• Understanding the limitations of the ccTLD as a proxy for the national web: lessons from cross-border religion in the northern Irish web sphere

    Peter Webster (see profile)
    Digital Humanists
    Internet, History, Christianity, Church history
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Northern Ireland, Internet history, Ecclesiastical history
    Permanent URL:
    National web spheres include content that resides within geographically non-specific domains, such as .com or .org. However, little is known as to why this content ‘lives’ outside the ccTLD. The island of Ireland is formed of two political units with two ccTLDs (.uk and .ie). This chapter takes the case of the Christian churches in Ireland as a case study in the mapping between the nation and the ccTLD. It investigates the degree to which the differing historic attitudes of Protestant and Roman Catholic churches to national identity are reflected in patterns of domain registration. Based on data for 2015 and 2016, Roman Catholic congregations were more likely to register domains outside the .uk ccTLD. However, there was no corresponding prioritisation of registration within .uk for the several Protestant denominations. That organisations that might be expected to register their web estate within a particular national domain do not in fact do so suggests that the ‘gravitational pull’ of the ccTLD is weak. The chapter also shows that the networks of links between the individual Baptist church congregations on both sides of the border between 1996 and 2010 was both tightly focussed around the churches in Northern Ireland, and also highly localised within one part of the province, whilst being spread across four TLDs. While offline patterns of numeric strength and geographic concentration are reflected online, they map only very loosely onto the ccTLD.
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Last Updated:
    3 years ago
    All Rights Reserved


    Item Name: pdf webster_nationalwebs_2019.pdf
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