22 March 2005

Trackbacks and spearfishing: How to find the best feed

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Trackbacks are like ocean signals

One analogy I use when talking about trackbacks is spear fishing. Simplistically, rather than dangle bait in the hopes that a fish will bite, a fisherman will actively hunt fish.

The fisherman will take their special fish-spear, and throw it at a fish in the water. Hopefully with enough speed and force to capture a meal for the family.

If the fisherman has to throw a long way, he knows to have a rope attached to the spear. The fisherman can follow his spear, even if it is underwater and out of site.

With respect to trackbacks in blogs, when I send a trackback out, this is called pinging. Using the fisherman example, what I’m doing is launching a spear at a target-blog, in this case a blog that I think might benefit or whose readers might want to know something and follow my trackback to me.

When I send a trackback, what I’m doing is spearing another blog [the fish], and the blog readers of that new blog can follow my URL [the trackback, the fishing line] back to my blog [the boat].

But from what I can figure out about trackbacks, the trackbacks are designed for readers of the second blog. They’re not designed for people who might come across my blog [boat].

From what I can gather, trackbacks are not much help to those who are near my blog [boat], trace which blogs [fish] I’ve trackbacked [speared] and don’t really give the readers of my blog [other fishermen] a way to figure out what types of blogs [fish] I’m going after or what types of blog-readers [other fishermen] might be nearby.

Applied to Trackbacks

With trackbacks, is that it’s easy to find where the track backs are located. You go to the bottom of the blog, and there they are. But I haven’t found a tool that lets me trace these trackbacks.

I was thinking about this and thought maybe I’m making this more difficult than I need to make it. Perhaps there’s a tool out there that already does this. But I haven’t found it.

Nor have I found a tool that lets me automatically assign my trackback to the blog-spot that I’m tracking from. Maybe these tools exist, but I haven’t heard people talking about them.

From what I can understand it’s very simple to track from my blog to another: I simply put the link in my blog, and you can go from my blog to the one I’m talking about.

But what about the times that I send out a number of trackbacks, and they relate to a single a blogspot; then in another round I send out more trackbacks related to a second blog.

The way I’d like to work is to have all my trackbacks sent out at a group [which I can do], while at the same time being able to see [in those blogspots that I’ve tracked from] the external sites I have formerly tracked to.

Currently, I can add a link to my blog each time I send out a trackback. The easy way would be to have a tool that grounds the trackback to each blog.

When I a managing trackbacks, I’m not just managing the ones that are coming in; I’d like to know which ones I’ve sent out, where they’ve gone, and have some auto-links in my blog so that others who are reading my blog know which content in my blog I’ve trackbacked from.

It looks like the existing trackback systems do most of this, except for the part of auto-injecting the links back into my own blog; and then having an easy way for others to follow my trackbacks from my blog to the new content that I’ve sent the trackback to.

What I am looking for

Audience: I don’t want this tool for me. I want it for my readers.

What it will do: I’m looking for a tool that will tell the readers of my blog which external sites I’ve tracked to. I want my readers to be able to quickly see when reading a particular blogspot which external sites I’ve sent a trackback to that relate to this particular blogspot. Then my readers who are just passing by can follow the other blogs that I’ve sent a trackback to.

Information in the auto-injector: I want this tool to automatically take my trackback pings, and inject them back into my blog. I want the links to be different, so that each link is traceable with a different link, and I want to be able to make the trackback information I send in the ping also displayed in my own blog.

I'd like:

  • An auto-injector with mouseover comments so that my readers can follow the content;

  • A way to show the reader the flavor of the site that I’m trackbacked to;

  • A way to quickly assign external images from the site that I’ve trackbacked to and have those small button-size images appear on my blogspot. Sort of like the images that are on A9: each of the external sites can showcase a small image of their site, gives the searcher a visual reminder of what tool they are using, or what they are linking to in the A9 search.

    Summary

    It would be more satisfying if the trackbacks to do more than simply send a ping to the target fish.

    I’d like the trackback system to be expanded to not only support me as the one spearing the fish, but also help the other fishermen who are trying to find good catches as well.

    It would be nice for there to be a rope or signal to the other fishermen of which blog I’m aiming at, and then let the readers of my blog figure out whether they want to read the same blog that I’ve trackbacked to.

    In short, I'd be happy if the trackback system automatically injected links into my own content so that other readers can see which sites I’ve thrown my spear at, and especially when it brought back the best feed.


  • Trackbacks are like ocean signals

    One analogy I use when talking about trackbacks is spear fishing. Simplistically, rather than dangle bait in the hopes that a fish will bite, a fisherman will actively hunt fish.

    The fisherman will take their special fish-spear, and throw it at a fish in the water. Hopefully with enough speed and force to capture a meal for the family.

    If the fisherman has to throw a long way, he knows to have a rope attached to the spear. The fisherman can follow his spear, even if it is underwater and out of site.

    With respect to trackbacks in blogs, when I send a trackback out, this is called pinging. Using the fisherman example, what I’m doing is launching a spear at a target-blog, in this case a blog that I think might benefit or whose readers might want to know something and follow my trackback to me.

    When I send a trackback, what I’m doing is spearing another blog [the fish], and the blog readers of that new blog can follow my URL [the trackback, the fishing line] back to my blog [the boat].

    But from what I can figure out about trackbacks, the trackbacks are designed for readers of the second blog. They’re not designed for people who might come across my blog [boat].

    From what I can gather, trackbacks are not much help to those who are near my blog [boat], trace which blogs [fish] I’ve trackbacked [speared] and don’t really give the readers of my blog [other fishermen] a way to figure out what types of blogs [fish] I’m going after or what types of blog-readers [other fishermen] might be nearby.

    Applied to Trackbacks

    With trackbacks, is that it’s easy to find where the track backs are located. You go to the bottom of the blog, and there they are. But I haven’t found a tool that lets me trace these trackbacks.

    I was thinking about this and thought maybe I’m making this more difficult than I need to make it. Perhaps there’s a tool out there that already does this. But I haven’t found it.

    Nor have I found a tool that lets me automatically assign my trackback to the blog-spot that I’m tracking from. Maybe these tools exist, but I haven’t heard people talking about them.

    From what I can understand it’s very simple to track from my blog to another: I simply put the link in my blog, and you can go from my blog to the one I’m talking about.

    But what about the times that I send out a number of trackbacks, and they relate to a single a blogspot; then in another round I send out more trackbacks related to a second blog.

    The way I’d like to work is to have all my trackbacks sent out at a group [which I can do], while at the same time being able to see [in those blogspots that I’ve tracked from] the external sites I have formerly tracked to.

    Currently, I can add a link to my blog each time I send out a trackback. The easy way would be to have a tool that grounds the trackback to each blog.

    When I a managing trackbacks, I’m not just managing the ones that are coming in; I’d like to know which ones I’ve sent out, where they’ve gone, and have some auto-links in my blog so that others who are reading my blog know which content in my blog I’ve trackbacked from.

    It looks like the existing trackback systems do most of this, except for the part of auto-injecting the links back into my own blog; and then having an easy way for others to follow my trackbacks from my blog to the new content that I’ve sent the trackback to.

    What I am looking for

    Audience: I don’t want this tool for me. I want it for my readers.

    What it will do: I’m looking for a tool that will tell the readers of my blog which external sites I’ve tracked to. I want my readers to be able to quickly see when reading a particular blogspot which external sites I’ve sent a trackback to that relate to this particular blogspot. Then my readers who are just passing by can follow the other blogs that I’ve sent a trackback to.

    Information in the auto-injector: I want this tool to automatically take my trackback pings, and inject them back into my blog. I want the links to be different, so that each link is traceable with a different link, and I want to be able to make the trackback information I send in the ping also displayed in my own blog.

    I'd like:

  • An auto-injector with mouseover comments so that my readers can follow the content;

  • A way to show the reader the flavor of the site that I’m trackbacked to;

  • A way to quickly assign external images from the site that I’ve trackbacked to and have those small button-size images appear on my blogspot. Sort of like the images that are on A9: each of the external sites can showcase a small image of their site, gives the searcher a visual reminder of what tool they are using, or what they are linking to in the A9 search.

    Summary

    It would be more satisfying if the trackbacks to do more than simply send a ping to the target fish.

    I’d like the trackback system to be expanded to not only support me as the one spearing the fish, but also help the other fishermen who are trying to find good catches as well.

    It would be nice for there to be a rope or signal to the other fishermen of which blog I’m aiming at, and then let the readers of my blog figure out whether they want to read the same blog that I’ve trackbacked to.

    In short, I'd be happy if the trackback system automatically injected links into my own content so that other readers can see which sites I’ve thrown my spear at, and especially when it brought back the best feed.


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