Since I've bombed comments from Cobb, I expect to get trackbacks instead. I've gotten them and I'm happy.
As I go around the web searching for publicity, something well shy of the second oldest blog profession of link whoring, I've noticed something new. For lack of a better word, it's shotgunning. Instead of linking mutually between bloggers, many bloggers have decided to cast their fate to any number of publicity engines. Some of these I know, most of them are completely alien. I think this signals the death of trackback, or perhaps some vote that it never worked. I like trackback, in fact I'm devoted to it, but I wonder...
At the top of these publicity engines are things we know. That would include Digg, Reddit, Delicious, RSS. Then there are some which are vaguely familiar, like Bloglines and Fark. But what the hell are Blinklist, Newvines, Shoutwire and Spurl? Simpy? Mr. Wong?
It seems to me that if you give your users a choice of this pub engines to register their liking of your blog post you disperse, rather than concentrate your readership. I cannot imagine that this is anything more than link inflation. I mean you'll need a search engine to look through all of those registries of your blog to find you blog. And then what are the chances that helps you towards knowing?
There is a really hilarious and yet insightful parody over at The Onion. It's this video about police detectives sorting through some ungodly number of digital artifacts to figure out that a fire was not arson. But of course real detectives don't have to actually do that - they reduce the number of things they have to think about and they blow off the superfluous.
But what are we encouraged to do that gets us to the bottom line? It seems to me that broadcasting and expecting 'the wisdom of crowds' to do the work of detectives is a lazy, brute force tactic. It's the direct opposite of scholarship. Trackbacks represent the investment of a bit of detective work by one blogger to another. That's valuable. Link ubiquity is not, it's just an enabler for search engines.
One thing that I am doing that is different is publicizing through Twitter - but that's because I hand pick those I follow, and I presume that others do the same - ie they handpick me. I'm registered at bit.ly. We'll see how that goes.