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By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-06-25 Print this article Print

While blogs have opened the Web to more voices, the medium also is changing the dynamics of online interaction. They even can be the best defense against an overly nasty flame war, according to panelists. Mena Trott, co-founder and CEO at blog software maker Six Apart Ltd., said her company made use of one of the main features in its Movable Type software to its advantage—trackback. Trackback allows a blog publisher to track and list other blogs that are referring to and writing about a post.
Six Apart last month introduced a new pricing model for Movable Type, a move sure to draw some negative reaction, Trott said. But Six Apart decided to use trackback when sharing its pricing news through the companys blog because it provides more pertinent feedback than a blog comment section or customer e-mails, Trott said.
"If we had had open comments then it would have been a thousand times worse because it would breed anonymity," Trott said. "The accountability of Weblogs is that they are your online personality." Six Apart recorded between 800 to 900 trackbacks from its original posting about the pricing changes and another 300 to 400 when it asked for more feedback in a later blog posting, Trott said. Bloggers often wrote essaylike responses and provided insight that helped shape a revamped pricing structure for Movable Type announced last week, she said. Check out eWEEK.coms Messaging Center at for more on IM and other collaboration technologies. Be sure to add our messaging and collaboration news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page:  

Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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