Yesterday I received 2 TrackBack pings for my entries on MT-Blacklist Updater and my October 2003 monthly report. What is interesting about these TrackBack pings is that the entries they were sent from had almost nothing to do with what was discussed in my entries. I began to think that I have got my very first TrackBack spam. Am I really famous? The answer to that question, of course, is an emphatic no (thanks for the compliments though, Kyrah).

Being curious and, as I'd like to think, benevolent, I decided to post a comment on one of the suspect TrackBack-happy entries:

I've no idea why you sent a TrackBack ping to my weblog entry which has totally nothing to do with the things discussed here. I have deleted it.

I looked through your entries and noticed that you pinged other people too.

I hope you aren't offended if I begin to think you are a Trackback spammer! Unless you have a good explanation, I will submit your Trackbacks as spam to Jay's comment spam clearinghouse!

It was later that I found out that at least 2 other guys, Heiko Hebig and Martin, received the TrackBack pings of the same suspect nature as I did. Hmmm... it seemed that we may be onto a spammer here. But that would be jumping to conclusions a little too early. I have been going on without saying anything about the person or the weblog which sent the TrackBacks, but I have to make it clear here that it is my view that the mentioned person isn't a TrackBack spammer, but rather a (very) misguided TrackBack-trigger-happy blogger.

Christoph Cemper has responded to our complaints with an entry entitled TrackBack Spam complaints. He says the purpose of sending TrackBack pings is to

notify others that you wrote about the same thing

and later goes on to say:

to notify Person B was my intention.

Yes that is very much the reason for sending TrackBack pings, but I have to question how what Christoph wrote about can qualify as the "same thing" when they can hardly be qualified as vaguely related. Don't think so? Check out my entries and the pings Christoph sent (see bottom of this entry). Ahem! Just because my entry mentions "Google PageRank" doesn't mean that your entry on Google PageRank is a form of "continuing the discussion", much less writing about the same thing. At least, that is how I interpret the way TrackBack should work.

As a last note, I leave it to readers to judge for themselves the relatedness of the entries from which TrackBack pings were sent to my entries. For my entry on MT-Blacklist Updater, this is the pinging entry. For my October 2003 monthly report, this is the pinging entry.