TrackBack Challenge & Response?

So, TrackBack spam.

At this point, a nice specification is being used to spam the crap out of people. [It’s kinda like RFC 822. Of course, now that I say “RFC 822”, I have to ask, “Is that really the email RFC?” I Google RFC 822, and it is, and I again sit amazed at the amount of useless crap that sits inside my head. Anyway.]

What’s needed here? The idea that’s popped into my head today is some kind of challenge/response system. Of course, the next idea is user reg, but that’s fraught with peril—because centralized user reg means that someone has to maintain the spammers, or that you have to build a system on top for people to rate the centralized users, and in any regard, you’re creating a shitload of work; elsewise, you’re asking me to user reg every site I want to TrackBack? Oi!.

I started this thinking that challenge/response along a user reg system would work, but man … it’s still a hell of a lot of work. Of course, so is cleaning up TrackBack spam.

But … TrackBack was originally, in some ways, a nice way to say, “Hey, I linked to this, or I saw that your entry had something to do with it; I think my words on this are worth your time to read, so I’ll send you a TrackBack ping … and you can do with it what you will!”

All of that was meant, originally, to save people the time and the … embarrassment factor of saying, “Yeah, I wrote something about this … I’d love your feedback” in comments. Because, really, if Brad posts something cool, and that inspires me to write something in response, well … where does the conversation go? Ideally, I want my feedback to happen on my site, because that’s where I want conversation about what I said, and not what my thoughts on someone else’s thoughts are.

I’m beginning to wonder why I even bother with TrackBack.

That’s kinda sad.

Brad … JohnJeff … any ideas? Anyone?