Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Trackbacks and Pingbacks for Blogger

One important blogging feature not fully implemented on most platforms (with the probable exception of Wordpress) is trackbacks. Trackbacks and pingbacks are important because they tell the world that you are referring to another article. We look at ways to mitigate this omission.

greasemonkey-trackbackThey are good for the quoted as it shows that they are important, providing a way to keep track of the echoes of their articles and it is also an incentive / reward for the others to quote them. They are also a good lead and traffic source for the “quotee”. In short, they’re your breadcrumbs in cyberspace.

It is important to remember that blog authors must approve trackbacks or pingbacks for them to show. There are even spammers who abuse trackbacks in order to drive traffic to their websites with bogus references. As such, it should not be surprising that some blog authors have disabled them completely.

Blogger / Blogspot has failed to provide this service. If you use Firefox with the Greasemonkey add-on (or Opera) and write all your articles on the same computer, you may install a free script that adds a trackback field in the online blog editor. Obviously, this will not work if you use a different editor to write your articles, such as WLW and will not work with all browsers. The script features some integration with other services such as Delicious (greasemonkey-script).

For all those left out, I did set up a way to have trackbacks and pingbacks generated automatically for a given blog. You can try it for free while displaying in your sidebar a visible text with a link back to this article, such as:

Trackbacks provided by BlogIdol

The free service may be discontinued at any time. Alternatively, if you do not want to display the link, you may use the service while paying a small fee (unless I have done consulting work from you or you have purchased your domain from WinkingCool. Obviously, no spam allowedRolling Eyes. The service is based on a script similar to one of the scripts below, which you are welcome to adapt for your own purposes (while fulfilling their authors terms and conditions).

Feed Parsing Options

Sources / More info: wiki-trackbacks, greasemonkey-script, singpolyma, old-blogger-script, opera-userscripts, wiki-greasemonkey-userscripts, blogger-trackback, about-trackbacks, spym, ab-gm, trackback-what, trackbacks-dead, [trackback form] [trackback diagram] [more scripts]

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