As online booking services have introduced a new era of global travel culture, international travel has become one of the most important areas of post-Soviet cultural development. This article discusses the symbolic economy of Russian travel blogging through the example of independent online community sites created by Russian world travelers for sharing information and combating the dominance of commercial service providers. ‘Symbolic economy’ here refers to the set of representations and interpretations that give travelers their social value as members of the travel bloggers’ community on Runet. My analysis starts with the hypothesis that by supporting the inflow of travel recommendations by ‘ordinary’ people, based on ‘authentic’ experiences into the networks, independent community sites reinforce the horizontal, peer-to-peer quality of the internet. Travel bloggers’ community sites introduce technology-savvy internet users who are not only contributors to the increasing number of travel representations online but also to the architecture of online social networking, and, ultimately, to the architecture of the entire Runet. These qualities emphasize the role of bloggers’ community as an alternative symbolic economy, within which popular contributors become cultural intermediaries who define and frame global travel as a social and cultural construct. As a result, the bloggers’ community becomes an important learning environment for beginning bloggers where they can acquire new digital skills that potentially help travelers to manage the post-industrial economy both at home and abroad.

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