Sunday, November 28, 2004

Trackbacks and Pingbacks: Building Context for Mainstream Content

An announcement from CNET News on their new support for trackbacks caught my eye the other day. Trackbacks are notifications that webloggers and other publishers can send to a source via a "pingback" notification that lets the source know that their article has received a link from the notifying site. The receiver of the pingback is free to ignore this notification if it's not a site that they care to recognize but if they do it enables an online publisher to create an instant "press clippings" page for any individual piece of content. Trackbacks are nothing new, but it's significant that a major online news organization has taken the leap in this direction, something that CNET in its role as leading online news innovator is well positioned to manage. Trackbacks offer a great opportunity for major news organizations that are trying to get important sources to link to their content the ability to offer reciprocal links in an easily understood format that offers little downside exposure. It's sometimes surprising even for us how mainstream media outlets are storming towards the best practices of the open Web to ensure that their content remains as valuable as possible in the rapidly changing marketplace for vContent.
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