What is Ping-O-Matic?

pingomaticlogo
For some reason this morning, I was browsing the web and came across the Ping-O-Matic website and noticed in the footer that the servers the site runs on were donated by Automattic. This peaked my curiosity so I browsed the Automattic website to see if Ping-O-Matic was listed as a sponsored project. It’s not. However, if you view the Automattic blogs page, the site is mentioned at the bottom with the following text:

Ping-O-Matic isn’t an Automattic project, but it shares some of the same folks and is highly relevant to the blog ecosystem, so it’s worth including here anyway.

This left me wondering why servers were donated to Ping-O-Matic without it being labeled a sponsored project while the service was mentioned on the Automattic blogs page. As it turns out, Ping-O-Matic is a Matt Mullenweg project created on April 20th, 2004. The purpose of the site is simple. To ping multiple, popular services so that your blog post is indexed on those sites which results in an increase in traffic. The site currently lists 21 different services that you can ping at one time with 5 specialized services. I can’t help but comment that the logo image as well as the overall look and feel of the site scream 1990s to me but it gets the job done.

List Of Ping Options
List Of Ping Options

One thing I did notice though last night is that the stats page for Ping-O-Matic appears to be broken. All I see is a giant, blank, green square. Let me know in the comments if you see the same thing. In the past, this area of the site featured all sorts of data that you could play with.

Another thing that I found a bit disappointing is the Ping-O-Matic blog. Updates regarding the service were frequent from January 2006 to April 2006 and since then, not one update has been published to the site. Some folks would automatically consider the site dead or at least the development aspect of it if a blog hasn’t been updated in over two years. But, Ping-O-Matic works just fine and if you use the following URL http://rpc.pingomatic.com/ in your WRITING SETTINGS under Update Services, WordPress will automatically send out the ping for you to the various services it supports.

Questions

So in the end, we have a nice pinging service that can easily be plugged into the back end of WordPress. It’s not sponsored by Automattic and appears to be under complete control by Matt. The blog for the service has not been updated in over two years and while everything regarding the service works just fine, I wonder if Ping-O-Matic is just one of those loose ends that has become forgotten in light of the entire WordPress project. I’d rather have the dev blog for Ping-O-Matic either updated with a post or just hide the thing so it doesn’t look like the site or blog has been neglected for over two years.

Do you use Ping-O-Matic? As for myself, I don’t automatically ping any sites and do things the manual way. Don’t want to get banned for pinging too much. If you don’t want to use Ping-O-Matic, you don’t have to. Check out this article on the Codex which contains a wide assortment of replacement pinging services you can add to the Update Services box.

16 Comments


  1. i don´t think matt forgot about it, but it´s just a project that probably doesn´t need that much attention. he mentioned in the blog posts that he worked together with the services like technorati and bloglines and probably he talked to the other guys as well, so the only part on the development side of pingomatic probably is implementing stuff that the services send to him when they´re changing their process. probably that stuff comes already coded from the services, so it could be that “development” is just a copy+paste job on matt´s part. Of course i could be completly wrong with that, but that´s how i would do it hehe.

    So yeah, the blog made sense when pingomatic was developed and when it still was having troubles, but right now there´s probably no need for it. i also don´t believe that there are actually many people who really visit the site since it´s the standard service already built in in wordpress. i can´t remember how it was in 2006. Was pingomatic also already built in or did you have to go to the site to get your pings out? i didn´t start to use any pinging service until 2007.

    Today i use pingomatic by default, i´m a lazy guy and if there´s a service that helps me saving time, i´m very thankful for it… even if their blog is updated less frequently than my own :D

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  2. I’ve had WP install setup to use Ping-O-Matic for a long time, but I don’t think it’s worked (properly) in ages. Some sites (Technorati, etc.) just don’t get updated via Ping-O-Matic, although the settings appear to be correct (maybe it’s an issue with Technorati’s RPC?).

    It’s still in my Update Services settings, but I may go back to setting up pings for individual services.

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  3. @tekzt – You’re correct. Most of the development for the service was centered around getting the Ping service to work as quickly as possible since at one point in time, sending out the pings became the slowest point in actually publishing a blog post. I think the Ping-O-Matic website is just a sign of what was. I was thinking about the site just disappearing while leaving the service available to use through the RPC link but then, people outside of WordPress would not be able to easily use the service which is probably why the site is still online.

    @Chip Bennett – When I submitted my sites on the Ping-O-Matic site, all of the pings were sent just fine although I don’t have any details as to whether or not the sites received the ping update.

    Do you guys know if your blog sends out pings if you simply update a post?

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  4. @Jeffro I don’t think most blogs send out pings when posts get updated.

    Perhaps Auttomatic had to donate resources to pingomatic so that it could handle the traffic from WordPress.com?

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  5. @ryan: i think pingomatics url is just a redirection and runs on the same servers as wordpress.com.. how come? blog.pingomatic.com actually is a wordpress.com blog. i know, that doesn´t mean anything and could just be for that subdomain, but like i said “i think”, that doesn´t mean i know anything at all lol.

    Like Jeff already quoted in the post, it shares some folks with automattic and probably they just do not label it as official automattic project because they didn´t want to make it seem like this is to push wordpress, which was probably the intention of this project – to make wordpress blogs more visible to the public – which of course for us is a good thing. I don´t know much about automattic, but i know about marketing. Whatever it is, i believe they just do not want to work with other companies officialy, so they started a new company for that.

    i think pingomatic is also a big part why wordpress pages already get good SEO rankings and are indexed very fast without doing much about it. Many people use it without even noticing it.

    just had another idea: could the antitrust agency be an issue when automattic teams up with let´s say technorati? i know it could be in europe, but don´t know about the US.

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  6. i think that by default, WordPress uses Pingomatic. Notice that it is included in the Settings > Writing section of the dashboard.

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  7. I’m still confused. I’ve got a new blog, running for about a week. Using the latest version of wordpress. Each time I make a new post am I meant to go to ping-o-matic and fill in the form, or, does wordpress automatically ping all those services when I click on publish post?

    cheers

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  8. Every time I try to use Ping-o-Matic, a page comes up saying slow down….I’ve already sent out pings within a few minutes, which I havn’t…..I use google blogger…..does anyone have any ideas on how to resolve this? It was great when it worked……I also get a blank on the stats page…..interesting…..

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  9. @Jan Clizer

    That happened to me, when I send an update, i go back to the home page and then close the page down – that seems to help!

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  10. I myself prefer using Feed Shark as it’s the only ping service that doesn’t give me any errors. Ping-o-Matic on the other hand keeps telling me to “slow down”, even if I haven’t used it for months!

    For those of you who are interested: Feed Shark

    Hope this helps!

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  11. Good Morning:

    I am new and clueless, so I appreciate your help.

    What does one do to add another separate blog to Pingomatic? When I click the Pingomatic link to add a second blog, the first blog I initially added comes back up on the screen although I have exited Pingomatic.

    Thank you.

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  12. I’ve always used Ping-o-matic to submit my new blog posts, within a few hours, I would find that Google has already indexed them!
    So it’s definitely recommended

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