* How To Add Trackback Pings To Your Weblog Feed In Movable Type

Trackback pings add value to your weblog. Share them with your feed subscribers.

I wanted to add Trackback pings to my existing feed for my weblog. I did not want to create a separate feed for my weblog’s trackback pings for the same reason that I retired my category-based feeds: sometimes simpler is better, and one feed is better than many.

Because I make extensive use of template modules in Movable Type, adding Trackback pings to my feed was a simple matter of adding one line to my atom.xml template file. Here’s the relevant section and the change (shown in bold):

<content type="html" xml:lang="<$MTBlogLanguage ietf="1"$>" 
xml:base="<$MTBlogURL encode_xml="1"$>">
     <$MTEntryBody encode_xml="1"$>
     <$MTEntryMore encode_xml="1"$>
     <$MTInclude module="my-links" encode_xml="1"$>
     <$MTInclude module="my-feed-fun" encode_xml="1"$>

Next, I added the <MTIfPingsAccepted> and <MTElse> tags to the my-links module so that the Trackback links section is only displayed when (1) pings are open or (2) pings are closed and there are existing pings. When pings exist and are closed, a message appears in the Trackback links section indicating that pings are closed. When pings do not exist and are closed, the Trackback links section does not appear. When pings are open, whether or not there are any pings, the Trackback links section appears. For more info, see (and view the source of) the my-links template module (http://www.giantpeople.com/mt/mt-templates/my-links.html).

Finally, I added the <MTIfPingsAccepted> tag to the template module that I include at the footer of each article of my weblog feed. This displays the Trackback URL info only when you can actually ping the article. For more info, see (and view the source of) the my-feed-run-random template module (http://www.giantpeople.com/mt/mt-templates/my-feed-fun-random.html).

Now, with my Atom/RSS reader, I can save/bookmark the entries from my weblog feed and monitor them for changes (i.e. new Trackback pings, spam Trackback pings) as they occur.

For my other Movable Type “how to” articles, see:

  1. Movable Type And Mailman (6/2/2003)
  2. Movable Type And Mailman, Part 2 (6/2/2003)
  3. Movable Type Brain Dump (4/28/2004)
  4. How To Quickly Block Blog Spam (8/25/2004)
  5. Changes To My Weblog With Movable Type 3.2 (12/2/2005)
  6. How To Add Keywords To Your Blog With MT-KeywordExtractor (5/8/2006)
  7. How To Add Tags To Your Movable Type Blog With Tagwire, or Tagmogrify Your Blog, or Burn Your Feed Without FeedBurner, or Mr. Pibb + Red Vines = Crazy Delicious (5/9/2006)
  8. How To Add Comments To Your Weblog Feed In Movable Type (5/17/2006)

Of course, many of those articles are likely displayed in the “Related Entries” section below, which is generated automatically. Ain’t technology grand?

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