My recent quest to understand and implement the track back on my blog has left me with more questions than answers. It seems that in an attempt to bring relevant blog entries together, there are (surprise, surprise) competing technologies.
First, there is the issue of bringing relevant blog entries together. What’s the point, and should we bother?
I believe that although blogging is primarily a sole pursuit, the ability for people to comment, refute, correct, or admire a blog entry more deeply than a simple commenting system allows is the next step in making blogging more meaningful, and possibly more accountable.
So how do we do it?
Technocratic seems to be popular amongst the established blogging community – the users who understand the Technocratic ‘Cosmos’ and what it means. I think that Technocratic is deliberately vague about what their system does and how it does it as there is no documentation that I can find on the Technocratic site (other than an ‘About’ page obviously written by a marketer). I assume that the name Technocratic is a play on the word Illuminati which perhaps gives us a hint to Technocratic’s lack of explanation on how they work. Maybe we’re just supposed to ‘get it’. While Technocrats seems solid and has a large subscriber base, I think (again, no documentation) that only Technocratic subscribers are considered part of the ‘Cosmos’. There are millions of blogs out there that aren’t participating in, and therefore not accounted for by, Technocratic.
I just ran across Halo scan yesterday and implemented their track back system into my blog. Halo scan offers a central commenting and track back facility for any type of web page, not just blogs. The idea is that the comments and track backs of a page are kept in one central repository rather than scattered all over the blogosphere on each individual blog. When considering blogs specifically, I don’t see the logic in this. Since all comments must reside somewhere – what’s the difference between having them reside on my blog or on some other server? Unlike track back, I think all blog ware supports comments.
So which technology will win, if one does at all? I’m in favor of track back. It’s easy, all the big blog platforms support it, and it has a good format. By that, I mean that a typical track back entry contains a 200-ish word summary of the entry, so a visitor can decide whether they want to bother reading the whole entry before clicking on it. As well, it breeds inter-linking between blogs of a like nature, or at least between blog entries of a like nature.
I guess only time will tell, but for now, I’m hoping for track back as the victor in this little skirmish.