Medvedev fires off his first 'tweet' at Twitter HQ

23rd June 2010, Comments 0 comments

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev perched briefly at Twitter headquarters Wednesday as he began courting the micro-blogging sensation and other US Internet stars for a Moscow version of Silicon Valley.

Twitter employees packed into a sixth-floor cafeteria where co-founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone gave Medvedev a crash course in the service, which lets people share terse messages of 140 characters or less and Web links.

Medvedev fired off his first "tweet" from his new account, @KremlinRussia, with a message in Russian that was translated as "Hello everyone, I am now on Twitter."

In a possible sign of a budding Twitter lover, Medvedev immediately launched into a second tweet of "Today I am going to visit the Silicon Valley companies including Apple, Yandex, and Cisco."

Couches were set up living-room style on a raised platform at the back of the cafeteria in Twitter's new headquarters one block from where Apple unveiled the first iPhone and the latest model that hits store shelves on Thursday.

A book case contained a silver framed photograph of Stone and Williams flanking fashion model Tyra Banks. Bicycles were parked in a bike rack along another wall and a large, lighted "@" sign hung from a wall.

"Hey, I just realized you're all not working," Stone said as he scanned the packed cafeteria. "That would mean..."

"Disaster," Medvedev quipped finishing the sentence for Stone.

Twitter is one of several companies being visited by the Russian leader on his tour of Silicon Valley, the birthplace of the high-tech revolution.

Besides Twitter, Apple, Google, Cisco and the US offices of the Russian Internet search firm Yandex were on his itinerary and he was also to make a speech at Stanford University.

"I would like to have my visit be translated into full-fledged relations and into cooperation with those companies," the Russian leader said Tuesday at a meeting with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at a hotel here.

Before departing Russia, Medvedev said his country could use the experience of Silicon Valley to modernize, calling the high-tech hub "quite interesting" for future modernization projects in Russia.

One project Medvedev has singled out as a priority is the setting up of an innovation center in the Moscow suburb of Skolkovo, envisaging it as a Russian Silicon Valley.

The project aims to entice leading Russian and foreign scientists to focus their energies on nuclear and bio-medical technologies, energy and telecommunications.

After wrapping up his US visit, Medvedev is to take part in the Group of Eight and Group of 20 summits in Canada over the weekend.

© 2010 AFP

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