0 thoughts on “Trackback Yum, I’m gonna shell

  1. I have my doubts about this feature as it stands right now.

    It sounds complicated, it requires both ends to support the API, and it may not scale well. Early days yet so I’ll probably be proved wrong.

  2. My take: I think conceptually, allowing DIRECT links between two items is pretty powerful, altough having an abstraction layer with metadata in between (like topicmaps or XFML) can be a lot more powerful: less connections to make manually, more scalable.

    The real power and uniqueness of trackback comes from the pinging feature: it means that a person A can provide an explicit link to the website of person B that this website *knows about* (if person B allows this), WITHOUT person B needing to do anything. Think Wiki kinda: displaying stuff someone else did. Of course, the main drawback of trackback is exactly that pinging (both sides need to support the API), so as usual the root of the main strength of the idea (pinging) is also it’s main weakness.

    As you say, the disadvantage is scaling and the need of both sides to support the API. (see the remark about the abstraction layer that solves both problems for XTM)

    I think the only way to find out is actual useful stuff will evolve from something like this is to try it out and let it evolve. Evolution rocks.

    Finally, I also agree with the complexity problem: if the feature is too complex that will delay adoption, which may mean it doesn’t reach that tipping point it has to reach for (somewhat) widespread adoption.

    My crazy prediction: it won’t take off in a big way, but it will provide some interesting and nessecary experimentation, and make people think.

    I just thought: is trackback really not just a two-way link as envisioned in the original hypertext theory, where both sides know of the existence of the link (as opposed to an HTML link where only one side knows)?

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