I went to a post-graduate lecture yesterday. Prof. Nick Jankowski was talking about Investigating Online Communities: Considerations and Proposals for Empirical Research and maybe I had my hopes set up a little too high. It was still an interesting talk, and the debate that took place after. There`s one quote I simply must share with you. Professor said (on the subject of web-communities analysis) : “We set the theory, we did the model-setting but nobody did the empirical part”.

And I ask – Why exactly is that? and Where is the point then?

In my opinion, the web is practice before theory. You observe and then write down your findings, fusing them into a single theory. What you do not do is make up a theory and then do not follow it with empirical data. Where`s the point of that? Theorising about something that might even not exist in the “real” world?