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Russian Blogs: Less Echo Chamber, More LiveJournal

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, October 22 2010

The Russian political blogosphere has developed into a rather different environment than its American counterpart has, at least. From a new Berkman Center working paper, part of a continuing two-year study:

  • Unlike their counterparts in the US and elsewhere, Russian bloggers prefer platforms that combine features typical of blogs with features of social network services (SNSs) like Facebook. Russian blogging is dominated by a handful of these "SNS hybrids."
  • While the larger Russian blogosphere is highly divided according to platform, there is a central Discussion Core that contains the majority of political and public affairs discourse. This core is comprised mainly, though not exclusively, of blogs on the LiveJournal platform.
  • The Russian political blogosphere supports more cross-linking debate than others we have studied (including the U.S. and Iranian), and appears less subject to the formation of self-referential 'echo chambers.'
  • The online 'news diet' of Russian bloggers is more independent, international, and oppositional than that of Russian Internet users overall, and far more so than that of non-Internet users, who are more reliant upon state-controlled federal TV channels.

Sounds fun. The rest is here.