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The Internet

US, Asia, Europe Ceding Web Dominance 123

An anonymous reader writes "A new study shows that presence of the US, Asia, and Western European countries on the web is strongly declining. Newly internet-empowered countries are booming; many geographical regions are showing exponential growth, including Eastern Europe and South America. Chris Harrison explains: 'Countries that have never been able to place a website in the top 500 are now pushing dozens of established websites out of this prestigious list. This trend is both recent (within the last two years) and accelerating. Interestingly, Asia is seeing it's presence eroded the fastest, especially China.'"
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US, Asia, Europe Ceding Web Dominance

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  • Re:Africa? (Score:3, Informative)

    by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @10:06PM (#18737421) Homepage Journal
    There is a thriving Egyptian Linux user community out there.
    We don't hear as much as we should do, but that's likely to be a language barrier rather than technological.
    Its much like knowing there is a great Chinese internet population, but a totally different (and relatively rare) thing to speak to 'native' folks without much Western custom imparted.

    I hope Googles auto-translation thing hits the spot. +users []
  • Re:Africa? (Score:5, Informative)

    by alienmole ( 15522 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @10:16PM (#18737475)
    Googling for "site:za" brings up 16 million hits, so there's some activity there, but compare that to 7 billion pages in the .com domain. That's obviously not an entirely fair comparison, since .com is used globally, but it gives some idea.

    Companies like Amazon have development offices in South Africa, to exploit cheap talent. But in general, although South Africa is industrialized, the proportion of the population wealthy enough to have Internet access is pretty small. Here's an article, Internet Access in South Africa, 2002 [], which suggests 3.1 million users at the end of 2002, and that number wasn't growing fast. Costs for Internet access are still relatively high.
  • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @10:16PM (#18737485) Journal
    This is really pointless. From TFA:

    "Despite the Internet being a global network, the US has traditionally dominated."
    Then later:
    "The Internet is still dominated by the United States,"

    In other words... Nothing has changed. Figures indicate Eastern Europe is now up to 1%, compared to the US, and South America is nearing 2%.

    Good to see it happening, but this is statistical static, worthy of a one-sentence mention in the on-screen ticker of whatever stock/business news program you watch... A complete non-story.
  • South Africa (Score:5, Informative)

    by mac1235 ( 962716 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @10:16PM (#18737491)
    The infrastructure is good here, but there is a monopoly carrier, Telkom. Bandwidth is so exorbitant overseas hosting is common. Unfortunately this is not likely to change soon. see [] for a Telkom hate site, or google "incompetent idiot", the first result is the one you want.
  • Re:Africa? (Score:5, Informative)

    by djupedal ( 584558 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @10:37PM (#18737617)
    Any word on what's up with Africa and internet usage, let alone the most popular domains?

    Based on the contracts I've been validating over the last six months (w/the Chinese govt. making loans to help them buy such things...from Chinese suppliers, of course), Africa is just now getting the hardware to support a telecom infrastructure. I'd give it at least another 24 months before it could even think about penetrating any part of CH's listings.
  • Re:Africa? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Telvin_3d ( 855514 ) on Saturday April 14, 2007 @10:41PM (#18737649)
    A better comparison for your "site:za" (South Africa) might be "site:ca" (Canada).

    South Africa, population 47 million
    Canada, population 32 million

    South Africa .za web presence 16 million
    Canada .ca web presence 107 million

    That's quite the divide, isn't it?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14, 2007 @11:28PM (#18737979)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14, 2007 @11:55PM (#18738149)
    "Where are Canada, Australia, New Zealand?" Here: therdomains.html []

    The international growth page shows everything else (there is about 30 domains represented) - nternationalGrowth.html []
  • by plasmacutter ( 901737 ) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @01:54AM (#18738763)

    Housing affordability is better now than 25 years ago. The biggest problem is that most middle class Americans have decided to carry more debt which makes purchasing a home harder.

    what propaganda have you been reading?

    inflation adjusted housing price indices graphed for the last hundred years. []

    you have it wrong.. most middle class americans are seeing their wages fail to adjust upward to meet inflation due to h1b's and offshoring, and are being forced to run up their home equity like credit cards to maintain their current standard of living.
  • by Chrios ( 514186 ) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @11:25AM (#18741485)
    I am the author of the linked page and have enjoyed reading your comments. I have made an addendum that addresses a number of your points:

    "It should be noted that these trends are only based on the rank of top 500 most visited websites. While providing a good snapshot of web activity, the data does not necessarily scale to the entire web. However, it does provide a reliable measure for sites that are utilized by a broad spectrum of the population, such as search engines or news providers. These, in turn, provide a fairly accurate measure of how connected a country is.

    Also, this analysis is only looking at rank movement and not web traffic. This was purposeful. Web dominance is an effect of top sites jostling - these are the big players that can exert the most political and social influence. The pure number of websites is less interesting, as it is more of an effect of the economy (i.e. when money is flowing, people setup websites for personal and small business use). Additionally, indications are that traffic is growing across the board. Thus, the trends noted here are most likely from new countries growing faster than old players."

    Basically, it doesn't matter how many websites you have, it's how many important websites you have. If the US, Asia and Western Europe loose their dominance in the top 500, they will have no leg to stand on when trying to wrangle the internet and its politics. You can already see the international community starting to put pressure on the US to open the net. It is clear that pressure is only going to increase as US dominance erodes.

    Also, I want to reiterate how fast this is happening. In July 2004, US, Asian, and Western European domains controlled 96% of 500 top websites! By January 2007 (just two and a half years later), that number has dropped to below 80%. And, this trend seems to be accelerating.

    Chris Harrison
  • by Chrios ( 514186 ) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @01:41PM (#18742543)
    Yes, .com (,net, .org) are essentially international TLDs. I agree. I believe my section title remains true: "The death of .net, the rise of .org, and the madness of .com." However, I have changed the title to downplay the US connection.

    However, more important than the fall of .com and .net domains is the rise of international domains. US websites rarely use international TLDs. Yet, these TLDs are growing fast (ru, pl, il, cz, br, etc.). This is a strong indicator that international websites are gaining clout, or at the very least, websites are shifting to country specific domains.

    International TLDs are clearly gaining traction. Take a look at this chart: nternationalGrowth.html []

    In response to domains like .ag and .tv - These domains don't penetrate the top 500, so it's hard to gauge how much influence they have.


"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351