The phenomenal growth of the World Wide Web has led to the study of how to measure the Web (and its growth and its impact on people and other things). The definitions of what and how to measure this stuff and the measurements themselves are called Webometrics.
I have published a few articles over the past few weeks at Science 2.0 on a new blog called Interwebometry, which I thought was a nice little pun of a name.
My most recent article is “Gazing at the Web from the Back Porch”, in which I discuss how we can view the Web through the referral data we see for our Websites.
Last week I wrote “How Webometrics Become a Liability in Webometry”, which takes a look at the challenges facing Webometry as tools and resources for studying the Web are being taken in-house or simply off-line.
In “Seeking Shape and Cardinality in the 0-Dimensional Web” I discussed the challenges that must be overcome in defining metrics and setting boundaries for crawling or viewing the Web. For example, the Calendar Paradox deals with how one simple widget can generate content than is currently on the Web if you keep crawling it indefinitely.
The introductory article “Reflections of the Realized Imagination” introduces some of the philosophical aspects of Webometry (what is a Web page, where does it exist, how long does it exist) as well as set the pace (I hoped) for the types of articles I want to publish on the blog.
Webometry is not the most frequently discussed topic on the Web by any means but we use it on a daily basis to measure the size of our Websites, the number of sites that link to our sites, the number of sites that mention our content, and more.
Regardless of how easy it is to understand or how little most people may care about it, Webometry is built into everything we do on the Web.