I've noticed a number of scrap-bloggers working their way through the whole concept of trackback. [I first described the concept here.] It seems quite a few of them "get" the concept of trackbacks, but seem to be having a little problem with the execution. I took some screenshots today to hopefully help with that.
To trackback, you need to have the specific trackback URL associated with a specific blog entry. You also need to have somewhere to put it, for it to ping properly. You can't use the trackback URL as a hyperlink within the text of your blog entry -- it won't ping correctly that way. And if it doesn't ping properly, the two blog entries will never link like you expect. Plus, the hyperlink will go to a XML page, and your blog readers won't get to the blog entry you thought you were sending them to. If you want to hyperlink within your blog entry, use the Permalink URL, NOT the trackback URL. With me so far?
Let me walk you through the trackback/ping process. I'm most familiar with Typepad, so these instructions and screenshots apply to Typepad, but hopefully the process is similiar for other hosts. Typepad offers a brief tutorial, but I thought these screenshots might help those visual learners out there.
First, you need to be able to see where to put the trackback URL. This happens on your blog entry interface. It's very likely your interface is not set to show you where to put the URL yet.
As you can see in this screenshot, there is nowhere to enter the trackback URL when making a blog entry. Down toward the bottom of the screen is a link: Customize the display of this page. Click that.
Then you get a pop-up where you can customize the display of your blog entry interface. You have a variety of options, but we're just looking at trackback right now.
Scroll down under Post Screen Configuration. Click the radio button for Customize. Check Trackback URLs to Ping. Choose Save.
Now your Post Screen shows a little box where you can enter the trackback URL.
Where do you find that URL? Trackback URLs are posted at the end of blog entries.
At the end of blog entries, the footer info gives you a variety of information, like the date the blog entry was made, the category, how many comments have been left, and how many trackbacks. Once you find a blog entry you want to ping with a trackback, go to the footer info, and click the hyperlinked word Trackback.
That hyperlink will take you to the trackback URL -- it will say, Trackback URL for this entry -- copy that URL, and paste it into the little window on your blog entry Post Screen/interface, where it says Send a TrackBack to these addresses. Then when you save your entry, your blog host (Typepad, in this case) will automatically ping (or send a message) to the orginal blog entry that you have trackback'd to it. There! You just trackback'd!
One note -- this only works if you're posting directly from the Typepad website. If you use the TypePad QuickPost, you can't manually ping, at least as I understand it. You can, however, make your entry using the QuickPost, save & publish it, then go to the Typepad website, and edit your entry to include the manual trackback ping.
Hope that clears it up a little.
And yes, now I'm going to trackback myself by pinging my original entry: TrackBack -- Blogging's RAK, to complete the circle. ;)