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How to use HaloScan's TrackBacks

Last night I detailed how to add trackbacks to Blogger, a free service provided by HaloScan. In this post I want to cover how to actually use trackbacks to enable the conversation.

So you've read a blog post that you want to comment on. You want to say more than just 'great post!' but don't want your finely crafted response disappearing into someone else's comment bucket. Not only would this be never found by your blog subscribers, but it's also difficult for you to see if anyone is adding to the comment discussion.

Enter trackbacks - a way for you to inform the original blog post that you have made a comment on your own blog, and that they are regarding the same topic of conversation.

How do you actually use them then I hear you ask?

Trackback URL

First of all, make sure that the original blog actually has Trackback capability. If you can't see a 'Trackback' link mentioned at the bottom of the blog post, that author (or blogging system) doesn't support trackbacks, so you might as well stop now. If it does support them, click the link, you will be taken to a page that provides a trackback URL to 'ping'.

Permalink URL

Back on your own blog write your response as a regular blog post, and publish it as normal. You will need the 'permalink URL' to your entry, this is the URL that will take you straight to this particular post. On Blogger you can get to the permalink version of a post by clicking the 'post time' given at the bottom of each post listed after the author's name.

Trackback Pings

Login to HaloScan, click 'Manage Trackback' in the 'Members' menu on the left-hand side. Choose the middle tab 'Send a Trackback Ping' as you want to inform the original blog that you have posted a response on your blog. Now you need to do a bit of 'cut and paste' from both blogs, I'll list each field in the HaloScan 'Send Trackback Pings' form, and what to put in them:

* Your Blog Name - This should already be filled in as you provided this information when you signed up for the service.

* Your Permalink URL - This is the link that goes straight to your blog post, details of how to find this are given above.

* Your Post Title - I copy and paste the title of my blog post provided on the permalink page.

* Your Excerpt - A short paragraph from your blog post, I try to find the most relevant section of my blog post that covers the original topic.

* URLs to Ping - This is the 'magic' step, you put the Trackback URL that you found on the original blog here, this is the location that HaloScan will tell that you have responded to the conversation.

Once all that is filled out, click 'Ping Now' and let HaloScan do the rest.

That's it!

Your trackback is now in place and the relevant blog has been notified of your post. You can notify multiple blogs of your post by putting additional trackback URLs in the 'URLs to Ping' box.

If you revisit the original blog post you should see that the number of trackbacks to that post has gone up by one, if you view the list of trackbacks you should now see your excerpt with a link to your blog.

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Andrew Beacock said…

Sounds like a good idea for a post, oh hang on, think I've covered
that before...

Is this what you had in mind? :)

BTW, I'm thinking of creating my own version of the bookmarklet so
that it will support spaces in the tags, at the moment I have to type
'LeeHopkins' in the popup, then edit the pasted code to read 'Lee
Anonymous said…
well i found you by looking on as you were there, but i have no idea how they know that...

but thankyou for the information.
Rob Baillie said…
On the subject of the technorati tag bookmarlet, I user Andrew+Beacock and it seems to come through OK
Christopher1974 said…
thanks for this mini series. i used both. and they worked great. one thing, though, when setting up your blogger template. be sure to use the p class= field that is there in that section of the html for the comments. or the "trackback ( )" is not going to be in the same font as the words "comment ( )" that bugged me.
Andrew Beacock said…
Christopher, glad I could be of some help, happy trackbacking!
saif said…
its useful informative post.