Hub and terminal: Developing a method for textual analysis on the World Wide Web

Christopher Paul


Although the World Wide Web offers a wealth of texts for analysis, the design of the Web opens questions about where potential research objects begin and end. This paper focuses on how the links underlying the Web can both facilitate and deny connections to other sites, which, when viewing the texts based on their interconnectedness, gives scholars a means by which to constitute a text to analyze while preserving the dynamism of the links within a Web site. Two terms are developed to address the dynamics of different sites, with “hub” and “terminal” design becoming metaphors for the ways in which three online sites engage in the process of (dis)connecting themselves to the Web at large. Using the metaphor of hub and terminal design for analysis of Web texts offers scholars a means by which to stabilize a Web site and offer a platform for textual analysis.

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