While this has little to do with the larger social issues of attribution, and the communication issues of iteration and gossip, it would be nice to be able to track the link chains. There should be a way to do this in Moveable Type, using the posting bookmarklet, but the question is where to store the data and how then to display it.
More specifically, does it make sense to generate a parallel set of trackbacks that remain invisible (in meta tags)? If you did, you could add the chain of trackbacks to your own trackbacked articles. This wouldn’t work well for posting comments (because a single post would propagate up some potentially long chains), but it might then be easily exploited locally to provide a list of pages that were linked.
The alternative, of course, is to track shared links within posts from a central server. Is anyone already doing this? It seems as if it would be relatively easy to do, assuming you have data unitized at the post level (e.g., via RSS). I’ve done this with toy data, maybe I should play with that a bit. It’s not like I have any research to get done or owe anyone papers or anything.