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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Russia Blog Survey

In a brief survey over the Russia-blogging landscape, La Russophobe notices that several previously significant blogs are no more: Siberian Light went belly-up last December, From Russia with Blog became comatose in July and the only Russia speciality blog listed on the New York Times' totally pathetic Russia index page, Laughter in the Dark, is now a dead link (laughably, pun intended, the Times still hasn't noticed this yet). Siberian Light founder Andrew Young currently has a new blog, Taking Aim, but it's a globalist blog without a Russia focus, so Siberian Light is a net loss. Meanwhile, the Accidental Russophile is down to posting once-per-month and may be on life support (maybe, with any luck, he's thought better of spewing out pro-Russia propaganda as the icy fingers of failed dictatorship close once again around Russia's throat). Rusecon, tragically, appears to be in a similar category.

Sadly, La Russophobe's research indicates only a handful of blogs with public counters devoted to discussing Russia in English and regularly posting new material that have made a significant impact on the web. These are La Russophobe, Moscow in My Eyes, Scraps of Moscow, Sean’s Russia Blog, Vilhelm Konnander, Moscow in Our Eyes and EnglishRussia (readers, please let LR know if you are aware of others). Of these only three attempt to regularly address Russia's political and social issues, namely Konnander (most blogs linked), Sean (most links from blogs) and Russophobe (most traffic, not surprising since it's the only one that offers multiple daily postings of new content). This is a mighty small universe indeed, and testament both to the extent that Russia generates titanic non-interest in the eyes of most of the world and to the importance of nurturing the few available resources; those committed to understanding Russia are few and, therefore, essential given the considerable problems Russia presents. The other four blogs are basically just entertainment vehicles offering cultural windows. The photoblog EnglishRussia appears to be by far the most significant English-language Russia blog in terms of both link activity and traffic, although it may be using web-manipulation tactics to generate its flow (oddly, it isn't tagged on Technorati as a Russia blog; if you search Technorati for Russia blogs, the top result is The Agonist, a globalist blog that only occasionally deals with Russia in detail).

Blogs that don't publish counter data include Russia Blog, Russian Blog, One Step at a Time, Renner World, Snowsquare, Russian Dilettante, Russian Marketing Blog and Ruminations on Russia. There's no way of telling how many people are visiting these blogs, but according to Technorati none of them has been linked to by as many as half the number that link to Moscow in My Eyes, the second-place Russia speciality blog in terms of the number of blogs linking to it (after EnglishRussia).


SiberianLight said...

I think you've hit most of the Russia blogs, although from memory there are a few more out there. When I get back from work tonight, I'll dig out my list of Russia blogs.

On a more personal note, I definitely don't post so much on Russian politics now that I've moved to Taking Aim, but I reckon I still manage to put up 3-4 Russia related posts a week on average.

Russia's just one of those countries that it's impossible to let go.

La Russophobe said...

Hi Andrew. I'll be interested to hear any further links and I've added you to my blogoverse column. Russia definitely needs all the help it can get. It's true, once you've go the bug it just won't let go. I guess that is something to do with the inscrutable "Russian soul."