Are trackbacks irrelevant?

We have a couple tools available to us now to help us track who is saying what about whom on the Live Web. We have little bits of code that tell us what Technorati is tracking and other widgets that tell us how often a post has been Dugg. With all of these tools available, are trackbacks still relevant? Do these extracts from other posts that reference our own still matter? Do trackbacks still have value for you when you publish a post? Steve Rubel asked this question the other day. I am not sure what the answer is.

Trackbacks have similar value, in my mind, that comments have. They are a relatively old way of letting the other blogger and the blogger’s visitors what you think about a topic and they are a way of enticing readers to click through to your post. So on the one hand trackbacks are ego-centric tools and on the other hand they are great ways to keep a conversation going by saying, “hey come check out what we’re saying about this topic over here …”. I would like to have trackback functionality on chilibean and at the same time, I am not sure I want to have to deal with the mountains of trackback spam that come rushing in for various reasons. Perhaps a decent Technorati module would be more beneficial when you also consider that trackbacks are often subject to moderation and so you won’t always get your message across through this tool.

What do you think? Do you send trackbacks whenever you can or are you more passive about incoming links? By the way, I am sending a trackback to Micropersuasion with this post … what the heck!

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