1. Understanding the Russian Blogosphere
Fri, May 7, 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Columbia University, International Affairs Building, Room 1501
Media Dialogues Across Boundaries
Eugene Gorny (e_g) and Roman Leibov (r_l), two founding fathers of the russian Internet, discuss the state of the Russian blogosphere.
2. Dear Profs. Nepomnyashchy, Timberlake, Yang,
It came to my attention that two LiveJournal users Eugene Gorny (e_g) and Roman Leibov (r_l) (see the attached LiveJournal announcement) self-proclaim themselves as the founding fathers of Russian Internet. I wonder if this statement is true. I actively use Russian internet since early 90ies and I have never heard of these two individuals. Please clarify on what grounds they make such a bold statement.
Stas Polonsky, PhD
Research Staff Member
IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
3. Dear Dr. Polonsky,
You will note that our announcement reads “founding fathers of the Russian internet,” not “THE founding fathers of the Russian internet.” Indeed Eugene Gorny and Roman Leibov were among the earliest shapers of the Russian internet, particularly in the cultural sphere, which may be why you are not familiar with their work. See on Gorny for example: http://nethistory.ru/editors/1042578891.html and http://www.zhurnal.ru/staff/gorny/english/cv.html as well as his book: A Creative History of the Russian Internet: Studies in Internet Creativity. On Roman Leibov, you can see http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9B%D0%B5%D0%B9%D0%B1%D0%BE%D0%B2,_%D0%A0%D0%BE%D0%BC%D0%B0%D0%BD_%D0%93%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%B3%D0%BE%D1%80%D1%8C%D0%B5%D0%B2%D0%B8%D1%87 (and I can assure you that I myself have been aware of Mr. Leibov’s sites on culture for almost 15 years. Thank you for your interest in our project and best wishes, Catharine Nepomnyashchy
Catharine Theimer Nepomnyashchy
Ann Whitney Olin Professor and Chair, Slavic Department
Barnard College, Columbia University
4. Dear President Bollinger,
I would like to draw your attention to the unhealthy situation that might compromise the outstanding reputation of Columbia University.
Columbia University hosts the conference "The Etiology and Ecology of Post-Soviet Communication" (7-9 May 2010, http://nmc.wikischolars.columbia.edu/Conference). The conference program lists the talk "Understanding the Russian Blogosphere" by Eugene Gorny and Roman Leibov, defining the authors as "two founding fathers of the Russian Internet." I submit to you that this claim is a gross misrepresentation. The term "Internet founding fathers" is applied to the technical contributors like Leonard Kleinrock (packet switching), Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn (Transmission Control Protocol), Tim Berners-Lee (World Wide Web), and some others. The same logic applies to Russian segment of the Internet. The two mentioned conference presenters do not even have the requisite education background that would allow them to technically contribute to Internet development. I realize that these individuals might have contributed to Russian Internet content development (as well as thousands of other people), but this has nothing to do with being "founding fathers." I shared my concerns with Prof. Catharine Theimer Nepomnyashchy of Slavic Department. She dismissed my concerns by arguing that I do not understand the use of English articles (see below). This answer, to say the least, is cynical.
In conclusion, these two individuals unjustly use Columbia's reputation to claim something that does not belong to them. I suggest that you should have a closer look at this development.
Драматическое развитие событий, скажу честно. Слежу с замиранием.