Pisarevskiy Vasiliy Gennadievich, Information and analytical center official, Orthodox St. Tikhon Humanitarian
University (Bldg. 5a, 23 Novokuznetskaya street, Moscow, Russia), email@example.com
Background. The purpose of the study is to determine the basic characteristics of the Orthodox Internet audience in the social network “Vkontakte”.
Materials and methods. The paper presents the M. Castells’s and G. McLuhan’s concepts of the information society, as well as the approach of “Web 2.0” suggested by the researcher of the Internet as a communication system Tim O’Reilly. The applied method of research is content analysis based on targeted advertising service in the social network “Vkontakte”. This service allows the researcher to evaluate the target Internet audience according to a number of criteria, including outlook, gender, age, geography, interests, etc. Quantitative indicators helped to define the Orthodox Internet core audience.
Results. The “Vkontakte” Orthodox core audience is the age group of 20–30 years and partially of 30–40 years. This is the most socially active and educated people (26,4 % of members of the 20–30 years group and 33 % of representatives of the 30–40 years group have got higher education), and, as some specialized studies show, they constitute, for example, 24 % of the audience of the “Orthodoxy and the World” and become the most loyal part of the general audience.
Conclusions. The “Vkontakte” Orthodox audience is much broader than that of Orthodox sites and portals and in many aspects it can be considered a potential audience of Orthodox RuNet. For example, there are very few Orthodox sites that have a wide audience coverage and systematize the Orthodox experience of working
with youth aimed at the age group of 15–20 years old users (the group’s percentage among all Orthodox “Vkontakte” users is 29,6 %). The strategic objective of both Orthodox groups in social networks , including “Vkontakte”, and those leading Orthodox portals is to increase the audience via the age groups of 20–30 and
30–40 years, being the most active members of the target audience.
information society, Orthodox RuNet, “Vkontakte” audience, social network analysis, religious Internet communications, Web 2.0.
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