The project was masterminded and directed by Yaroslav Ognev who has been serving as its editor-in-chief since its foundation. While RIA Novosti states that the project web-site was launched in February 2004, a whois service query indicates that the domain name had been reserved since 2001.
While the service has several professional translators on its payroll, a noticeable fraction of translations is performed by its eager readers on a voluntary basis. Readers also participate in media monitoring, as they may suggest an article for translation.
The site has a forum where new publications are discussed. The moderation policy is rather loose and allows for a variety of views. Material that can be regarded by editors as promoting competing reader projects will be censored though.
An unusual phenomenon that took off recently on InoSMI forum can be described as a massive voluntary effort in translating into Russian other readers' forums hosted by foreign media.
InoSMI also invites leading foreign journalists and editors to discuss the publications with Russian readers. For instance, Stanislaw Lem's conference with the inosmi.ru readers (on 17 Jan. 2006) was the last press conference before his death.
InoSMI claims a daily audience of 70000-90000 visitors, most of them from Russia.
The site ranks 191st among Russia-based websites.