Friends and Partners

Click on any region of the image of interest to you.

From Russia and from America comes a new information service called "Friends and Partners" -- one of the first information systems jointly developed by citizens of these two nations.

It is hoped that it will, at least in some small way, promote better understanding between our nations by providing instruction on our people and our cultures, by providing a common base of information about issues affecting relations between our countries, and by providing a common 'meeting place' where folks can find and communicate with each other.

The menu items below are offered as hypertext links to other resources: (1) Friends and Partners -- more information; (2) History of our nations; (3) Geography of our nations; (4) Art and music; (5) Literature; (6) Languages; (7) More Information Resouces; (8) Education; (9) Science; (10) An information base of funding and exchange opportunities; (11) Economics; (12) Tourism and travel information; (13) "Life"; (14) News and Weather; (15) USA Demographics; (16) Russia Demographics; (17) etc . . . (others? please suggest!).

We have started a new service called "Who's Who" which contains two databases: current "friends and partners" subscribers and an on-line directory of almost 5,000 records providing name and address information of folks with e-mail addresses in the NIS. This database is provided courtesy of the Citizens Democracy Corps.

We have established an electronic mailing list (listserver) to help facilitate communication for this project. Please feel most free to join by clicking here. If you'd like to read or search the 'daily digests' which are posted each day to the listserv subscribers, please click here.

Dirk-Willem Van Gulik has built us a nice, interactive 'coffee house' (we're still looking for a good name!) where folks can post messages, carry on discussions, etc. Click here to visit.

If you wish to learn more about this project (including examples of other Internet-based services), please click here.

If you would like to see the server's usage statistics thus far (as of February 8, 1994, please click here. (size: 135K)

A "What's New" page has been created to help you keep abreast of changes and additions to this service.

At the moment, this is more a 'framework' of an information system -- more 'heart' than substance. The goal is to help others build upon the framework -- to create and link together information on our nation's histories; our art, music, literature, and religion; our educational and scientific resources; our geography and natural resources, our languages; and our opportunities for communicating, travelling, and working together. The 'end product' -- an evolving and continually changing information resource -- should be useful to many and will hopefully help bridge the gap of understanding that exists between our nations. It will hopefully also demonstrate the potential for good that exists with this wonderfully chaotic, global resource we call the Internet.

Scientists should be able to use the service to find information about funding opportunities and exchange programs, access various databases and library resources, and locate potential colleagues and co-workers. Teachers and educators at all levels should be able to find and contribute interesting and up-to-date material to assist in their instruction -- making their courses more 'alive' and more pertinent to real world issues. Folks in business should be able to learn about the economic environment and opportunities in both countries as well as the rules and laws pertaining to conducting business. Artists from all fields (and their patrons) should be able to learn about, meet and work with each other. And people from all walks of life should be able to learn more about these two nations -- so closed off from one another for so many years.

The primary motivation of this service is to help introduce new friendships and partnerships between our peoples. It hopes to build upon the excellent work already being accomplished by our governments and by the various groups, centers, and institutes who have been working for so many years towards this same goal of cooperation and friendship.

Perhaps the only difference from other efforts is the intention to use the World Wide Web on the Internet as the method of communicating information. The World Wide Web was chosen because of its ability to handle mixed media (text, graphics, audio, etc.), the excellent graphic and non-graphic browsers available for free on the Internet, and its ability to 'integrate' information from all of the best Internet-based tools and utilities -- Listservers, Gophers, WAIS indexes, FTP archives, etc.

We will soon be providing a 'mirror' of this server (in both Russian and English languages) in Pushchino, Russia (near Moscow) on the computer of co-developer Natasha Bulashova. This will be one of the first information system of its kind in Russia. One of the most exciting developments underway in Pushchino is the development of a 'virtual network' of biological sciences information. This is being established as a global information resource on biological sciences research and will be offered soon as a part of this overall service.

Important Note: We hope to quickly broaden the scope of this server to incorporate information and communication with all of the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union. The information content of this server must reflect a much larger constituency than just our two nations and we should work towards that end. (but, of course, one step at a time . . . )

About the authors . . . We are Natasha Bulashova, of Pushchino Russia, and Greg Cole of Knoxville, Tennessee, USA. Our careers in information science led to our meeting via the Internet and to our discovery that despite cultural differences, a steep language barrier, and the misunderstandings upon which we were raised, we can become good friends. It is our greatest hope that this server will help others do the same.

Natasha Bulashova                                     Greg Cole
Pushchino, Moscow Region                   Knoxville, Tennessee
Russia                                 United States of America