On the Internet, nothing happens in a vacuum. Your site, your traffic and your readers are being constantly impacted and affected by things that are going on elsewhere. If Google makes a change to their algorithm, for example, this can have a drastic impact on your traffic and the type of readers you get.
Likewise, what your readers are looking for and talking about will, inevitably, be affected by what other sites are discussing and what they’re seeing elsewhere.
The simple truth is that you don’t have a single reader who only views your site and nothing else on the Web. Everyone on the Web is reading other sites, emailing, IMing, using social networking and participating in the Web in countless other ways.
Because of this, you can’t try to make your site stand alone or treat it as if it’s the only place your readers need to be. Your readers’ interests are both varied and deep and, short of having the entire Library of Congress on your site, there’s no way you can be all things to them.
As such, the best thing you can do is not try and, instead, try to take advantage of this natural ebb and flow of the Web by using it as a means to both make your site more useful to your readers and, perhaps more importantly, gain even more traffic.
No site is an island unto itself and, even if it could be, it’s unlikely that you’d even want it that way. Read More
I saw an interesting tweet fly by today from Ozh in which he offered advice to ditch the Trackbacks all together on a WordPress blog. Which got me to think, do we really need trackbacks or have the become just another version of spam most of you like to get rid of? The question has been on the minds of people for quite some time now, but with the recent outburst of trackback spam I think the question has become quite relevant again.
Ozh mentiones a few reasons why he ditched the trackbacks all together:
- I get too much of them to have the time to check them all
- They make ugly [...]anchor links[...] in my comment moderation queue
- A third (on my blog at least) are spam (mostly caught by Akismet hopefully)
- And when they’re not spam, 95% of the time they come from a website I can’t understand because I don’t speak that language
Personally I don’t receive that much trackbacks on my own posts to the level that it has become a problem, but I do notice more and more sites turning them off and not displaying them anymore. Now, I can agree with Ozh that trackbacks certainly don’t look very nice, but by separating the comments from the trackback and only displaying the titles of the blogposts that placed a trackback you can still keep it relatively clean.
One thing I have done, is by using the plugin No Self Pings, is disable all internal trackbacks. I don’t see the point and if it’s relevance you’re after there a much more sophisticated solutions for that such as the wonderful YARPP plugin.
If trackbacks aren’t your thing the easiest way to do so is to disable the ability to allow trackbacks via your Discussion Settings, but I’m curious what you all think. Does it add value? Do you still allow trackbacks? Are you receiving a lot of spam?