It’s just data

A comment is a comment is a comment

Tantek Çelik: we now have Trackback and Pingback to help automate generating comment hyperlinks to blog-on-blog commentary. While I certainly applaud these efforts at automating the plumbing, I must ask - why is there any distinction in the presentation? I ask because many blogs present separate and different interfaces for their comments, trackbacks, and/or pingbacks. [via Simon Willison] I agree.

Adding Trackback entries to individual archive pages

I'm firing on all one cylinder today. Sam Ruby references a citation at Simon Willison, who quotes Tantek: "...we now have Trackback and Pingback to help automate generating comment hyperlinks to blog-on-blog commentary. While I certainly applaud these efforts at automating the plumbing, I must ask - why is there any distinction in the presentation? I ask because many blogs present separate and different interfaces for their comments, trackbacks, and/or pingbacks. Good points. After all, these technologies are nothing more than threads to a communication. For Movable Type, it's fairly simple to make a modification to your individual archive page to add list trackback entries along with your comments. I've made this modification to my individual archive pages and thought I would pass on the how-tos of my mod. Warning:To implement trackback within the archive page following my prefered approach, I did need to make a minor modification to one of the Movable Type's Perl modules, Trackback.pm. It's a minor change: it forces a re-build of the archive page when a trackback occurs so that the new trackback entry displays in a manner similar to how new comments are added, automatically, to the page. You can download the modified file... [more]

Trackback from Burningbird

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I agree that they are most valuable when presented together (comments, pingbacks, and trackbacks). I also think it's valuable to give an indication which is which - so people will know to follow a pingback/trackback to read more, etc.

All in all, I like Sam's approach, which I blatantly copied on my own site. :-)

Posted by Greg Reinacker at

I like this, but there is one little that I dont quite like. Its context. When one is replying via comment, everything holds together, the comments make sense because they flow like a conversation but when one includes text of comments made by pings via trackback, the conversation might get broken because the text in the trackback might not necesarilly contribute to the conversation made by comments. This can lead the confusion.

Mixing comments and trackbacks could be good, if the appropriate presentation is used, but I cant think of one at the moment.

Posted by edmz at

Pingback from TIG's Corner

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Trackback from Build

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A TrackBack is a comment, except when it's spam

An MT hack to add an "Edit this post/category" link to the "new TrackBack" email, which I'm afraid will be useful for deleting spam...

Excerpt from phil ringnalda dot com at

Spam Updates

OK, now that I have verified that spamAssasin is working correctly on my mail to blog interface, I'm adding one line: if title.find('*****SPAM*****')==0: return Also, as Phil has already pointed out, I'm also getting getting TrackBack spam. My ...

Pingback from Sam Ruby: Spam Updates

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Pingback from TIG's Corner

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A TrackBack is a comment, except when it's spam

An MT hack to add an "Edit this post/category" link to the "new TrackBack" email, which I'm afraid will be useful for deleting spam...

Excerpt from phil ringnalda dot com at

To Comment or to Blog

Jim asks an interesting question. To comment or to blog. Comments or Trackbacks. It's an ongoing question. Like Jim I know of no guidelines. For that matter, why, or perhaps when, would you choose to post a comment instead of...... [more]

Trackback from Unbound Spiral

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Adding Trackback entries to individual archive pages

I'm firing on all (one) cylinder today. Sam Ruby references a citation at Simon Willison, who quotes Tantek: "...we now have Trackback and Pingback to help automate generating comment hyperlinks to blog-on-blog commentary. While I certainly applaud these efforts at...... [more]

Trackback from Movable Type for Poets

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Most readers of weblogs hopefully doesn't have a notion of what trackbacks or pingbacks are. They look like comments most of the times, but they are presented in a different way than comments, usually less readable than comments, and often of some ridiculous reason cut in half.

There's really no reason why pingbacks and trackbacks should be presented any differently from comments. They are all comments, the only thing differing them is the way they are posted to the server. I don't see why whether the comment was received with XML-RPC or an HTTP POST should matter for its presentation.

The only thing that needs to be different, is how the comment is linked, either at the top or bottom of its presentational box. In normal HTTP POST comments, the comment resides at the same place as the original blog article, so the link to it should of course go to that exact page. But with trackback or pingback comments, the link naturally needs to point to where the comment resides; on the ping- or trackbacker's website.

I hate printing blog discussions when they contain trackbacks and pingbacks. You never get to read the full content of the tracks and pings. >:-(

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