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After playing around with the site for a few days I already see many topics I may write about on my blog in the future. Some are directly related to questions here while others may only use the questions and related discussions for reference or as anecdotes. How do you feel about people posting "pingback" answers to the questions when using them in a blog context?

The pingback would only be a short comment with a link to the relevant blog post, and I think it should only be done—manually;—when the linked post actually adds some value to the discussion in the answers/comments.

Update

Dan wrote:

I'm not totally familiar with how pingbacks work in blog software, but from what I've seen, it looks almost auto-generated. Is it possible to prevent these kinds of auto-generated pingbacks if a user has less than a certain reputation?

I am not suggesting adding support for some kind of automatic pingback, I just called it "pingback" because that's a familiar term for many bloggers. What I actually meant was to answer the question by manually writing an answer that references a blog post. Not only posting the link, but also giving a short description and possibly some background information. As others have pointed out, these answers would be moderated up/down in exactly the same way as any other answer.

Ian Patrick Hughes wrote:

I do, however, worry about DEAD LINKS as answers. They might be chosen and everyone thinks it's the greatest, but what about 6 months from now? 1 year? I mean, yeah, perhaps your blog entry is the dead-to-rights, spot-on, mother of all answers…..but, what does that matter if you do not upkeep the domain, host, or server?

I think the issue with dead links is just as relevant—or not relevant—when posting links to any other online resource. When linking to something for "educational purposes", I think it's important to chose sources that are likely to stay available for a long time. In that context I would be more worried about links to specific products on online stores or information on company web sites, as they (historically) often don't seem to bothered with keeping old links alive.

Modern blogging software goes a long way to ensure unique URIs that are suitable for permanent links, and I would think at least technical bloggers would also be aware of the importance of keeping their article addresses alive, also in the future. I can only speak for myself, but when I publish something online (for others to use as a reference), I make an effort to keep it alive, permanently.

I do agree that short answers can be copied onto the site, but I was actually thinking about longer articles. Simply linking to something on your blog that could just as well have been written directly on the site would of course be meaningless, but I'm guessing those kind of "advertising campaigns" will just be down-voted.

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6 Answers

I think as long as the post is highly relevant to the question, there's nothing wrong with linking back to it after you've written it.

Materially, it would be no different than linking to a relevant page that existed at the time of the question being asked. Going out of your way to create in-depth, relevant content should be at least as acceptable as linking aforementioned existing content, IMO.

As harsh as people generally are around here, I don't think blog-spamming would be much of a problem. People would quickly get voted into oblivion for that sort of activity.

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I think the spam concern is a little misplaced here, since the community has the power to self-regulate.

I do however worry about, DEAD LINKS as answers. They might be chosen and everyone thinks it's the greatest, but what about 6 months from now? 1 year? I mean, yeah, perhaps your blog entry is the dead-to-rights, spot-on, mother of all answers…..but, what does that matter if you do not upkeep the domain, host, or server?

If the code piece or other answer is truly relevant, paste the answer into Stack Overflow and maaaaaybe link back to a full text resource. This way, Stack has the content and its indexed and you get a link to additional material as long as it is available.

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There is absolutely no issue I can see at all with posting links to your own blog. What if Jeff Atwood wanted to post a link to his blog? Would you be having this same discussion? I didn't think so. So what sets him apart?

If your blog helps with the discussion, then post a link! If it is completely off-topic, then people will just down mod it. Problem solved.

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I like Ed's idea, to an extent.

The problem I have with it is, how do you choose what domains should be whitelisted? Stackoverflow contains questions from so many domains, the pool of whitelisted websites would be almost impossible to establish.

I'm not totally familiar with how pingbacks work in blog software, but from what I've seen, it looks almost auto-generated. Is it possible to prevent these kinds of auto-generated pingbacks if a user has less than a certain reputation?

Personally, I find pingbacks to be sort of annoying when reading the comments of a blog. I almost consider it "accepted spam"

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I definitely see your point Dan. Perhaps there should be a requirement that a short-ish description be included with a link. This would warrant the addition of a "mark as spam" button.

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I think it's OK, however it could easily turn into a spamfest. Perhaps at a certain rep (500?) you could post links to sites other than a few whitelisted domains (The Code Project, MSDN, etc.)

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