12-14th of November 2014 Russia hosted “Russian Internet Week,” which was renamed this
year from“Russian Interactive Week”, since the media communication union Softool conference and the Money of the Future conference have combined to create this event. This year RIW welcomed
over 20,000 participants and more than 600 speakers.
The event had a number of remarkable panels and discussions; for example, the opening panel, in which the Runet Economics report (conducted by the Russian Association for Electronic Communications and the Higher School of Economics) was presented by Sergey Plugotarenko (RAEC director) and a New Strategy for Development of Russian Media-Communication Sector through 2025 was announced by Media Communication Union president Sergey Petrov Runet.
The Russian Government has taken an active role in RIW this year. The Government Section was represented by the Minister of Communications of Russia, the youngest Russian minister, Nikolay Nikiforov, who opened his talk byreading Prime Minister Medvedev’s message. In this message, Dmitry Medvedev has called RIW a positive stimulus for Internet development in Russia.
Nikolay Nikiforov has announced a number of strategic ideas for the Russian government, such as competing for global market share in collaboration with BRICs countries; and he has listed several ways in which the Russian government is planning to support local online business and product developers.
Another interesting panel was “How to fight negative information on the Internet” organized by the PR department of the Foundation for Development of Internet Initiatives – a presidential agency. On this panel, powerful Russian agencies such as Rostelecom and the Ministry of Foreign Relations were presenting their methods to promote PR campaigns in social media, and to resist the information wars.
The RIW exhibition attracted a number of successful Russian startups and Internet market players. Many informal events and parties, like the “Golden website” awards, “Internet media awards”, and “Alley of Innovators” were held in the course of the 3-day conference. The only negative fact was, just like last year, was the absence of wi-fi, or even mobile internet access on the event. Organizers explained that it happens every time – since so many attendees try to log in at the same time, the hotspots get overloaded and fail.