In the age of the digital generation, written public data is ubiquitous and acts as an outlet for today’s society. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn have profoundly changed how we communicate and interact. They have enabled the establishment of and participation in digital communities as well as the representation, documentation and exploration of social behaviours, and had a disruptive effect on how we use the Internet. Such digital communications present scholars with a novel way to detect, observe, analyse and understand online communities over time. This article presents the formalization of a Social Observatory: a low latency method for the observation and measurement of social indicators within an online community.