Is global cyberspace becoming individualized or globalized? Han Woo Park Department of Media and Information, WCU Webometrics Institute, YeungNam University, South Korea [email_address] George A. Barnett Department of Communication, University of California – Davis [email_address] Chung Joo Chung Department of Communication, State University of New York at Buffalo [email_address]
The widespread diffusion of the Internet & telecommunication networks
Global communication systems strengthen the worldwide social relations and cultures are shaped and clustered across national borders (Barnett & Sung, 2006)
Few studies have examined the international Internet’s structure
An alternative approach is the analysis of inter-domain hyperlinks (Barnett, et al, 2001).
Hyperlink is the technological capability that enables a website to link with another
WWW is a distributed hypertext system consisting of a virtual network of content and hyperlinks, with billions of inter-linked pages (Almind & Ingwersen, 1997; Kleinberg & Lawrence, 2001)
Web’s social structure as a technological link and communication network at the level of nation-states
Global Communication Networks
The structure of international telecommunication
(1) Increased centralization of communication flows ( Barnett et al., 1996; Barnett & Park, 2005; Chase-Dunn, 1989; Chase-Dunn & Grimes, 1995; Lee et al., 2007; Wallerstein, 1974)
rooted in a broader perspective of economics emphasizing the asymmetry between countries
world-system theory ( Barnett et al., 1996; Barnett & Park, 2005; Chase-Dunn, 1989; Chase-Dunn & Grimes, 1995; Lee et al., 2007; Wallerstein, 1974)
(2) Increased diversification of communication flows (Barnett, 2001; Danowski, 2000; Lee et al., 2007; Matei, 2006; Monge & Matei, 2004; Robertson, 1992)
increasing trends of decentralization, regionalism or cultural pluralism
Longitudinal studies with respect to the Internet are difficult to conduct
Some attempts to automatically index the changes within a website over time
Little research in examining the longitudinal hyperlink structure generated by WWW on the international level
Did global cyberspace follow the main trend toward globalization and centralization of resources or become individualized and fragmented ?
Literature Review and Related Theories
RQ1: What is the current (2009) structure of the international hyperlink network?
RQ2: How has the international hyperlink network changed between 2003 and 2009?
Hyperlink connectivity between websites that belong to ccTLD
AltaVista and Yahoo were used respectively for 2003 (Barnett & Park, 2005) and 2009
Automatic analysis of the impact of collections of web sites
Link Impact Report
In the case of the U.S., three TLDs reserved for the exclusive use of American institutions, .edu, .gov, .mil were combined with .us
Methods - Data
The basic network data set
an n x n matrix S, where n equals the number of nodes in the analysis
The basic network data set is an n x n matrix S, where n equals the number of nodes in the analysis
Each cell, Sij , indicates the strength of the relationship among nodes i and j
Freeman’s degree centrality, Bonacich’s eigenvector measure, hierarchical cluster analysis, MDS, Gini coefficient and QAP correlation and regression
Methods - Network analysis
Table 1 International Hyperlink Centrality of the Top 30 Countries
Figure 1. International Hyperlink Flow Network (2009)
The s ize of the concentric circles indicates the hyperlink connection density among countries. The thickness of the line connecting two nodes is proportional to the connection density between the two nodes. Only those ties exhibiting greater than 1 million hyperlinks are shown. All isolates have been removed from the figure. N=251.
Figure 2. Incoming International Hyperlink
Drawn using ManyEyes.com
Table 2. International Hyperlink Networks Comparison (2003 vs 2009)
Figure 3. International Hyperlink Structure in 2003
Only those ties exhibiting greater than 50,000 hyperlinks are shown (Barnett & Park, 2005). N= 47.
Figure 4. International Hyperlink Structure in 2009
Only those ties exhibiting greater than 400,000 hyperlinks (eight times more compared to 2003, based on eight times degree difference) are shown. N=47.
QAP Correlation & Regression
The relation between the centrality of the 2003 and 2009 hyperlink networks of the 47 countries was significant (in-degree, r = .798, p < .01; out-degree, r = .815, p < .01; eigenvalue, r = .821, p < .01).
The QAP correlation between the 2009 and 2003 data was only .406 (p < .01), accounting for only approximately 16% of the variance in the two networks.
Some obvious and interesting changes
The international hyperlink network became more centralized over time.
The composite score (Gini-based core/peripheral measure) of the 2009 network was 0.466, whereas it was only 0.291 for the 2003 network.
The greatest changes were found among the most central countries.
Europe as a whole was much more central, particularly Germany.
The BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries showed a number of changes.
The numbers of Brazil’s and Russia’s hyperlinks increased from 2003 to 2009.
China had fewer outward links.
India had fewer inward links than expected.
T he centralities were distributed as a power curve (R 2 ranging from .798 to .821) as Barabasi (2002) predicted, suggesting disproportional growth in the number of hyperlinks by the increased nodes (countries).
Whereas there was only one group in 2003, regional, cultural, and linguistic groupings formed in Latin America, Scandinavia, and around China and Russia in 2009.
The structural position of a country is a result of its interactions with other countries
The structural position of a country determines its potential for development and its interaction patterns
The international hyperlink network became more centralized around G7 nations and Spain, with Western European countries joining the USA at the core.
At the same time, regional clusters developed in what may be characterized as the semi-periphery.
Otherwise, the overall structure of the international hyperlink network remained relatively stable.
No indicators of the reliability of the measurement procedures or the validity of Yahoo’s search engine
Difficulties in addressing the nodes of Canada, Germany, and Indonesia, which share their domain names with various U.S. states
.tv, Tuvalu’s domain name, is primarily used by the television (‘TV’) / entertainment industry
gTLDs such as .com, .net, .org or .eu websites need to be decomposed