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Yes, That Is So

From the Mellow_Bunny:

Zaitcev does it all the time. Yet others don’t seem to fathom how it works. Well whatever, I like the idea and it’s certainly more of a motivator to blog myself then leaving a comment is. I could spend years leaving comments on people’s blogs and never feel satisfied. My comments could get lost in the mire. I hate the mire. It leaves you with no control over your own words either.

Yes, indeed. I’ve probably mentioned somewhere in a post or comment long ago, that zaitcev’s format, is actually the standard on most blogs (not counting the disabled comments feature).

Blogger reads something, Blogger blogs it…. TRACKBACK.

Categories: Meta.

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10 Responses

  1. Yeah, I think people probably don’t give enough value to the importance of trackbacks in the “comment economy”.

    I think a lot of people are apprehensive about using their own blogs for short meta notes. Most people want to reply to Ani-nouto with short comments, akin to the type of stuff Author himself posts, but I think people find something irksome about posting meta notes onto their own anime blog. If people want to keep their own anime blogs meta-free, maybe they could open up new blogs specifically for meta (like Anitations which is really underused atm for some strange reason) or open up a throwaway blog on their MAL pages (which is something everyone can do) or use GRSI (which I understand really annoys Author because there’s no permanent URL, and I guess I can see where he’s coming from).

    As for losing comments into the mire, I proposed a way for using GRSI to centralize and track ones own comments manually. I thought it was a pretty nifty idea, but it wasn’t well received. I guess it’s probably too academic.

    Nonetheless, I still think trackbacks are incredibly important. I really think they’re too often undervalued and underused. Depending on the nature of the reply post, a trackback is almost worth five comments, IMO.

  2. @Sorrow-kun Ah, I see what you did there with the shared items. Have to agree with some of those commenters that it would be quite a bit of noise. Backtype, is… dunno, not sure if that is the right solution.

    We now have Discuss, but that fails because of the premise that every blog is using it (which they aren’t).

    There was also a comment tracking service CoComment which was mentioned to me by Caitlin Omara. I think that is probably the closest solution that remains non-evasive.

    The purest, most simplistic, recursive, beautiful option is still going to be blogging/trackbacking, but yes, clutter on ones own blog can often be terrible. So how to deal with it?

    Custom Fields may hold the answer. There are themes which allow a custom field type to be used, but any entries of this type should not show up on the main list of entries or in the feed; it’s possible.

    Optimally, we could have some theme in which we set the field as “trackback-response” and the entry would exist on the blog, have a permalink, but not show up in the feed.

    The option is there, that is partly how multi-author blogs work. ^^

    Thanks for the response!

    Edit: This is probably a good thing,

  3. @Ryan A
    I’m starting to think that a good answer might be a really open version of Anitations, ie, a blog dedicated to meta-discussion with open comments and author privileges which are given out fairly readily, to just about anyone (well, maybe not quite anyone, maybe limit it to people who are established on the blogosphere or something).

    It’d be a service basically, a place where people could dump any meta-notes which they don’t want to clutter their blog with, but also having the advantage of giving trackbacks to the original articles and having a permalink itself (two things which GRSI doesn’t do). Its general philosophy shouldn’t be too dissimilar to Anitations or Ani-nouto, I think… the posts should be a little more indepth than a standard comment without taking too much focus away from the point of the original post.

    There are probably a whole heap of other uses for it as well: for example, you could make overarching comments on the direction of a discussion in the comments section of a post without interrupting the discussion itself. Perhaps that could be useful for instances like this (maybe not the best example…) And then there’s the standard uses like “collected discourse” and stuff like that (which is one of the most useful functions of these types of sites).

  4. The heuristic is if your comment is relatively long, make a post instead. The example that Mellow_Bunny cites is an extreme case. Relatively short comments should be placed in the original post for centralized discourse. It would be quite inconvenient to read responses if everyone makes a separate post with trackback.


    That makes sense, but I wouldn’t go fully on length, but definite with concept. If the respondent wishes to build on top of the context created by a post, it’s better to write a post. Comments are nice for quick response, and imo only a small percentage of comments are worth clinging to for content-purposes; personally (most of my comments aren’t creating anything new, idea-wise).

  6. I think I left a comment which might have gotten swallowed by your spam filter.

  7. @Sorrow-kun Ah! Recovered.

    That’s a nice concept! I believe is working towards something similar, though it’s not as easy as unpack WP (or any other blog software) and go.

    Having something like WP version of GSRI and possibly attracting attention would mean that the software would need to be built for high-traffic (which standard WP isn’t), hence’s motivation to move towards wpmu, which is built for volume.

    In a way the idea is similar to a forum, only forums have a very different presentation/interaction layer. In another way, it is similar to a site like slashdot/digg, where a certain entry is made and interaction continues.

    As a WordPress blog(s), one single blog would be easy to fit the bill, and has that advantage of centralized discourse (as opposed to multiple blogs w/trackbacks), but performance would be an issue at some point.

    Having a look around, I found Not sure of their pay restrictions (because free is more friendly), but something built on wpmu would be a good choice.

    I like the idea.

  8. Meta notes I can post on a Tumblr blog (not that I do these on my Tumblr blog). For comments that I like, I reblog in a separate blog just for that purpose. It serves to collect and archive. (quasi-microblog) (my comment collection; for now it’s comments made by others on WRL that I really like)

  9. I see I’m not the only one obsessive enough about tracking meta to create an entirely separate site.

    What I find hilarious about Sorrow’s suggestion is the idea that if someone is unwilling to provide functionality, others will construct it and tack it on. Which is to say, suppose you had a site that read Ani-nouto entries and reposted them, with a comment section. People would make their comments on that site instead of the original! Zaitcev, of course, is notoriously leery of that (having ranted about it on Twitter as being fundamentally offensive to him) but I can’t help but think that if someone actually went and made the mirror site, that would be the result.

  10. ghostlightning’s method is nice and analog manual, but I think a lot of ppl might like something more automated.

    Of course, netusers (esp. bloggers) like tracking and details on stuff. Some might not like statistics, but number can often enchant.

    The way you put it, it sounds more like “digging” a post and then everyone has a go in the comment section. One of these mirror sites might copy-blog, but if they stick to a clipped format (Title, URL, Desc), I think it’d be fine.

    Man, I’m getting lost in what this was originally about. Haha, right commenting on-site or tracking back from another blog; they both pretty much do the same thing. I think if a blogger just has a specific category for Trackbacks (all of which ping the original post, essentially like commenting) and then have that Trackback category hidden from the blog’s main feed and page view… this would work in most cases, but.

    Doesn’t allow collected discourse very fluidly O.o and would require a lot of URL clicking to get the whole idea D: Maybe a “trackback collector” would work, so that both a comment on the original post, a trackback, or a commented on the collected thread would all have the same effect (they would show collectively on the trackback collection thread… on some 3P service).

    Might write a theory post on that, haven’t done one in a while, plus anyone could create such a service I think.

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