MOSCOW, July 19 (RIA Novosti) – Blogs and social networks have become central to the ongoing anti-government protests in Russia, but according to a new poll, most Russians have either never heard of bloggers or have heard the word used but do not know what it means.
Twenty-six percent of respondents in a poll by state-run VTsIOM said they had not heard the word “blogger” before, while another 29 percent said they are familiar with the word but do not understand it.
Of those who have heard about “bloggers,” 29 percent identified them as people who blog, the survey, released Friday, says.
Another 10 percent said bloggers are people who express themselves, interact, or exchange information over the Internet. One percent defined bloggers as “good-for-nothings.”
Also according to the poll, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev tops the list of famous bloggers: 20 percent of the respondents were aware of his online activities.
President Vladimir Putin came second with 8 percent, even though he has no blog. VTsIOM suggested that respondents might have been thinking of his official presence on social networks.
Also on the list were TV star-turned-political activist Ksenia Sobchak; opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who made a name for himself through his online anti-corruption exposés; and politicians Mikhail Prokhorov and Vladimir Zhirinovsky, each scoring 2 percent.
As for what motivates a blogger, “sharing information and opinions with others” was the top explanation, picked by 43 percent of the respondents. Other popular options included “attracting attention” (35 percent), “interacting with other people” (27 percent) and “it’s fashionable” (18 percent).
The nationwide poll, held earlier this month, covered 1,600 respondents and had a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.
About 65 million Russians, or 55 percent of the adult population, went online at least once a month, VTsIOM said earlier this year.