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Russia Online: the Russian-Language Blogosphere and Participatory Internet

Russia Online: the Russian-Language Blogosphere and Participatory Internet

An all-day conference in New York City made possible by the collaboration of the Harriman Institute and the School of Journalism at Columbia University, and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

Conference Wiki:
User: russiaonline
PW: columbia

This conference is open to the public. Seating may be limited. To reserve seating, please RSVP to kva2001@columbia and cc:

Friday, October 17, 2008
8:30 am - 6:30 pm
The World Room, Third Floor
Columbia University School of Journalism
116th and Broadway, New York City

Conference Description and Full Program:

This conference aims to internationalize contemporary media studies by  exploring the changing transnational relationships among Russian-language internet users, bloggers, and their political, cultural, and commercial realities. How do these relationships transcend or reinforce national, linguistic, or cultural borders? What promises, potentials, and problems do emerging communication technologies offer--and how can they help enrich understanding of Russia in a global context? And what other questions are pressing?

The conference provides a unique forum for both academics and practitioners, bringing together leading and rising scholars, journalists, policy activists and other specialists from Russia, the US and Europe.


9:30 - 9:45 am WELCOMING REMARKS
Catharine Nepomnyashchy, Director, The Harriman Institute Columbia

9:45 - 11:15 am PANEL 1: The Promise of the Internet - History, Culture, Identity

The internet has been heralded for its ability to "erase space and time," giving rise to transnational networks and communities that transcend traditional geo-political boundaries. What role--confirmation, counter-study, corrective--does Russian-language blogging play in this narrative?

* Sergei Kuznetsov (Russian Internet Pioneer) The Russian Blogoshere: Past, Present and Future
* Ellen Rutten (Russian Cyberspace) Imagined Amateurisms. Literary Writing in Russian Blogs
* Robert Saunders (Russian Cyberspace) Between the Matrix and Moscow: Cyber-Russians in the Near Abroad

11:15 - 11:45 am PRESENTATION: Mapping the Russian-Language Blogosphere

Visual mapping of the structure of Russian-language blogosphere, using automated social networking tools and human-led content analysis to explore how online network structures reflect the social, cultural and political forces at work in a society.

* John Kelly and Karina Alexanyan, PhD Candidates, Communications, Columbia Research sponsored by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University

11:45 - 1:00 pm LUNCH BREAK

1:00 - 2:30 pm PANEL 2: The Participatory Internet: Politics and Russia

How is the relationship between Russia's political and media landscapes changing? Specifically, how, if at all, has the internet's promise to engage and involve citizens influenced political participation in Russia?

* Ivan Zassoursky (Moscow State University) On Media, Power & the Internet in Russia
* Robert Orrtung (Jefferson Institute, DC) On Online Mayoral Politics
* Floriana Fossato (University College, London)
The Web that Failed: How Political Projects are Failing on the Russian Internet.
A copy of this paper can be found at:

2:30 - 2:45 pm BREAK

2:45 - 4:15 pm PANEL 3: The Internet and Real Life: Commerce, Social Movements, War

What are the contemporary dynamics between Russia online and off? Specifically, what are the relationships between online interaction and current events, business practices, and social movements?

* Anton Nossik (Internet Pioneer) On Commercial Blogging and the Case of SUP
* Olessia Kholtsova (HSE, St. Petersburg), Social Movements in the Era of Blogs: The Case of save_eu
* Ekaterina Lapina-Kratasyuk (Russian Cyberspace) Russian TV News vs. RuNet Information Sites: Opposite "Realities" for Different Communities

4:15 - 5:20 pm DISCUSSION PERIOD

5:20 - 5:30 pm CLOSING REMARKS

5:30 - 6:30 pm RECEPTION

For additional information, please contact the Conference Organizers:

* Karina Alexanyan Fitch (PhD Candidate, Communications, Columbia) at
* Benjamin Peters (PhD Candidate, Communications, Columbia) at

Past Event
Friday, October 17, 2008
8:30 AM - 6:30 PM

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