Thursday, January 18, 2007

Open TrackBacks now means Open TrackBacks

I've been mulling over TrackBacks for a while. And I've decided to do something a little different.

Effective today, we do not require a link to any post labeled Open TrackBacks in order for a TrackBack to appear.

Now, this only applies to Open TrackBacks posts. It doesn't apply to Headline News, or any other category of posts.
Here's the details. If you want to submit one of your posts to one of our Open TrackBacks posts ... go ahead.

It is not necessary to include a blurb about our post in yours. While we are always grateful for links, but we no longer require links to have your post appear via TrackBack on an Open TrackBack post.

This only applies to posts tagged Open TrackBacks.
If you submit a TrackBack to a post that is not labeled Open TrackBacks, we stll require a link in order for it to appear in the list.

If you choose to take advantage of this new policy, great. But do keep in mind that the spam-fighting software we use will likely moderate or otherwise queue your post for approval if you don't include a link. Heck, sometimes it even moderates TrackBacks even if you include a link. But, we'll get around to checking the queue after a little while. And we'll approve the TrackBack.
Previously, we checked your submission, and if no link was evident, we deleted your TrackBack.

As of now, we will approve such links to Open TrackBack posts, whether or not you link to us.

Why the change?

Well, it started when it became apparant that some of the bloggers that I like just don't seem to get the whole concept of TrackBacks. Had it been bloggers I didn't like, I might have never given it a second thought.

But I did. And it seemed the thing to do.

After all, I'm not blogging or offering posts in order to get a link. Oh, I like links. They're the life-blood of blogs. Well, links ... and money. Like the little PayPal form at the bottom of the sidebar that I've had for a while but never mentioned. And only mention now as way of illustration.

Anyway, I'm not doing this for the links. But I'm benefitting nonetheless.

So, I'm sticking with the traditional TrackBacks policy ... which is how and why TrackBacks were invented to begin with ... for most posts.

But, Open TrackBacks mean just that: Open. Link to the post. Don't link to the post. I don't care. They're open.

But the rest of the posts, follow the TrackBack Policy, okay?



  1. Basil,
    This is one of the first blogs I've read, as I am looking into starting up a bog. Excuse my ignorance, but what is Open Trackback, how does it work and what are the benefits. Thanks, Herbert.

  2. Briefly, a TrackBack is a reciprocal link. Many blogs support TrackBacks.

    For example, if you write a post and link to my post, TrackBacks allow my post to automatically include a link to your post, if you ping my post's TrackBack URL. Some blogging platforms automatically send the pings, some make you find and enter the TrackBack URL.

    TrackBacks were intended to allow people reading a post to read someone else's take on the topic of the post.

    Open TrackBacks are a way of saying "list your blog here." Rather than being a post about a specific topic, the whole purpose of the post is to list and garner links.

    My policy change means that Open TrackBacks here are to list posts. Garnering links is now optional.

    By the way, it is considered extremely poor manners to send a TrackBack without a link to that post (which is why many filters moderate them) ... unless the blog owner says it's okay.

    I'm saying that, for posts here that are labeled Open TrackBacks, it's okay. For other posts, it's still considered rude ... and I'll delete the TrackBacks that make it through the filters.


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