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Panel: Symbolic Frontiers October 19, 2007

Posted by Sarah in AoIR.
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Here we have a panel about borders, boundaries, and a lot of stuff about linking.

Alex Halavais is looking at Google local and at who links to whom within countries. I missed the first bit of his presentation (having finally managed to connect with my family via IM and, frankly, talking to my three-year-old took priority – sorry Alex!) but what I heard was pretty interesting about how patterns of linking are largely constrained by geographic borders, with the exception that people are linking to the U.S. (generic TLDs) and to the UK.

Darren Purcell is looking at maintenance and importance of borders, and how there’s a “pedagogy of space” (Newman & Passi 1998; I haven’t yet had a chance to track down the full cite) goign on – and that this pedagogy is being facilitated and broadened by ICTs.  We understand borders in a contextual manner.  He used this perspective to address how ICTs are being used to monitor the U.S./Mexico border and how the border is being constructed and taught through a couple of Facebook groups.

Finally, Suely Fragoso talked about in- and out-linking relative to Brazilian (.br) domains.  She and her research group have found that .br domains RECEIVE far more links than they SEND.  They found that inlinks from generic TLDs (.com, .org, .net, .edu, etc.) At this point I wondered about the proportionality of the numbers of links…  because the generic TLDs represent such a large number of DNS entries generally.  Apparently this sort of data aren’t too hard to get, so it’s something that they will be able to look at.

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