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A new study is being released along with a website that will make new data on digital participation in communities publicly available. Through collaboration with GoDaddy, the world’s largest registrar of domain names, researchers from the University of Iowa and Arizona State University gained access to de-identified data on “ventures." A venture is the term used by GoDaddy to describe discrete domain name websites that are actively being used. Ventures may be businesses, nonprofits, causes or ideas that owners put online.
The density of ventures in a community indicates the extent of online activity in the aggregate, providing new insight into a previously unmeasured dimension of local technology use and capacity. It offers for the first time a clear view of a hidden aspect of communities in the digital economy, unknown because of a lack of publicly available data.
The study and website data show how the density of domain name websites in a community (the number of ventures per 100 people in a county or a zip code), is related to local prosperity and economic opportunity.
Exploring this digitally enabled activity is important for understanding the full impact of technology and future evolution of the economy. This is especially true in the context of rising inequality across places and its consequences for economic opportunity. Ventures represent a resource in diverse communities, large and small, urban and rural. They have the potential to promote community resilience in the wake of the 2020 pandemic.
White Paper A NEW MEASURE OF DIGITAL PARTICIPATION AND ITS IMPACT ON ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY
NY Times coverage