The U.S. State Department organised a delegation of IT luminaries to visit Russia and discuss the state of the web industry. Aside from U.S. officials the group included executives from U.S. tech firms such as Twitter, Ebay and Cisco Systems. Ashton Kutcher, a regular Twitter user with over 4.5m followers bought some star quality to the delegation. As Conor Sweeney of Reuters pointed out:
The delegation is meeting Kremlin officials, universities and private businesses to see how Russia and the United States can work together on technology issues, one of the projects set up by the two countries as they seek to improve relations.
As you might expect the event has been covered well on Twitter, under the hashtag #RusTechTel. Ashton livestreamed the event on Sunday Night at the offices of Yandex, files maybe found here. (time dependent). Finally you can find some pictures from Esther Dyson here.
Largely the conference has been covering the basics and informing the delegation about the current state of Internet development in Russia.
An interesting question but the learning experience may possibly be two-way. Lack of investment and Russia’s particular form of short-term capitalism may force sites in Runet to develop paid models sooner than their American peers. It’s a good conversation to have though, and long overdue.
This figure was supported by the ComScore study, which shows Yandex has 91% growth and has now become the 8th largest search engine globally.
Social usage in Russia at 6hrs/month compares well with social network usage in the U.S. A recent Neilsen study put this at 7hrs per month for FaceBook. This explains why social networks in the West are so keen to impact the Russian market. So far the leading social networks of VKontakte and Odnoklassniki and have around 90m users between them.