I’m sending a Trackback to Jeremy Zawodyny’s “Trackback is dead” post just to disprove his point. Too droll? I think it’s a straight-forward and valid point.
A Trackback will get someone from his site to mine, plain and simple. A little to “spam” for you? Ok, implement some kind of moderation and now you (Jeremy) are acknowledging the fact that I’m contributing to the conversation. Plus, I’m saving you comments bandwidth. :-)
Sure, I could add a bunch of “me too”s to the already great comments by Anil and Phil, but that’s not the point. I don’t want to comment there. I want to comment here, where I have more control. Which, I guess, is Jeremy’s whole point. He feels that Trackbacks have outlived their usefulness and wants to rely on Technorati, Bloglines et al to fill the void. Nice thought, but I’ve never clicked on anyone’s Technorati cosmos or IceRocket linking post links. It may seem lazy, but that’s too much effort. I want to see a headline and an excerpt of a commenting blog and choose to link over. Again, choice on the user end.
Maybe I’m not being fair to A-listers. Maybe the equation really is slanted in favor of the little guy like me. I can tell you this, I send many more Trackbacks than I receive. I’ll probably Trackback a dozen posts a month and I’ll get one and only one Trackback myself if I’m lucky. Maybe I don’t have anything interesting to say. Or, more importantly, people have less to gain from Trackbacking (Tracking back?) my posts than I have in Trackbacking theirs. Fair enough. Use the tools to help you deal with the offenders.
To answer Jeremy’s question in his comments, I think your blog is unusual. Most of us (bloggers) aren’t on the A-list, Technorati 100, Feedster 500, blah blah, yadda yadda. We comment on the posts of others – big names and our friends also – to reap the benefits of the shared discussion inherent in blogging. Comments are great, but sometimes you have more to say on a topic (like I do here) and you want X’s readers to know that you, Y, have a great analagous point to make, so check it out! Trackbacks are a direct and immediate way of interconnecting all posts on a topic without the need for someone like Blogpulse to get involved.
People who want search go to a search engine or blog search tool. People who are on my blog (or yours, or anyone else’s) are interested in that particular topic and a Trackback just rewards their interest.
Honestly, if you’re willing to lose Trackback, you’re only a stone’s throw away from disabling comments. If you need total control over message, discussion and dissemination, blogging isn’t for you.
I’m the one who challenged Brian Bailey’s 10 tips for building a better blog to include mention of Trackbacks. To date, my highest traffic has come from Trackbacking popular memes and important issues raised by so-called A-list bloggers.
Hopefully, I’ll be the first blogger to Trackback Jeremy’s post and help spur the discussion forward.
Listen, I feel for everyone who receives Trackback or Comment spam, but there are solutions. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. And let’s not cede the traffic we could be funneling directly from each other’s blogs through some third party service. Why should you be deciding on which player in the blog search field counts your mindshare when you have the tools and resources to compile and publish that data yourself?
It’s just a thought. I know I’m going to continue to send an accept Trackbacks because they work for me and I think they represent a vital and integral part of the weblogging community.