15 Oct, 2002

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Index page Trackback Autodiscovery

Posted by: kristine In: MT hacks

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When Movable Type came out with version 2.2, it added a feature for showing the way information on blogs linked together called Trackback. This added a whole great new set of options to the blogging software. With the new version 2.5, Trackback is enhanced by an auto-discovery tool. Auto discovery allows you to link to a permalink from a post and it automatically detects the trackback URL and sends a ping. This made pinging a bit more intuative, and allowed for much easier multiple pings.

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In configuring Picture Yourself, I wanted an easy way for using pings, without needing to attach the incoming pings to just a random picture that was on the main page, with the normal MTEntryTrackbackData code. It made sense to use a Category-based Trackback ping, so I made a category set to accept pings, and put that in a popup window. Still not easy enough for the user, because they'd have to copy the URL out of the popup window and paste it in the URLs to ping box.

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So I posted on the MTForums and Phil came up with a great solution (and even went beyond that and made an MTCategoryTrackbackData tag)! His solution allowed anyone to post a link to PictureYourself in their post, and that automatically would discover the ping URL for that category. I enhanced this a bit to work well on traditional blogs.

* Turn on pings for at least one category on your blog.
* Turn on Trackback Auto-discovery in the Blog Config under preferences

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On my Main Index Template, before the MTEntries container, I added this code:

<rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf=""
trackback:ping="<$MTCategoryTrackbackLink category="CATEGORY"$>"
dc:title="ping <$MTBlogName$>!!"
dc:date="<$MTDate format="%Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%S"$><$MTBlogTimezone$>" />

Replace CATEGORY with the category which you have set to as "Accept incoming TrackBack pings" on your category page. I added the information in the dc:title tag so that when there was already MTEntryTrackbackData on the page (from other posts that were ping-able), it would differentiate it in the dropdown box of a bookmarklet as something like "ping kadyellebee!!".

Now anytime someone with MT2.5 mentions Picture Yourself or kadyellebee in their posts, it should automatically send me a ping.

If you'd like to create a listing of your incoming pings, you can use these tags somewhere on your site, or in a new index template that you could popup in the same way the comments box pops up:

<MTPings category="CATEGORY" sort_order="descend">
<a href="<$MTPingURL$>"><$MTPingBlogName$>: <$MTPingTitle$></a><br>
<$MTPingDate format="%m%d.%I:%M"$> – <$MTPingExcerpt$><br><br>

If you have more questions or ideas to go along with this, I look forward to reading them! :)

29 Responses to "Index page Trackback Autodiscovery"

1 | AIWS Weblog

January 17th, 2004 at 8:23 pm


Automating Pings with Trackback Autodiscovery (a MT Plugin)
Trackback Autodiscovery (a MT Plugin) how-to Get the Plugin…

2 | Unix Gal

April 13th, 2003 at 1:02 pm


Progress report :D ania: and I were playing with category trackback today. She had it 1/2 right and I had it 1/2 right,

3 | Live in the Delirious Cool

May 11th, 2003 at 10:12 am


Getting validated.
I made my blog more high-maintenance, but I also learned about coding so that people not looking at my computer screen could read my site.

4 | Life in the Zu

May 28th, 2003 at 8:47 pm


So… I finally got around to fixing my "Show comments here" to actually show both the comments and the pings, since I have Simple Comments installed. As soon as I did that, phantom comments started showing up. Scroll down to the geek post below. Notic…

5 | Ain't too proud to blog

April 6th, 2003 at 11:29 pm


Who can it be now?
This weekend I had a couple of people ask me how they pinged my site when they didn't link to any of my individual entries. If you're running MT with auto-TrackBack enabled, I have a hack running to send me a ping any time itself is li…

6 | Ain't too proud to blog

April 6th, 2003 at 11:27 pm


Who can it be now?
This weekend I had a couple of people ask me how they pinged my site when they didn't link to any of my individual entries. If you're running MT with auto-TrackBack enabled, I have a hack running to send me a ping any time itself is li…

7 | AYM - Links

December 18th, 2002 at 3:08 pm


TrackBack Categories?
I've been looking today for something: Somebody making use of TrackBack on Categories in MT. At scriptygoddess I found some

8 | Ain't too proud to blog

March 6th, 2003 at 12:45 pm


The one that makes me scream, she said
A few site tips and tricks of note…some new, some not… Individual link "click tracker" script Oldie but a goodie…how to prevent your site from being Googled Combined form for MT and Bloglet subscriptions Kristine's wonderfulMT Plugin Directory To…

9 | kadyellebee

December 11th, 2002 at 11:12 pm


Trackback sixlog-style
I saw yesterday on Mena's blog that her and Ben were going to start blogging general technology things at their

10 | A young man

December 12th, 2002 at 10:54 pm


A new lesson for me
Where does he get those toys?

11 | A young man

December 4th, 2002 at 2:34 pm


TrackBack Categories?
I've been looking today for something: Somebody making use of TrackBack on Categories in MT. At scriptygoddess I found some information on how Kristine set up Automatic TrackBack pings for her site Picture Yourself -

12 |

November 17th, 2002 at 6:01 pm


Ping Test
I'm pinging myself! Sorry! I forgot. This is all a cool script that I learned. You can check it

13 | Movable Type -- Kristine's Plugin Directory

November 30th, 2002 at 6:01 pm


Category Trackback Data
Used for ideas in the tutorial for MT hacks: Index page Trackback Autodiscovery.

14 |

November 9th, 2002 at 8:54 pm


Ping Me!
Not that anyone really links to me, but I figured I might as well play with TrackBack a bit. I used Kristine's main-page TrackBack ping technique from ScriptyGoddess. Now, to

15 | kadyellebee

October 15th, 2002 at 6:51 pm


enhancing archives
So I spiffed up my category archive pages a bit. I implemented the CategoryTrackbackData plugin so that people can easily

16 | Diamond Blog

October 20th, 2002 at 11:14 am


Blogging Tip: Add blockquotes to your bookmarlet
I noticed the Movable Type community has a couple of great resources out there to help with this blogging software,

17 | Venomous Kate

April 30th, 2003 at 4:14 am


Ok, I've got this plugin working, but I'm wondering if there's something else I can do with it. Let's say – speaking purely hypothetically, of course – that I'm incredibly egotistical and wanted to see a list of the last 20 trackbacks to my site, not simply those to one category. I merely eliminated the category restriction on the above. (I put the list on a sub-page if you want to look.)

But is there a way to have each Trackback listed refer to the specific entry it refers to? I tried adding MTEntries and MTEntryPermalink, but it caused all sorts of weirdness.

18 | Lisa, Gal of Unix

April 13th, 2003 at 3:21 pm


Yeah, I somehow never noticed that link. Selective seeing, I guess. :D Thanks!

19 | Lisa, Gal of Unix

April 13th, 2003 at 12:40 pm


Aha! Dania knew what that meant and it looks to be working now.

20 | kristine

April 13th, 2003 at 3:14 pm


Tee hee, no, questions just make you MORE scripty-like :)

Just to clarify for anyone else visiting and needing this… go to the Category section inside of MT, and pick one category to be your default pinged category. Select the "Edit Category Attributes" link next to that category. And at the bottom of that screen, change the ratio buttons "Accept incoming TrackBack pings?" to yes.

Then when you use the above code, replace the red CATEGORY with the category you selected.

More clear? :) :) :)

21 | Lisa, Gal of Unix

April 13th, 2003 at 12:20 pm


If I ask a question about this, will I have to turn in my Scripty title? :)

I've uploaded the plugin and added the code snippet above to my index page. But when it rebuilds, instead of showing a URL to ping, it has nothing.

I'm not sure what you mean by "turn pings on for at least one category" though. Maybe that's the step I'm missing.

…the category which you have set to as "Accept incoming TrackBack pings" on your category page.

I'm not sure what this means.

22 | Donna

April 8th, 2003 at 4:24 pm


Dania, if I'm understanding this correctly, you choose a category to accept pings just because that's the way MT likes to do it; you work within the system to produce an unexpected result. Since I don't show pings on my category pages, I could choose any of my categories, and still make the pings show up on the index page under "Recent Pings" using Kristine's code above – they appear generic even though they're attached to a category.

23 | Zach

November 17th, 2002 at 6:17 pm


Hey! I just tried to set up your category trackback ping thing and it isn't working for me. I pinged from various sites to me and it didn't do anything. You can check it out at


24 | Dania

April 8th, 2003 at 11:57 am


ok question, this flew over my head *heh*

I'm stuck on the "category" thing. What if you want it to ping with every category you have? I mean, no matter what category you use…does this make sense?

Probably not. lol

25 | kristine

October 17th, 2002 at 10:59 am


:) It really has taken me answering hundreds of questions on the MTForums before it really sunk in for me!!! :)

You can use a category you already have or create a new one – I had a category called bloggyness on my blog that made sense to put the pings in – the bookmarks category over here might work well for this – since its gonna be links of people who talk about SG on their sites :) It kinda depends on how you want to show the pings. Since you don't currently show pings on the category archive pages, it doesn't really matter if you use a category that is already in use :)

(and I'm SO glad to help – you've helped me so much with your codes and tips!!!!)

I'll be around all day, throw something at me if you need more help ;)

26 | Jennifer

October 17th, 2002 at 10:26 am


You know how some things come so easy, and then there's other things; and no matter what you do, you just can't "get it"? That's what trackback, and syndication, etc. etc. is for me… blech…

Anyway – ok, I'm setting this up here on scripty (don't go ahead and do it, if I don't do this myself, it'll NEVER make sense! LOL) I've turned on the auto trackback option… do I ADD A NEW CATEGORY whose sole purpose is to accept pings? Or should I just use one that's already in existence?

(Have I told you how much I appreciate your help, recently? I really do!!) :D

27 | kristine

October 15th, 2002 at 9:53 pm


Yep, you've got it. :) If you are using MT2.5, and you post a link to in an entry (without even going to my site or doing any other steps), it will ping me.

If you use a bookmarklet and are on my site, now in the drop-down box, you'll see an option of "ping kadyellebee!!" on the top of the list, followed by the entries that are ping-able. This should make it so anyone using MT2.2 can have that option to ping my blog instead of just attaching a ping to an entry. In reality, its pinging a category (bloggyness) but it seems to be a blog-ping instead of an entry-ping with this method.

Clearer? :)

28 | Jennifer

October 15th, 2002 at 9:40 pm


I'm a little confused (it took me the LONGEST time to understand the whole trackback concept)…

If you use this code, then someone who posts a link to your site, automatically sends a ping? (without needing to do any other steps) Or they still have to enter a ping like they would traditionally (either using the bookmarklet, and picking something in a ping list, or copying and pasting the ping code into the "ping" field on the edit entry page) – but instead of pinging a single POST they can ping your BLOG..? Or am I just totally confused.. (yes, but that's besides the point) ;-)

29 | bookmarks

June 24th, 2004 at 8:34 am


TB category autodiscovery…

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