Monthly Archives: September 2004

No More Sun

A couple of people wrote in to ask what happened to the sun in the header. You may have noticed it too, if you aren’t one of those leechers on RSS. 😉 I was told that today is the first day of Fall. The sun in the header was for summer, and while it’s still hot as heck here in Houston, there is a season. (Turn, turn, turn…)

More Screens

The quad-monitor setup is going well. None of them match each other, but it’s 62″ of total screen space. Life is good. Firefox still seems to have some issues when it’s used on a secondary monitor, but hopefully that’ll work itself out in a later release.

News.com Leads Blog Communication

This is the coolest thing I’ve seen all year. Check out the HTML of this article I linked a few days ago. Notice anything at the top?

<link rel="pingback" href="http://tb.news.com/p2t.cgi/2100-1032-5368454" />

Houston, we have Pingback support! Let’s dig deeper:

<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://news.com.com/2100-1032-5368454.html"
dc:title="Microsoft flip-flop may signal blog clog"
dc:identifier="http://news.com.com/2100-1032-5368454.html" />
trackback:ping="http://tb.news.com/tb.cgi/2100-1032-5368454"
</rdf:RDF>

Ugly as sin, but that’s trackback. It gets better…

A little URI hacking takes us to this page which lists all trackbacks and pingbacks the article recieved. How cool is that?

It’s my understanding that even though they’ve had the trackback autodiscovery code for a while they’ve been recieving mostly pingbacks, which makes sense given that it’s more fully and elegantly automatic. It would be cool if they could add support for the nascent rel="trackback" discovery method and save themselves the trouble of the RDF hack. Hopefully spammers won’t exploit their trackback server too soon and they can support legacy systems that don’t implement Pingback yet.

The implications of this are fairly large. News.com is obviously bootstrapping code that will involve their readers with the blog conversation surrounding their articles. How long for other sites to catch up? Will they plug into Technorati or Pubsub next? As far as I know this is the first major media organization to implement Trackback and Pingback. The team at News.com should be commended for their effort and leadership in this area.