Towards an understanding of Web growth an empirical…

Towards an understanding of Web growth: an empirical study of socio-technical web activity of Open Government Data :

“This thesis proposes a new interdisciplinary approach to understanding how the World Wide Web is growing, as a socio technical network, co-constructed by interrelationships between society and technological developments. The thesis uses a longitudinal empirical case study of Web and offline activity surrounding the UK Open Government Data communityto explore the Web as a socio-technical `networks of networks’. It employs a mixed methods framework, underpinned by sociological theory but also drawing on computer science for technical approaches to the problem of understanding theWeb. The study uses quantitative and qualitative sources of data in a novel analysis of online and offline activities to explore the formation and growth of UK Open Government Data and to understand this case, and the Web itself. The thesis argues that neither technology nor `the social’ alone is sufficient to explain the growth of this network, or indeed the Web, but that these networks develop out of closely co-constructed relationships and interactions between humans and technology. This thesis has implications not only for how the Web is understood, but for the kinds of future technological design and social activity that will be implicated in its continued growth.”