Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Trackbacks vs. Technorati?

Kip Esquire points [link to no longer works] to WILLisms, who wants to “Save the trackback.”

I think I’m running about 10-to-1 spam trackbacks to real ones. It’s clearly because I talk about nothing but poker and viagra.

I have to say, I love getting real trackbacks. I like it when people take what I’ve said and expand on it. I hate getting semi-trackbacks, where a poster sort-of refers to what I’ve said, doesn’t link to me, and throws in a trackback. I hate, hate, hate, spam trackbacks. MT’s interface for dealing with them, frankly, stinks. It stinks even with MT Blacklist. I accidentally delete real trackbacks all the time because of how stinky it is. It should show more of the post. It should go through the last 15 minutes of trackbacks and say “Do you want this one, too?”

So all that said, what WILLisms doesn’t cover is “Are trackbacks better for blog readers than Technorati?” Is it better to have a trackback mechanism, or rely on search engines? Search engines are harder for me to fix. If someone throws in a fake link, or a link that only shows up when the search spider arrives, I can’t easily fix that. Is that sufficient to make trackback spam worthwhile?

PS: I’ve added Technorati links to all my posts.

[Update: Michael Froomkin asks a very similar question in “is it time to kill trackbacks“]

8 comments on "Trackbacks vs. Technorati?"

  • KipEsquire says:

    Technorati is very good too…when it works. Ditto for the Ecosystem, which hasn’t worked right in weeks.
    But a (real) trackback always works and is always there to see and retrieve.
    I guess it’s an indictment of my blog that I don’t get spam trackbacks. =/

  • NotAdam says:

    Have you tried adding in some regular expressions to MT blacklist and using MTModerate to force moderation of trackbacks?
    I never thought I’d get there but I’m pretty sure the volume of trackbacks is high enough that a Bayesian filter would work.

  • adam says:

    I fully expect the web spam problem to become as prevalent as the email spam problem. The web spam people should be taking things like RAZOR, spamassassin, etc, and putting them in place now, rather than taking a co-evolutionary approach.

  • sama says:

    good idea!

  • Cypherpunk says:

    I’m not a big blog reader, and I’ve never used technorati. What exactly do you see as the purpose of trackbacks? Is it primarily for your own interest, to see which blogs are linking to you? Is it for the benefit of your readers, to find additional commentary on the topics you address? Or is there some other purpose, relating to mysterious ranking engines and algorithms that are primarily of interest to professionals in the field of web publishing?

  • Adam says:

    I think the main benefit is for readers to see who’s linking to me, to find additional commentary (or to find my commentary on others’ blogs.)
    Technorati is a cool search engine for blog postings. But I suspect that the blog interlink graph is pretty sparse, and lots of times you don’t find anything.
    So one answer is that TBs are immediate, not requiring a second web page to load.

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