More postcodes: hyperlocales, postcodes, and regional variations

I must be sounding slightly obsessed with postcodes at the moment…

UK postcodes are expressed as follows: B42 2SU. The postcode district in this example is ‘B42’. Frequently postcode districts are used as part of the identity of a hyperlocal website (e.g. expressed through logos and URLs) as a shorthand way of describing their hyperlocale, or their patch.

I just did a quick count on the Openly Local database [usual caveats of incomplete data apply], and ten percent of listings for England featured a postcode description within their listing within their name, URL, or location data.

Although clusters within Birmingham, London and Hull were evident, the convention of linking the hyperlocal brand a to a postcode district was pretty spread throughout England.

Interestingly the convention did not cross into Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland (with the exception of one Scottish hyperlocal website). So what have the devolved regions got against the postcode? Or rather, why are the English so keen on managing their sense of space through them?

A third of the English hyperlocals that referred to a postcode within their branding belonged to the same aggregated platform that had imposed postcode based delineation upon the publishers, so that accounts for some but not all of it.

By Jon Hickman

Hi, I'm Jon. I teach and research digital culture, social media and new media practice at Birmingham City University. Find out more about me with this lovely CV: Find out about my work at the Birmingham Centre for Media & Cultural Research: