Making TrackBack happen automatically

I’ve got this sort of half-formed idea. It works like MT’s TrackBack, but it requires less effort on the part of the user (which is where I think TrackBack falls down). Essentially, it boils down to: when you make a new post, your blog walks through your post and says to every URL mentioned in it: “I’m writing about you.” Would this work? It would require blogging systems to support a new XML-RPC command (say, pingReferences \<yoururl>,\<myurl>), and it would require that, given a remote URL, you can work out from that URL and only that URL where the RPC server would be. I think that the best way to do this would be to introduce a new LINK tag that points to the RPC server for that URL (clearly this tag would be the same on all pages of a given blog). Then, when you blog about some links, your blog system requests each of those links, parses each for the correct LINK tag, and for those it finds, it sends a pingReferences(url_of_your_post,url_of_my_post) command by XML-RPC to the RPC server. Pow! Automatic trackback! I think that this is much better than the current TrackBack method, where you have to actively use the bookmarklet to say “I want to make a post about post X on this page”. Just go ahead and blog as you normally do, and it’ll all happen automatically. It doesn’t have to happen with XML-RPC, it could just be a page request. My thinking there was that RPC makes it easy to generalise, and most blogging systems incorporate XML-RPC libraries now anyway, to support remote blogging tools. My only real problem with this method is that a very popular link in blogland essentially gets slashdotted as everyone blogs about it. Is this likely to be a major issue? I don’t think so, because anything that popular is being read by everyone anyway — doubling the hits shouldn’t matter. There’s also the minor problem that this essentially doubles everyone’s web counter stats, because every blogged page gets two hits (the first when the blogger reads it, and the second when the blogger’s blog requests it to find where its XML-RPC server is) — but web stats are pretty unreliable anyway except as a general trend. ——-

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