The Web operates at a very large scale and is dominated by emergent phenomena withradical innovations coming from and driven by its users, and in time scales that are faster than those exhibited by earlier computer-based systems. We are just beginning to understand how to conduct scientific research on the huge and constantly changing socio-technical system formed by the web & all the people and agents that use it. Scientific method begins with instrumentation and measurement to describe and characterize what is actually happening - that is, the construction and study of a Web Observatory. Only then can we begin to develop theories and abstractions that enable better design of future evolutions of the systems and quantitative predictions of their behaviour.
- WOW2013: Web Observatory Workshop (#WOW2013)