So, you have a blog, you’re adding posts to it. The question is, how do you tell the world that your have new content? Well, your regular readers will be using RSS to subscribe to your blog and will be notified of new posts. However, how do you tell the rest of the world that something new has happened on your blog?
The answer is Ping Services. When you’ve updated your blog, your software can send an XML-RPC ping each time you create or update a post. These services process the ping and update their proprietary indices with your update. Now people browsing sites like Technorati or Google Blog Search can find your most recent posts! I’m currently using 2 ping services at the moment: Pingomatic and Fakapster. The former ships out of the box with WordPress, while Fakapster is a bit more exotic.
Fakapster is an XML-RPC update service that is slightly different to the rest. It has an AI engine that categorises blog posts automatically as it received them. It’s still in development, but in the future, subscribers will be able to recategorise these posts to “teach” Fakapster about any discrepancies in the categorisation it is making. Cool stuff huh?
The other thing I wanted to mention is a plugin I’m using to actually do the pings. Instead of the standard WordPress one, I’m using one called Smart Update Pinger which keeps a log of responses from the ping servers. That way I know if any of them is no longer responding. It also ping the Ping Services only when a new post if submitted, no need to ping when a post is edited.