No-Host Trackback and Comments

What is Trackback?

TrackBack allows bloggers to connect their entries to related entries on other blogs. Let's say I read an interesting post on your blog or any other trackback-enabled blog. I can respond to it or write something related on my blog. Then, using trackback, I ping your blog, which lets you know I've responded to one of your posts. Readers of your blog can see all the pings by clicking on your trackback link. When bloggers ping each other, interested readers can then follow one topic of conversation around the blogosphere.

This is just one use of Trackback. To quote Ben and Mena Trott, who came up with Trackback, "TrackBack itself is a framework for peer-to-peer communication between weblogs; it can track cross-weblog discussions, it can provide remote content repositories, it can emulate guest authoring, etc. The technical side of TrackBack is very simple: when you want to notify a remote site of your existence, you send a ping to that site."

You can see Trackback in action on the Brutal Hugs blog.

What is No-Host Trackback?

In order to receive pings, you need to have a trackback server that receives the pings and can display the list of sites that have pinged you. Some people cannot or will not run servers, even servers that are just gussied up CGI scripts (i.e. people using BlogSpot). So, we developed No-Host Trackback to help those people out.

To use No-Host Trackback, you sign up for an account, add some code to your template, and you're ready to go. As an added bonus, No-Host Trackback will also allow you to have remotely hosted comments. No-Host Trackback is fully skinnable. And of course, it's free.

No-Host Trackback is currently being beta tested. You are welcome to sign up for an account, but we are limiting the test to just 25 users. If you are limited in time or patience, wait a month or so and we'll be ready for you then.

You can see No-Host Trackback in action on the Brutal Hugs blog.

Installation

  1. Sign up for an account
  2. To generate a trackback in somebody else's trackback system, you need to ping him or her. To send a ping, go to http://brutalhugs.com/cgi-bin/tb/tb_nohost.cgi?__mode=send_form. If you want people that reference your blog to be able to ping you, you might want to give them this URL. That way they can send you a ping regardless of whether they have a trackback system installed.
  3. To let others see your trackbacks and ping you, you need to add a trackback link to each blog post. Add the below HTML to your entry template. Your entry template is the part of your template or flavour file that repeats for each blog entry. In Blosxom, for example, your entry template is your story flavour.
  4. <a href= "http://brutalhugs.com/cgi-bin/tb/tb_nohost.cgi?__mode=list&tb_id=[TrackBack ID]&user=[User]"
    onclick="window.open(this.href, 'trackback', 
    'width=480,height=480,scrollbars=yes,status=yes'); return false">TrackBack</a>
    

    If you want to use trackback for comments as well as trackback, add ths HTML to your entry template instead:

    <a href= "http://brutalhugs.com/cgi-bin/tb/tb_nohost.cgi?__mode=list&tb_id=[TrackBack ID]&comments=1&user=[User]"
    onclick="window.open(this.href, 'trackback', 
    'width=580,height=480,scrollbars=yes,status=yes'); return false">TrackBack and Comments</a>
    

  5. This step is optional. It will make it easier for Movable Type users to ping you. Add the following at the end of your entry template:
  6. <!--
    <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="[Entry Permalink]"
        dc:title="[Entry Title]"
        dc:identifier="[Entry Permalink]" />
        trackback:ping="http://brutalhugs.com/cgi-bin/tb/tb_nohost.cgi?tb_id=[TrackBack ID]&user=[User]"
    </rdf:RDF>
    -->
    

  7. In Steps 3 and 4, the value of "[TrackBack ID]", "[Entry Title]" and "[Entry Permalink]" depend on what blog tool you are using. For each of these, don't forget to remove the [ and ] brackets from your html when you put in your own values. Here's a chart of blog tools and the replacement values.
  8. Blog ToolTrackBack IDEntry TitleEntry Permalink
    Blogger<$BlogItemNumber$><PostSubject><$BlogItemSubject$></PostSubject><$BlogItemArchiveFileName$>#<$BlogItemNumber$>
    Blosxom$fn$title$url/$yr/$mo/$da#$fn
    GreyMatter{{entrynumber}}{{entrysubject}}{{pagelink}}
    b2<?php the_ID() ?><?php the_title() ?><?php permalink_link() ?>
    PMachine%%id%%%%title%%%%comment_permalink%%

  9. To administer your account, go here: http://brutalhugs.com/cgi-bin/tb/tb_nohost.cgi?__mode=login.

Contact

Suggestions, questions, bugs, etc. can be directed to James Vasile

Thanks