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Understanding cross-border
religion in the Irish web
Dr Peter Webster
Webster Research and Consulting
@pj_webster / @WebsterRandC
Times and Temporalities of the Web
Paris, 1-3 Dec 2015
One island, two nations
Counties of Ireland, north and south
(Wikimedia Commons)
CC-BY-SA 3.0
A unique mix of faith and politics?
Ian Paisley and Edward Carson, Stormont (1985)
(Burns Library, Boston College, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0 via Flickr)
Cross-border religion?
• Three historic Christian denominations:
RC, Presbyterian (PCI), Church of Ireland
• all three organised on an all-Ireland basis
• … spanning two political jurisdictions
• …. and two ccTLDs - .uk and .ie
All-Ireland religion
Church of Ireland dioceses
(CoI, via Wikimedia Commons)
CC-BY-SA 3.0
Plan A research questions
Using link graph data, to ask:
• how does web estate of each church
interact across the border (& between
ccTLDs)?
• are there distinct web spheres for each in
NI and the RoI?
JISC UK Web Domain Dataset
(1996-2013)
• copy of Internet Archive holdings for .uk
• bought by JISC, held by British Library
• 60TB of data
• no direct access to content
• prototype search at webarchive.org.uk/shine
• derived datasets in public domain
• no equivalent for .ie
UK Host Link Graph (1996-
2010)
2008 | catholic_church.co.uk | catholic_church.ie | 4
2001 | belfast_anglican.co.uk | derry_anglican.co.uk | 1
2002 | derry_anglican.org.uk | derry_catholic.co.uk | 1
Data in public domain: data.webarchive.org.uk
But UK not just .uk
British Library Legal Deposit archiving
2013: 3.9 million seeds with .uk domain names
2014: non-.uk but geolocated in UK: 2.5 million hosts
http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/webarchive/2015/07/geo-location-in-th
e-2014-uk-domain-crawl.html
So where are the domains ?
Domains Coverage .uk .com other .ie
% % % % %
RC 100 < 40 12 64 21 3
Where are the domains? (2)
Domains Coverage .uk .com other .ie
% % % % %
RC 100 < 40 12 64 21 3
PCI 203 < 50 43 17 40 -
Other denominations
• Church of Ireland: c.75% in .uk
… but many more are: parish.diocese.anglican.org
• Methodists (Belfast): >50% in .uk
• Free Presbyterian : >70% in .org
(Tentative) conclusions
• >50% of NI religious web outside .uk ?
• no easy reading of political sentiment in
national domains
→ need to understand why content is where it
is
• link analysis hard in national web archives
Questions ?
Peter Webster
peter@websterresearchconsulting.com
@pj_webster
peterwebster.me
websterresearchconsulting.com

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Understanding cross-border religion in the Irish web

  • 1. Understanding cross-border religion in the Irish web Dr Peter Webster Webster Research and Consulting @pj_webster / @WebsterRandC Times and Temporalities of the Web Paris, 1-3 Dec 2015
  • 2. One island, two nations Counties of Ireland, north and south (Wikimedia Commons) CC-BY-SA 3.0
  • 3. A unique mix of faith and politics? Ian Paisley and Edward Carson, Stormont (1985) (Burns Library, Boston College, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0 via Flickr)
  • 4. Cross-border religion? • Three historic Christian denominations: RC, Presbyterian (PCI), Church of Ireland • all three organised on an all-Ireland basis • … spanning two political jurisdictions • …. and two ccTLDs - .uk and .ie
  • 5. All-Ireland religion Church of Ireland dioceses (CoI, via Wikimedia Commons) CC-BY-SA 3.0
  • 6. Plan A research questions Using link graph data, to ask: • how does web estate of each church interact across the border (& between ccTLDs)? • are there distinct web spheres for each in NI and the RoI?
  • 7. JISC UK Web Domain Dataset (1996-2013) • copy of Internet Archive holdings for .uk • bought by JISC, held by British Library • 60TB of data • no direct access to content • prototype search at webarchive.org.uk/shine • derived datasets in public domain • no equivalent for .ie
  • 8. UK Host Link Graph (1996- 2010) 2008 | catholic_church.co.uk | catholic_church.ie | 4 2001 | belfast_anglican.co.uk | derry_anglican.co.uk | 1 2002 | derry_anglican.org.uk | derry_catholic.co.uk | 1 Data in public domain: data.webarchive.org.uk
  • 9. But UK not just .uk British Library Legal Deposit archiving 2013: 3.9 million seeds with .uk domain names 2014: non-.uk but geolocated in UK: 2.5 million hosts http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/webarchive/2015/07/geo-location-in-th e-2014-uk-domain-crawl.html
  • 10. So where are the domains ? Domains Coverage .uk .com other .ie % % % % % RC 100 < 40 12 64 21 3
  • 11. Where are the domains? (2) Domains Coverage .uk .com other .ie % % % % % RC 100 < 40 12 64 21 3 PCI 203 < 50 43 17 40 -
  • 12. Other denominations • Church of Ireland: c.75% in .uk … but many more are: parish.diocese.anglican.org • Methodists (Belfast): >50% in .uk • Free Presbyterian : >70% in .org
  • 13. (Tentative) conclusions • >50% of NI religious web outside .uk ? • no easy reading of political sentiment in national domains → need to understand why content is where it is • link analysis hard in national web archives