http://www.vkontakte.ru is the most famous online community in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and other CIS countries. It was created by Pavel Durov, Russia. I can say that Vkontakte.ru is the Russian version of Facebook.com. Community is very big, counts in millions of users. All my friends have their blogs in this community. It allows communicating by using different applications, like: messages (private message, wall message). It allows sharing interests in groups, share video and music.
Technical issue. Site is very comfortable to operate. You, as a user, can use Vkontakte as a Winamp player, to listen to music. Also, you can watch movies (Unfortunately, speed is low in Kazakhstan, and you have to wait for loading.)
Social issue. I have made a lot of new friend by interest (music,education,theatre,films) That makes this community socially interesting.
Vkontakte.ru involves people of different cultures, different age, and get all to participate somehow. My mother has her own pages in the community. She has her group “Yoga for mind body”, where she has 887 members. They all communicate, sharing their experience and important information.
It shows the importance of this community.
Issue of privacy. Privacy is very important for this community as for all its members. You have a lot of options in order to protect your privacy. You can open or close your pages. You can create your Black List. Also, you can send “anonymous opinion” that will hide the name of sender.
I find this community very successful, also in getting MY participation.