Friday, October 14, 2005

What's Up With TrackBacks?

Has everyone noticed that TrackBacks are screwed up all over?

Well, maybe not all over.

But HaloScan has been having issues for a while. And now TypePad is screwing up.

TypePad is rejecting many TrackBacks for what seems to me to be no good reason. For folks using the Wizbang form, they are giving a response like:

Server IP 999.999.999.999 is too far away 
from source URL IP 333.333.333.333

Of course, the numbers actually the IP address of your site and of Wizbang and not those silly, impossible numbers I used.

Anyway, I think the brain trust at TypePad decided to implement an anti-spamming routine that checks and compares IP addresses.

Only, they didn't think about people using third party forms.

Or they did, but have a problem with the process and need to fix the bug.

Whatever, they got a problem. And it affects this little blog.

And I don't like that.

So, this morning, I submitted a trouble ticket. They haven't responded.

If you have a TypePad site, check out if people are having trouble submitting TrackBacks. And if so, submit a trouble ticket. I want them folks to get on the ball and fix it. Tonight. Right now. Immediately.

And if you're not a TypePad user, visit TypePad's site and let them know you're unhappy.

I want them to get the point that there is a problem.

Will you help me out with this?

They actually have responded. Well, they haven't replied, but they did change the status of the ticket:

Support Ticket Details:

Subject: Unable to send TrackBack with 3rd party form
Category: Bug
Status: We're Working On It

So, let's give them the chance to fix it.

If they get it fixed soon, maybe we can turn our attention to HaloScan.


  1. You really need to consider WordPress!

  2. I already have the software, just having some issues getting MySQL to work with Windows Server 2003. That's my big project for this weekend.

  3. Half the trackbacks I collected from the submissions to the Carnival of Comedy #24 didn't work through Haloscan - your's for instance. That's why I commented instead on your linky stuff - couldn't ping you! And blogger's backtrack feature or whatever is hopelessly confusing. Thanks for the tips over at the Alliance. lgp

  4. Basil: You're doing yeoman's work. Haloscan has many issues.
    I have come up with my unique way of handling it:

  5. Most of my trackback problems happen with Mudville Gazette. But it is pretty common. These days if I get 4 of 5 trackbacks to work, I'm happy.

  6. If you're using real Movable Type, you have to set your spam sensitivity to -1. If somebody gets a score less than -1, the trackbacks is put into a junk folder and you have a second chance to let it through. Once you've accepted a trackback from somebody, they get an additional +1 to their spam score on future pings. All this is handled by a standard plugin called "SpamLookup".

    I don't know if Typepad works the same, but it would solve a lot of their problems if it did.

  7. I got a scathing flame-mail earlier this week from a blogger to remain nameless. He was none too pleased with the practice of open trackbacks and asked me to remove him from my blogroll. He accused me of gaming the system.

    Pitty. I'm thinking anybody that upset is taking the blogosphere waaaaay too seriously.

  8. Lyn:
    HaloScan's issues have really ticked me off ... because they refuse to admit there are issues. TypePad's recent issue is, at least, acknowledged by TypePad ... and they are "working on it." I have to at least give them credit for acknowledging it and trying to fix it.

    don surber:
    Heh. That's funny. And a perfect way of handling it. Plus it's given me an idea.

    Mister Snitch:
    Actually, I think Mudville (who uses MovableType) is not the problem. Using their own copy of MovableType allows them to actually control stuff like this. This little blog (and many others) that run on TypePad (think of it as 'hosted MovableType') don't actually have the level of control as MT sites (like Mudville and others). With your situation, while I don't know for sure, it sounds like HaloScan. You could check the details on the Trackback Ping results page (it's in the scrolling box) and see what error is happening. If it's the same as what I described here, then, well, I'm wrong and it's something that impacts all MT sites, not just TypePad sites.

    I'm not using MT. Not really. It's TypePad, which is owned by SixApart, who also owns MovableType. They don't have an option like that. I did see something odd that makes me think you're on to the problem that TypePad has caused. I'll update in a sec.

    Do what?!!?? I'm assuming he's not on my blogroll since I have received no such correspondence. But wow. I wonder if he'd have asked the Mudville Gazette or Outside The Beltway to remove him from their blogrolls has be been there, too?

  9. I sometimes have problems submitting trackbacks to the Mudville Gazette too. I think it's if I've already submitted one to another blog hosted on Movable Type, so then, I found that I was unable to submit one to the Mudville Gazette for almost a whole day! In fact, even at the Fourth Rail blog, I had this problem once or twice (they also use Movable Type software). My best guess is that it could have what to do with bandwidth transfer for many blogs. I think the software used by blogs such as The Political Teen may work more easily with trackbacks though.

    I've also had problems recently in submitting trackbacks to blogs hosted on Mu.Nu software: I was unable to access the trackback boxes because of an internal server error, which made it difficult to submit to ones such as the Jawa Report.

  10. Avi Green:
    I've not experienced any issues with Mudville Gazette, but others have, I understand.

    As for the Mu.Nu. sites, yes, I've experienced that. A lot!


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