Browsing the web today I came upon this interview in the International Herald Tribune with ‘Tim’ the creator of the English Russia blog.
“Just imagine how many unknown stories and photos are hidden in Chinese Web sites and available only to a Chinese audience,” he wrote in an e-mail. “So we decided to start from the country we know, or, to be exact, Russia and the countries comprising the former Soviet Union.”
Tim refused to give his full name, saying by telephone that, as a serious Web designer, he did not want his name associated with the site.
There are some fascinating stats in the article. I’m green with envy at the level of traffic English Russia receives – approximately 200,000 visitors per day and, back in August this year, English Russia was the 155th most popular blog in the world, according to Technorati’s ranking. As I write this, the ranking has fallen slightly to a not at all unimpressive 242nd!
The common complaint about English Russia resurfaces – there’s nothing new on it:
“There’s nothing original,” said Mikhail Chekanov of Rambler Media, owner of the Russian search engine Rambler.ru. Chekanov said the site just picks up items from other Russian Web sites.
Interestingly, the article shied away from directly addressing copyright issues.
But the model seems to be working well enough for Tim – English Russia has earnt enough over the last year or so for him to hire his first full time employee, who spends most of his time scouring Russian websites for interesting things to post.