May 01, 2005
Comments and Trackbacks as networking tools
Almost every blog on the Internet has two functions that make blogging stand apart from web sites - comments and trackbacks.
Posting comments (unfortunately an area being polluted by spammers) is a great way to start a conversation with a blogger and that blogger's readers. In fact, if you don't yet write a blog, posting comments can be a great way to get your feet wet in the writing game. If you write comments that really add content to a site, you will build credibility with that site owner. This can be a great way to get invited to trade links with a more established site.
Trackbacks are a little trickier but function much like comments. Most blog software publishes a URL for every blog post that is called a trackback. Here is what a typical trackback URL looks like for this blog - http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/2372664 The software produces the link and when someone copies it into a post, their remarks would then show up under the trackback link below.
If you read a post that you think your readers would enjoy you can write a post and allow your software to send a trackback to the blog where you found the original post. Then, your post may appear as an addition to the original post. This can be a great way to get some extra traffic from other sites. Like all things, add useful content and your trackbacks will be welcome, add junk and you will be a spammer.
One final point on this comment and trackback networking. Reach out and connect with people who are making comments on your blog, encourage them to post comments and comment on their comments. It's the best way to get the most from the interactive nature of blogs.