According to the survey conducted by ROMIR Monitoring agency in July 2008, most Russian Internet users (30%) enter the global net searching for information. 27% regularly use the Internet for different kinds of downloads, 20% see the Internet as a communication tool and favour the instant messages programs like ICQ, Skype, MSN, etc. 13% of the Internet users in Russia participate in forums on a daily basis.
Making purchases, banking operations and blogging in the Internet are at the bottom of the Internet activities list practiced by the Russians. It seems that searching and social networking function of the Internet is more important for Russians than its role as a provider of many other services like ordering pizza or buying tickets online. This is also proved by the record of top 10 websites in Russia (according to the data of Kommersant newspaper from 04.02.2008):
1. www. yandex.ru
It is interesting to compare the numbers above with the data from the Yahoo! and OMD survey back in 2006. In this survey Russia belongs to the group of countries that favoured email services over all other Internet activities. According to the survey, Russian users would spend 78% of their Internet session writing emails, 50% exchanging instant messages, and 17% of the time performing the online search. The least popular online activity for Russians was blogging with only 15% of the time spent daily on writing and reading blogs.
This comparison reveals that in the last two years there has been a major shift in the role and function of the Internet in the Russian society. We have learned not only to search for the information but also to download it in the amounts unthinkable in other countries. We have learned to communicate in virtual space in real time making the Skype and ICQ one of the favorite icons on our desktop. We have mastered the chat talk and the forum culture, accepting the terms and regulations of its use without even reading them. Nevertheless, such Internet opportunities as blogging, making deals and purchasing remain basically neglected by the Russians. It seems that we still don’t trust the Internet enough to share the most precious things with it. Money and personal experiences escape the pages of online blogs and bank websites and remain the luxury of face-to-face communication.