Is trackback dead?
Even his blog posts are ideaviruses!
The first place that I saw a reference to the Banana Guard on Seth Godin's Blog. I sure must read a lot of blogs whose authors also read Seth's blog because I could not believe the number of references to this piece of plastic that, well, protects your banana.
The interesting thing is that there are no trackbacks listed on Seth's site. Most of the sites that I saw that listed the Banana Guard had at least liked to Seth's blogs (although some sites were showcasing the Banana Guard as an original idea, which it very well could have been). Is trackback dead? I personally enjoy taking the time (and it does take time when you're on Blogger because you have to use a third party) to trackback to certain blogs because those blogs are usually great referers.
Just to see how many people had linked to Seth's Banana Guard post, I ran this Technorati search and found that in the Technorati Cosmos there were only 3 links to the post permalink (I've read more than three posts on more than 3 different blogs that refer to Seth's post). So Technorati is a sort of useful replacement for trackback if authors aren't going to use trackback, but even Technorati's not perfect.
What to do? The real answer seems to be that there needs to be common standard that authors adhere to when referencing sources. And the easiest way to have authors follow those standards is to integrate them into blogging software and automate them as much as possible (for example, why can't I use a permalink and just have my blogging software go figure out the trackback URL and handle the trackback for me?).
Until the time of universal referencing guidelines here's a good article on plagiarism from Blog Business World.