Since its launch in 2008, the Russian project Snob, involving a printed magazine and a website, has fascinated observers as the first example of a self-proclaimed Russian elite network, joining the league of asmallworld.net and affluence.com. Sponsored by billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, the project initially resembled yet another invention by New Russians who are eager to flash their riches, with its online social network serving acting as yet another exclusive club. However, in 2009 the site was opened for guest access and membership by subscription; it is now possible not only to establish the basic facts of the site’s interface, design, membership numbers and profile options, but also to analyse the interests and characteristics of the so-called ‘Snobshchestvo’ community. The result of the analysis reveals that we may have to reconsider not only our perception of this particular elite, but also, more generally, our understanding of the social aspect in online social networks.
Language of contribution: English