Internet-Saavy Medvedev No Tsar of Blogosphere

President Dmitry Medvedev may be the most powerful man in the country, but it appears to be an entirely different story in the Russian blogosphere.

Medvedev's video blog, Blog.Kremlin.ru, was ranked No. 429 on Tuesday in a blog power rating maintained by Russian-language search engine Yandex, which ranks blogs according to several factors, including the number of users who posted links to a given blog.

The president's blog, launched in October, was well ahead of Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky's blog (No. 1,084) but trailed that of liberal politician Nikita Belykh (No. 403), whom Medvedev tapped last year to become governor of the Kirov region.

Perhaps even less flattering for Medvedev's web presence, while more than 10,000 people had registered to leave comments on his blog as of Tuesday, a mere 50 had subscribed to receive regular updates about his blog posts, according to Yandex.

Zhirinovsky, by comparison, had 10,045 official subscribers, while Belykh had 2,607.

Of the more than 6 million blogs tracked by Yandex, Medvedev's was ranked No. 293,326 according to the number of subscribers.

The situation surrounding Medvedev's virtual popularity may not be so grim, said Alexander Plyushev, a prominent blogger who hosts an Internet-themed program on Ekho Moskvy radio.

The Yandex ratings could be deceptive because they do not account for the number of people reading Medvedev's blog without registering first, Plyushev told The Moscow Times.

Medvedev's miniscule number of subscribers could be explained by the fact that unlike most Russian-language blogs, Medvedev's is not registered at Livejournal.com, meaning that Livejournal bloggers cannot subscribe, Plyushev said.

As of late Monday, 10,219 people had registered at Medvedev's blog, about one-quarter of whom had left comments, the blog's moderators said in a post.

Medvedev, who has made his Internet savvy part of his public image, launched his blog on Oct.7. Last month, he opened the blog up for comments from visitors, promising to read the monitored remarks "with great interest."