Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


This episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign first ran six years ago today.

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Johnny Atsign Logo 2ANNOUNCER: From Westminster, it’s time for—

SOUND: Skype rings once.

JOHNNY: Johnny Atsign.

RULE 5 Girl: (Telephone Filter) Good morning, Johnny. Have you seen The Grouch’s Twitter feed this morning?

JOHNNY: No, I’m still nursing my first cup of coffee. I haven’t looked at it for a couple of days. What’s up?

RULE 5 GIRL: (Telephone Filter) Yesterday, he tweeted that he’s not responsible for his pingbacks because WordPress sends them.

JOHNNY: Uh, huh.

RULE 5 GIRL: (Telephone Filter) He thinks that will let him skate at his contempt show cause hearing.

JOHNNY: Does he? I’ll take a look.

MUSIC: Theme up and under.

ANNOUNCER: The Lickspittle Broadcasting System presents W. J. J. Hoge in the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed Twitter account, America’s fabulous free-lance Internet investigator …

JOHNNY: Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign!

MUSIC: Theme up to music out.

JOHNNY: The following is partial extract of the tweets sent and received during my investigation of The No Pings Only Matter.

THE GROUCH TWEETS: (SYNTH VOICE) A WordPress Engineer says they sent the pingback and email automatically.

JOHNNY: The Grouch wasn’t able to abide by a request from someone to be left alone, so he wound up with yet another peace order issued against him. He was under a court order not to have any further contact with the victim. Of course, The Grouch being The Grouch, he found a way to contact the victim again. He wrote up a blog post and included a link back to the victim’s blog.

Both The Grouch and his victim use WordPress as their blogging software, and the default setting for WordPress is to send and receive pingbacks when a link is created. That feature can be turned off at either end.

I went over to The Grouch’s Twitter timeline, and, sure enough, he had tweeted a portion of a communication from a WordPress engineer saying that pingbacks were handled automatically.

After reading that tweet and the instructions about pingbacks published online by WordPress, I decided to give them a call to clarify some points. I spent a while talking to their voicemail system and was eventually able to leave a message asking for a call back.

SOUND: Skype rings once.

JOHNNY: Johnny Atsign.

WORDPRESS GAL: (Telephone Filter) Mr. Atsign, this is Ada Lovelace from WordPress, returning your call. How can I help you?

JOHNNY: I’m conducting an investigation and need some technical advice concerning pingbacks.

WORDPRESS GAL: (Telephone Filter) We gathered that from your message. I’m the software engineer who is responsible for maintaining that part of our system.

JOHNNY: Good. Your documentation says that pingbacks are automatic.

WORDPRESS GAL: (Telephone Filter) They are. If the sending blog hasn’t disabled pingbacks, then when it publishes a post with a link, a pingback is sent to the linked blog.

JOHNNY: You say, “If the sending blog hasn’t disabled pingbacks.” I take that to mean that sending a pingback is optional.

WORDPRESS GAL: (Telephone Filter) Well, yes. The default setup for WordPress has pingbacks enabled, but they can be turned off.

JOHNNY: How? Is it complicated.

WORDPRESS GAL: (Telephone Filter) No. Do you have a blog with us?

JOHNNY: Yes.

WORDPRESS GAL: (Telephone Filter) OK. Go to your Dashboard.

JOHNNY: Right. I’ve got that up.

WORDPRESS GAL: (Telephone Filter) Now, move your cursor to the Setting menu item. When the pop up window comes up, select Discuss.

JOHNNY: Yep. Got it.

WORDPRESS GAL: (Telephone Filter) Read the top line.

JOHNNY: It says, “Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article.”

WORDPRESS GAL: (Telephone Filter) If that box is checked, your blog will send pingbacks. If you don’t want to send pingbacks, simply uncheck it.

JOHNNY: Uh huh. And I could do that just for one post, and turn pingbacks back on when I finished with that post.

WORDPRESS GAL: (Telephone Filter) Sure.

ANNOUNCER: Say, when’s the last time you stopped by The Hogewash Store? If you haven’t been by for a while, you should check out the Johnny Atsign and The Grand Hog stuff along with all the Team Lickspittle, Collateral Estoppel, and Res Judicata trinkets—and then proceed to checkout to spend some of your hard earned money in support of Team Lickspittle. You can also show your support by hitting the Tip Jar.

JOHNNY: My blog isn’t much. It’s private, and I won’t tell you the URL. I used it to check out what Ms. Lovelace had told me. I wrote a post and included a link to a blog run by one of the geeks who helps with with analytical work.

GEEK: (Telephone Filter) Yeah, Atsign, I just had an email saying that I have a pingback from you. When I went to my comment section, there it was.

JOHNNY: OK. I’m gonna uncheck that box and publish another post with a link to your blog. Give me a call if anything shows up.

GEEK: (Telephone Filter) Sure thing.

SOUND: Telephone receiver hung up.

JOHNNY: I published the new post and waited for The Geek to call.

SOUND: Crickets

JOHNNY: The first pingback email and comment with through in under a minute. I let a couple of hours go by, and then I called The Geek back.

GEEK: (Telephone Filter) Nope. Not a thing.

JOHNNY: So it seems that WordPress does “automatically” send pingbacks, but only after it’s instructed to do so by the creation of a live link. It also seems that it is possible to prevent one’s blog from telling WordPress to send a pingback.

I can think about someone to whom I should pass that information.

JOHNNY TWEETS: (SYNTH VOICE) @TheGrouch No pings only!

MUSIC: Theme up and under

ANNOUNCER: Now, here’s our star to tell you about next week’s intriguing episode of our story.

JOHNNY: Next time? A stacked deck, you say? Let’s see how the cards are dealt. Join us, won’t you?

Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign!

MUSIC: Swell theme and under

ANNOUNCER: Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign, starring W. J. J. Hoge, is transcribed in Westminster. Be sure to join us next Monday, same time and URL, for the next exciting episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign.

MUSIC: Theme up to music out.

ANNOUNCER: Johnny Atsign is a work of fiction. If anyone thinks it’s about him, he should read Proverbs 28:1.

This is LBS, the Lickspittle Broadcasting System.

* * * * *

So people are certain that the Internet and various application work just they way they want them to. Some people actually read the manuals.

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