Ghost writer behind online celebrity

  At 11: 00 a.m. on Thursday, An An is responsible for posting WeChat tweets.

  She manages a food WeChat service number and posts four articles a month. Every time she presses the "OK" button, she will involuntarily click the article several times and check it again and again. Sometimes I am worried that there is something I wrote wrong, and sometimes I can’t help but want to read the article.

  The first thing An An goes to the office every day is to check the messages of fans on the micro-signal. The feature of this account is that the interaction between fans is particularly enthusiastic, and there are often long messages of more than 300 words, pouring out their love for food.

  She will conveniently forward the funny messages she saw in the background to the group chat with her friends and make fun of a few words. "I don’t know where so many people have leisure and leave such a long message. Don’t they all go to work?"

  Although the article is written by herself, when reading the message, An An often has a sense of alienation that has nothing to do with himself.

  Because the author’s name repeatedly mentioned by fans has nothing to do with An An.

  The chef named "Tina" (a pseudonym), who is followed by more than 80,000 fans, says in her personal profile that she graduated from a culinary art college in Canada, worked in Michelin restaurant and now lives in Shanghai.

  Ann, who actually writes every article for this account, graduated from a business major in a university in Shanghai two years ago and has never been exposed to professional cooking knowledge before.

  Friends and family members can’t say clearly what Ann is doing in her work, except that she has to write a lot of manuscripts, writing after work and writing on weekends.

  Although she has never claimed to be so, Ann is a ghost writer behind online celebrity.

  We’re all fake Tina.

  An An is employed by a technology company to help online celebrity write articles. When introducing her work to others, she will officially say that she is engaged in new media operation, which is also known as WeChat WeChat official account "Xiaobian".

  However, unlike the team editing system, Ann’s real name will not appear in all articles published by her, no matter the position of the author or editor. So Ann is called "ghost writer", hiding her true identity and writing articles for online celebrity.

  Tina’s WeChat WeChat official account often shares all kinds of food practices. Tina herself provides professional knowledge, such as making tools, materials and practices. Everything else is written by An An.

  Last month, Ann received a topic to visit several famous bakeries in Shanghai and write an evaluation in Tina’s tone. An An and a designer in the company responsible for taking photos for this push ran around the city for a day, tasted six or seven stores, bought a copy of the word-of-mouth products of each store, and prepared to take it to Tina for professional comments the next day, so as to finally write an article.

  One of them sells bagel bread, so we can’t leave it until the next day, so we have to eat it in class. Ann quickly wrote down the types of shellfish introduced by the waiter on the paper. The designer girl carries a SLR on her back, but she still uses her mobile phone to take pictures of the environment and food in the store, saying that it looks like a photo taken at hand, and it is more everyday in the WeChat graphic, just like Tina usually comes to eat.

  Ann took a bite of bagel bread with three layers of beef patties and told the designer that we were all fake Tina.

  The reason why these "online celebrity" accounts need writers who can’t reveal their real names is because they believe that readers can have a closer connection with the corresponding characters behind the accounts through personalized expressions.

  Lemon works in a food e-commerce company in Beijing, and their boss is also a online celebrity, who has more than 230,000 fans on Weibo.

  The proprietress started to use Weibo in 2010. At the beginning, she only used this platform to write down the story of starting her own business. Because of her frankness and frankness, she gradually gained a group of the earliest fans. In a self-introduction on the newly-opened WeChat WeChat official account, I wrote about my changes over the years, from a housewife with dark yellow skin and long straight black hair to a professional woman with fair skin and fashionable clothes.

  This inspirational change experience has attracted the attention of a large number of housewives or prospective housewives. Online celebrity’s endorsed products have also been sought after by fans. Once loyal fans have identified this store, they will only buy things here and will not go to other homes.

  Lemon’s job title is Director of Operations, but in fact, the most important job every day is to help the proprietress of online celebrity write about Weibo.

  Although Weibo has only 140 words, it is not easy for Lemon, who graduated from Chinese Department, to write well.

  Because she is a food e-commerce, she will introduce health knowledge such as food maintenance to fans on behalf of the proprietress. However, she herself has always been suspicious of all kinds of health preservation methods circulating on the Internet, and she has to consult a lot of information before she can start writing.

  Some time ago, the proprietress of online celebrity went out for a trip with her family and sent some photos to Lemon when she came back, asking her to write a travel note and put it on the Weibo.

  Lemon’s writing skills are very good. In addition to being a trained person, he will also take some screenwriter jobs in his spare time. But in the face of this "proposition composition", she still feels very embarrassed. I’m not married, I don’t have children, and I haven’t even been to the place where the boss’s wife traveled. Now I want to look at the pictures and talk, pretend that I’m online celebrity, and write a travel note.

  The proprietress once suggested to Lemon that what she wrote was not like herself and should be changed. Lemon didn’t take this matter too seriously. In her opinion, the proprietress’s style of writing is "simple and rude", and she can fit it, but it is "impossible" to write it completely by herself.

  Fortunately, the boss’s attitude is not too tough. "Maybe many people have been recruited before this position, and I am the most reliable one, so she is still satisfied with me and has not made things difficult for me in this respect."

  Is there an element of deception in this ghostwriting? Lemon’s tone is very dull, and he doesn’t think this is an important issue. When she worked in an advertising company before, she knew that many stars didn’t write their own Weibo at first.

  Therefore, Lemon thinks that it is just a common thing for online celebrity to have a ghostwriter now.

  The life envied by fans is not necessarily true.

  On the Internet, there is a saying that 2015 is called the Year of online celebrity. By the end of 2015, the total number of people in online celebrity, large and small, has exceeded 1 million, which is equivalent to the total population of an ordinary prefecture-level city. Internet Weekly made a comprehensive ranking based on the reputation, creativity and influence of social media of people from all walks of life, and published a list of online celebrity in China in 2015, which listed 50 online celebrity, including papi sauce, Gu vernacular and the great Anne.

  The reason why the phenomenon of online celebrity has attracted great attention in society is more important because it has brought about an increase in economic income after becoming online celebrity. According to the survey of online celebrity by Tencent Research Institute, 85% of online celebrity has realized the realization of personal brand through four main ways: advertising, e-commerce, signing contracts and starting businesses.

  In the era of web3.0, online celebrity’s expressions are becoming more and more diverse. People can stand out in the Internet world by making videos and drawing cartoons, but words are still the mainstream expressions on social platforms such as WeChat and Weibo.

  Because of their poor writing skills, too busy to write articles in person, and lack of professional ability to track hot spots, some online celebrity people are eager to have a ghost writer who can cooperate with them to build a personal brand.

  Tina, online celebrity, whom Ann knows, is not very good at words. She seldom sends long paragraphs in her circle of friends, let alone writes articles. Tina is a superb cook. If she has eaten a dish, she can cook it again intact when she gets home. However, if she is asked to write an article and tell readers what to do, the result will only be "boring and confusing." Tina hasn’t personally replied to a fan’s comment in the past six months since she started to set up her own WeChat WeChat official account.

  Can Tina be so interesting in the hearts of fans if she leaves Ann’s writing? Definitely not. "online celebrity is the person standing behind the screen, and the fans are enjoying and admiring their lives through the screen. The birth of every online celebrity is not accidental, but the superposition of many factors: professional knowledge, expressive ability, opportunity … … In the internet world, the sparkling image presented on the screen may not be completely true. " An An said.

  There will be no more injustice.

  Ann gets a fixed salary every month, 7 thousand after tax. Occasionally there will be bonuses, but there is no specific assessment standard, "mainly depending on the boss’s mood." Once the reading volume of the article exceeded 10,000. When the boss was happy, he gave Ann a red envelope of 200 yuan. Just two years after graduation, Ann is satisfied with the current working conditions, and the salary that other jobs of the same type can give her is almost at this level.

  For Lemon, salary is the only condition to keep her working. Lemon doesn’t think highly of online celebrity in his heart, and thinks that most online celebrity people "operate by their faces, money or capital, and don’t have much connotation", or their connotation is not worthy of such popularity. I worked with the proprietress of online celebrity for one year, although she also saw the characteristics of proprietress worth learning, such as decisiveness. But her overall impression of online celebrity has not changed.

  Because the company is far from home, after work at seven o’clock, I returned home at least after eight o’clock. Walking the dog and taking a bath, at ten o’clock, she will force herself to sit at her desk and write some of her own things, novels, plays and life essays, and then go to bed at twelve o’clock. On weekends, she can stay at home for two days and use it entirely for writing. At a writing activity, Lemon introduced himself, "The main business is writing, and the sideline is work".

  But she also knows that this statement is unrealistic. After all, her job will occupy eight or nine hours in a day. It’s just that I don’t have much impulse to work during the day, so I just want not to lose my job.

  "I graduated from the Chinese Department, with the bitterness of the literati. Why don’t we give the literati a chance now? I think most people are quite poor. They all help online celebrity to write things and so on, and sometimes they feel ill-timed, "Lemon said.

  The most important reason for her to decide to take over the current job in ghost writer is the salary, where she can get 13,000 yuan after tax every month. "I have also been exposed to scriptwriting before, and I have imagined making a living from this. But up to now, I have written three scripts altogether, one of which was written without any money, and another script with more than 30,000 words was bought out by the other party for 8,000 yuan. The remuneration for the last script is higher, 30,000 yuan, but it has been delayed for more than half a year and the remaining half has not been paid. "

  Although writing Weibo for online celebrity’s wife of shop-owner is definitely not her favorite job, at least she is also her own good at writing, and she can cope with it relatively easily without too much overtime, which ensures that she can continue to write what she wants in her spare time.

  Lemon is studying Chinese in the university. Many students in the class want to be feature reporters or enter the publishing industry. But in 2009, when Lemon first went to college, the paper media was already weak. One of her classmates worked in the paper magazine Motto for four years, and her salary was declining every year. In the fourth year, she only got five or six thousand.

  Although the salary was good, after working for half a year, Lemon quit his job of writing for online celebrity. The fuse was that once the proprietress wrote a 1,200-word manuscript, she spent two hours correcting the sick sentences and typos in it, and as a result, she was bombarded by WeChat in the middle of the night, accusing her of destroying the language logic of her article.

  Now she has a new job in a play, which is often abused and revised by the director. But she felt that there would be no time when she was more wronged than being ghost writer before.

  Behind online celebrity is a shadow. Who else is behind the shadow?

  With the continuous promotion of the concept of "online celebrity", there is a greater demand for the existence of "ghost writer". From traditional politicians, writers and entertainment stars, there may be hidden writers behind online celebrity, who now has 70,000 or 80,000 fans.

  There is demand, and naturally there are institutions that want to incubate a group of experienced online celebrity and ghost writer.

  On the mainstream job recruitment platform, direct search for "online celebrity Writer" has no direct job information. However, with online celebrity as the key word, you can find job information such as "online celebrity Pusher", "online celebrity Operation Specialist", "online celebrity Editor-in-Charge", "online celebrity Trainer" and "online celebrity Broker", and the salary is between 4,000 and 15,000, which is "specific negotiable". How many jobs exist as "ghost writer"? There is no clear data.

  On the recruitment website, you can also see the information of recruiting online celebrity members in "online celebrity Training Camp", which provides online celebrity training courses worth more than 10,000 yuan, including positioning, packaging, planning, interaction and image management.

  Lemon’s company is centered on online celebrity himself, and online celebrity himself is the boss of the company. All the work is centered on running his own brand.

  Ann’s company is different. It is a company of Party B.. When An An first interviewed this company, the team was still planning to develop a fitness App. As a result, one month after joining the company, An An was called to a meeting. In the conference room with only four people, she met Tina, the boss’s friend, for the first time. She sat there, didn’t say much, didn’t even say hello enthusiastically, just nodded.

  At this meeting, the boss said that the fitness App should be stopped and Tina should be helped to make a WeChat official account and build her personal brand. An An is mainly responsible for writing articles on WeChat WeChat official account in Tina’s voice.

  There are two Tina in Ann’s WeChat, one is real Tina and the other is fake Tina. The account marked "fake Tina" by her is the customer service number specially applied by the boss to interact with fans.

  In January this year, An An took a group of beautiful photos when she traveled to Russia. As soon as she was exposed to the circle of friends, she saw that fake Tina posted a circle of friends, posting the pictures she had just sent, with the message to the effect that "this is a beautiful photo sent to me by my friend, so enjoy it and I will travel here next time". Ann knows that this must be done by the boss, creating the illusion that fake Tina has a rich life and attracting fans.

  Recently, Tina’s account started a micro store and tried to sell her own products. On the day of the first release of the WeChat tweet that opened the micro-store, more than 600 fans were lost at once, and the reading volume was one-third less than usual.

  The boss asked An An to write his "shock and incomprehension" about this phenomenon at the end of the next tweet, as well as his mentality of pulling himself together and starting again after being lost. This is a kind of article that An An hates to write. In her view, these contents are purely "drama".

  However, after this tweet of "pretending to reflect on myself and start advertising" came out, it still captured the emotions of some fans. Someone left a message in the comment area, saying that it was very supportive for Tina to start advertising, and felt that it was a more convenient and quick channel to gain experience directly from Tina.

  This step is only the beginning of the company’s preparation for a larger-scale liquidation action. Before that, all their operations, including manpower, were supported by the boss of the "rich second generation" in An’s mouth.

  I asked Ann, after opening the micro-store, is there any sign of profit in this online celebrity project?

  Ann said, no, how can I earn it back. However, she added that her boss had lost more in starting a business before this.

  "Will you worry that the company will collapse in the future?"

  An An quickly replied to me on WeChat, saying that I would feel it, but not so fast. I think the boss has been living quite well recently.

  Note: The characters in the article are all pseudonyms.

  ◎ This edition/Thousands (China Sandwich)