "popular blogger"?

(To be fair to somebody whose blog I do occasionally read because (1) he writes about OS X and (2) he can actually write, linking to Rael Dornfest like that without any annotation seems to imply that you think Rael's doing something to filter out Trackback traffic; I don't see anything there that indicates that and wonder what made you draw that conclusion?)

(Oh, and stav, "blogosphere" isn't any worse than the root, "blog," which I continue to believe is the single most cringe-inducing invention of the Internet Age, an age notable for introducing cringe-worthy buzzwords...
posted by JollyWanker at 6:45 AM on July 22, 2003

Yea, TB, as the unfortunate initials suggest, is a plague.
posted by scarabic at 10:31 AM on July 22, 2003

JollyWanker, that sentence can be read two ways. Try reading it the other way (the first link in the full sentence gives a clue.)

Re costas' comment, I agree. Trackback makes the previously one-way web two ways, and opens up new possibilitites for interconnectivity.
posted by cbrody at 10:59 AM on July 22, 2003

Speaking of TrackBack and spam (and gratuitous self-linking), I got TBSpammed yesterday. By a Greek port authority, no less. Why? No clue.

Of course, the solution was easy enough. Delete. *poof*
posted by djwudi at 11:41 AM on July 22, 2003

djwudi: the coincidence is too much, since I live in Thessaloniki... I am sure the spam is probably from a compromised machine, knowing the state of IT in most state organizations in Greece --unfortunately Greek hackers are more up-to-date...

There should be a corollary to that Asimov (or was it Clarke?) truism: "every communications technology advance enough is inundated with spam". If the Echo/Atom/whatever people get their act together about a uniform weblog posting standard I am sure you'll see spam on weblog comments as well. Right now, most forums are only protected by security-through-obscurity or paid full-time sysadmins...
posted by costas at 11:49 AM on July 22, 2003

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