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Popularity 4Viewed 24279 times 2016-9-18 13:49 |Personal category:Personas|System category:Life| 网红, Internet celebrity, Ayawawa

网红,or Internet celebrity, is a new product of the century, stars of the new media, who are eager to be heard and be known. Their popularity exceeds this of the celebs in movies, soap operas and pop music. They are in the TV commercials. If you don’t watch TV, but follow the news on the Internet, you’ll find even more of them. They are on the billboards on the streets, they are in your WeChat promoting another face mask or a beauty product, they are in Weibo (the main platform for Internet celebs), in Instagram, Facebook etc. What made them so exceptional, so outstanding, so well-known?

It should be mentioned first, that most Internet celebs target young people, scholars or university students. Wang hong’s stories are engaging: one started posting short videos and photos on  Weibo and suddenly discovered people expressed a great interest in her persona, then she decided to make it a way of earning money with more than a million of followers (罗休休); another one discovered a drawing talent and now is earning money in the Internet by posting topical comics and attracting millions of followers to her account in social network platforms (牛轰轰); another Internet celeb has always been fond of writing, now she is in the top-50 Internet celebrity billboard (Ayawawa). With a revenue as high as several million RMB a year, they pose an inspiring figure for those youngsters in China, who are still in two minds about which path to take in life, who are eager to make money by doing something creative, something they would love doing instead of mundane office work. As Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”.

While this saying might be true in a way, being that “red” involves a lot of work. And investment. And time. It is not simply one person whom you observe on media platforms. It is a team of creators, agents, writers and what not who are controlling the whole working process. At Red Bang World Internet Celeb Forum (红榜世界网红大会), that was ongoing for two days from September 16th to 17th, Ayawaya, a popular Chinese Internet celeb, said she needs only 15 min for compiling an article of a couple of thousands words. She has a team of writers and she edits the content and makes sure it matches the whole idea of her blog. Her posts cover the hottest topics: relationships between men and women. The devotion of her followers already put her on the pedestal of psychology experts. For ten years in a raw, she has been enjoying her fame.

Ok, but is being Internet celebrity only about money? The foreign Internet celebs, or how they prefer to call themselves – influencers – do not agree with the idea that Internet popularity must be necessarily monetized. The English project Symmetry Breakfast founders, Michael Zee and Mark van Beek, were also among guests and speakers at the World Internet Celeb Forum (红榜世界网红大会) in Beijing. Their work is based in Instagram, every morning they cook breakfast, which is always unique, for two, and put them in s symmetrical position. They said they do it because they really love what they are doing. Sometimes they are making promotional campaigns for brands for free, to support them, or they organize charity events, where all the money goes to good causes. The last charity campaign was to donate money to victims in Syria.

Another foreign project, which became popular online, is Tastemade. People engaged in this project are posting short videos with step-by-step explanation how to make certain food. They actively cooperate with food giants like Kellogg’s, Krafts, Coca Cola etc. A worrying thing is how heathy is the food they are promoting? The majority of food videos are teaching you how to make sweet desserts, rich in fat lunch or alcohol cocktails.

Now we came to the question, do the “influencers” influence us in a good way? They promote certain brands and products, they make their own brand lines – be it a clothing line or cosmetics, they are publishing posts, and all of that is called to attract followers, and, subsequently, money. How far should an “influencer” go in pursuit of fame? What do you think about the brands they promote? How mych do you trust people on the billboards?

Please, leave a comment.



(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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Reply Report seanboyce88 2016-9-18 15:05
An interesting topic but one I feel too old to understand (which is surprising at 28)

A few things that always bug me when the topic of internet celebrities come up:

1: why does anyone watch these people? Is your life so boring that watching someone else  NOT LIVE THEIR LIFE is more interesting? seriously, I don't get it.
2: These people contribute pretty much nothing to all honesty and yet they make millions? I mean, true their are lots of jobs that are very similar and equally contribute nothing to society, who says we even must contribute...but some of these people are idolised for being nothing but attention seekers. Its just another sign of our descent into narcissism...the glorification of narcissists.
3. a team of writers are needed for a girl to talk about "internet celebrities breaking up" or some equally dull topic? I mean, are you kidding me? So this internet "personality" doesn't even show her own personality? It's that of a team of writers instead?
4: the pointless of some of these shows beggars belief. Watching people make breakfast? watching girls eat food? watching someone watch tv?

maybe I am too full of cynicism for this BS...but it just seems to me that the people who watch these shows have nothing to do with their own lives and the government could be providing something more interesting to do. I fill up my time with a combination of dance, study, martial arts, exercise, music and socializing. I have so little time on my hands I wish the day consisted of 48 hours. As I think of these imbeciles watching these shows....

Seriously, 悲天悯人 is a phrase that I have found no use for in day to day life until I seen these internet celebrities.

On one final note...I am happy to say, I have heard of none of these people. I know only of the British based pewdeepie and thats only due to reading an article on someone making millions playing computer games.
Reply Report Dracarys 2016-9-18 22:47
Now there are a lot of people join this 'team' but obviously law is not completely covered this 'area'..And there are some erotic things happened and it's influence us in a bad way ..
Reply Report BlondeAmber 2016-9-20 01:00
seanboyce88: An interesting topic but one I feel too old to understand (which is surprising at 28)

A few things that always bug me when the topic of internet cele ...
it seems to me that the sort of person who needs to watch other people like this have no idea how to deal with the REAL pace of life, which is a lot slower than the pace of life on tv or the internet.

To be truly happy, you have to be able to be happy in your own company without the aid of electronic equipment.

Like you, i enjoy activities that require me to interact with real people, and i also study in my free time.
Reply Report seanboyce88 2016-9-20 10:13
BlondeAmber: it seems to me that the sort of person who needs to watch other people like this have no idea how to deal with the REAL pace of life, which is a lot s ...
I think some people are just waiting for life to cut to the next car chase. I have even encountered people in my life who seem to create drama out of nothing and thrive on it. I imagine such people to be the ones who watch such shows.

It's interesting what you said about "pace of life", I hadn't really thought about it like that but it rings true. Watching tv shows, its cut after cut of something interesting whereas a lot of daily life involves less action packed activities. Finding happiness in such activities is how I believe you begin to be contempt with your life.
Reply Report BlondeAmber 2016-9-20 14:43
seanboyce88: I think some people are just waiting for life to cut to the next car chase. I have even encountered people in my life who seem to create drama out of  ...
There is one Scandinavian country that prohibits tv for toddlers because that is the time of their life that they can become 'hard-wired' into thinking the tv 'pace of life' (very fast) is the normal 'pace of life'.
it is suggested that this is one reason there are more children with attention deficit disorders - they can't cope with how slow real life can be.

Equally, children who have been brought up being 'entertained' the whole time have difficulty dealing with mundane or repetitive tasks.
Reply Report YoungXu99 2016-9-27 13:02
Why so popular of such kind of "fast-food culture"?  You made a good start but as well as a major concern from many people who are trying to influence other's behaviors and thoughts, is it about human being's dominant ambition expression because of their real life's unsuccess in mordern fast-pace society. Everybody wants a share from the huge market, for fun, for money, for psycological comfort. One has his/her own reason. but so many in this internet pot, will cook not a delicious dish, when you  go to app searching, the internet live show apps are like gabage everwhere. many of them (female) show legs and brests to the public to gain presents for making a huge profit by doing nothing good to others, really, I doubt my words, it is like everything has its reason, everyone has their favourite consumption for time and life, internet was invented by human, so whatever is happing now certainly is managing by a group of people. They excel at making something from nothing. gameplayers enjoy the biggest shares.

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