When do I use a trackback?

10 August 2009

When I want to write a blog entry I often think of a topic to write about, and then do a Google search “Topic of interest trackback”.

Notice the “trackback” in the Google search. It doesn’t always work – but quite often it will bring back blog entries of the same topic that allow trackbacks.

On a blog entry that allows trackbacks you’ll usually find a trackback URL, usually near the bottom of the page or often also near the “comments” area. If it’s not visible you can also view the website’s source code and look for the following piece of code:

<!--
<rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#"
xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/"
xmlns:trackback="http://madskills.com/public/xml/rss/module/trackback/">
<rdf:Description
rdf:about="http://www.peternichol.com/blog/entry/how-to-run-server-side-php-scripts-on-my-computer/"
dc:identifier="http://www.peternichol.com/blog/entry/how-to-run-server-side-php-scripts-on-my-computer/"
dc:title="How to run server side PHP scripts on my computer" trackback:ping="http://www.peternichol.com/entry/trackback/33/" />
</rdf:RDF>
-->


rdf:about – The blog entry permalink
dc:identifier – Again the blog entry permalink
dc:title – The blog entry title
trackback:ping – The unique trackback URL for this blog entry

Change these 4 variables depending on the page/blog entry, but leave all the rest of the code as it is. The “<!--“ at the top of the code is commenting it out, so that when validating your page it still passes the W3C validations.

You may also see this code being called the trackback auto discover code.

I trackback as often as I can, as it’s always good to get my link out there on other people’s websites.

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What is a trackback?

9 August 2009

A trackback is the exchange of hyperlinks between 2 blogs.

I write a blog entry called “Which is better, TypePad or Blogger?”

Next I write my opinion, facts about the 2 and a conclusion.

If someone else is writing a similar blog entry, they may find my blog entry and reference to it by placing my link on their blog entry.

When they submit their blog entry they will send a trackback ping to my blog entry saying “Joe Bloggs has written a blog entry and has referenced your blog entry”.

The trackback ping will be sent to a unique trackback URL.

My trackback URL will then send back either a success or error response to notify the originating website of the trackback's status.

When someone next views my blog entry they will see there’s a trackback from Joe Bloggs website, which they can then view and get Joe Bloggs’ opinion on the topic as well.


The trackback allows someone who reads my blog entry, and finds it interesting, to then go onto another blog entry, of the same topic/interest, and read their views/opinions.

Trackbacks are a great way to link build, get your link mentioned on a lot of different people’s website, get more traffic – and most of which is of interest because they took the time to read the original blog entry.

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A short history about blogging

7 August 2009

Blogging over the last few years has increased immensely and is now taking over the use of online bulletin boards.

Originally used as online journals blog stood for weblog. As it became more popular and more used weblog got shortened to just blog.

People blog about personal experiences, interests, latest news and just anything that’s on their mind at that moment in time when they start typing!

There are many blog platforms out there, the most popular that you may have heard of include TypePad, Blogger, WordPress and Live Journal.

Blogger is completely free and can be setup as a subdomain of Blogger, e.g.
myblogname.blogger.com WordPress is a platform that can be downloaded for free, and then needs to be uploaded and installed on your own web server, meaning that although the platform is free, you will still need to buy a domain name and web hosting space to host it all.

TypePad is a paid for blogging platform that again needs to be setup as a subdomain, but then also allows website parking, so that you can have www.myblog.com which just shows myblog.typepad.com or you can just leave it on the TypePad subdomain and not need to buy a domain name and web hosting space.

So if Blogger is completely free and you don’t even need to buy a domain name, why do people still pick the other 2 blogging platforms?

WordPress is often used, not only for blogging, but for complete website builds.

It has lots of additional plugins for extensible functionality, and also allows editing of all the code and layout.

TypePad is often bought because of it’s functionality and search engine optimisation techniques.

TypePad allows trackbacks, whereas, Blogger doesn’t – and trackbacks are really good to get more visibility on the Internet, to keep a trail of threads, to share common interests and to form a web ring between blogs.

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Windows Update

3 August 2009

Windows updates are necessary as they put correct small errors within Windows.

Windows updates can be anything from minor Windows fixes to driver updates.

To configure your Windows updates click “Start”, then “All programs” and then select “Windows update”.

If it's the first time you're doing this then there's likely to be a lot of updates to install.Or if there's only a few then don't panic – once you install the first batch of updates and restart your computer there will be more to download.

This could happen several times to get you back up-to-date.

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Defragment Hard Drive

2 August 2009

Go to “My computer” and right click on your primary hard drive (usually C drive), then from the menu select “Properties”.

  • Click on the “Tools” tab at the top and then select “Defragment now...”
  • Click the button “Defragment now...”
  • Select your hard drive(s) to defrayment and then click “Ok”.

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Disk Cleanup

1 August 2009

A disk cleanup is an easy process that will empty your recycle bin, clear your temporary files and delete other un-needed files to make some more space on your hard drive.

Go to “My computer” and then right click on your primary hard drive (usually C drive). From the menu select “Properties” and it will show the hard drive capacity and how much free storage space is still available.

Just to the right of the pie chart you will see a button named “Disk cleanup”, click it.

It will take a little while, sometimes as long as a couple of minutes (especially if it's the first time), and then it will show you a list of tick boxes which are all areas of your computer that can be cleaned up.

If you know what you're doing then tick the ones that you need, if you're not too sure then it's probably worth ticking them all (it will show how much hard drive space you're going to gain once the process is finished, just underneath the list) – and then click “Ok”.

Again, depending how many files needed to be cleaned up, it may take quite a while.

Check your hard drive storage now and you should have gained additional storage space.

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