WordPress.com blogs are now able to be set to “private”, restricting access and viewing to only those with passwords. I think private blogs are fabulous, allowing those who don’t want anyone to read what they write the ability to blog in privacy, and specific groups of people to blog for each other and themselves, free from prying eyes. Private blogs are great for businesses and groups who want to share their information with each other, and make it exclusive by being “members only.”
I’ve gotten several trackbacks from private blogs. The sentence around the link to my posts appears in my trackback, which means at least that much isn’t private. Private blogs have no distinguishing marks on their trackbacks, so if I click on the URL to their site, I get a warning that this is a password only, private blog. No chance to read what they wrote about my post, and no clue as even what this blog is about.
I certainly don’t want links on my blog that go nowhere, and certainly not to private blogs. What a waste of time for my readers to see something interesting written in a trackback, click it, and come to a dead end. Useless.
It’s up to you if you want your blog private for you or your group. That’s swell. However, if you have trackbacks and pings turned on, WHY?
If you want your blog private, and you don’t want everyone and anyone to have access, turn off your trackbacks and pings globally. Go to Options > Discussion and turn them off.
If you only have the occasional blog post set to private, than turn off pings on a per-post basis in the Write Post Panel > Discussion subpanel.
The Debate Over Trackbacks from Private Blogs
As to what to do with the private blog trackbacks on my blog, that’s a good question.
There is the possibility that the private blog may “unprivate” itself in the future, making this link become viable. But should I wait for that time, a time that may never come?
I’d love to hear your opinion on what to do with private blog trackbacks on your blogs. For now, if it says something intelligent and “nice”, I may leave it, or edit it with a warning that this links to private, password only blog. If it says nothing much, or unpleasant things, I will probably delete it.
In the interim, if you have a private blog, and intend to keep it that way, turn off your pings and trackbacks and save people the trouble of debating over your delete.
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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network