Abstract - The Information Society 24(4)

Welsh Without Frontiers? Use of the Community Metaphor in Wales' Sponsored Top Level Domain Bid

Courtenay Honeycutt

This paper assesses Wales' chance for winning the sponsored Top Level Domain (sTLD) .cym through a comparison with Catalonia's .cat campaign. sTLDs are considered important promotional tools for regions like Wales and Catalonia because of perceived benefits for the online 'language and culture community,' and as such, the community metaphor is employed extensively in both campaign. Although Wales has support comparable to Catalonia from government, individuals, and organizations, subtle differences in how dotCYM (the website of Wales’ campaign) promotes .cym's role in the Welsh online community may hinder the bid. Comparative discourse analysis suggests that dotCYM believes .cym will help define a potential Welsh online community, rather than one currently existing, and reveals confusion about who should be in this community. Finally, dotCYM is inconsistent in its use of the community metaphor, stating that .cym will help create "Welsh without frontiers," a notion contradictory to some scholars' understanding of community.


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