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不要轻视网红,他们正在主宰世界

  Anaheim, calif. -- when the first TikTok star was elected President, I wanted her to keep some space in the cabinet for older, traditional bureaucrats, even if they didn't have millions of followers, beautiful hair or flashy dance steps.

  加利福尼亚州阿纳海姆——当第一位TikTok明星当选总统时,我希望她能在内阁中为年长的传统官僚保留一些位置,即使他们没有数百万的追随者,没有漂亮的发型,跳不出炫目的舞步。

  I say when instead of if because I just spent three days at VidCon, the annual social media conference in Anaheim, with thousands of current and future BBBS. It seems increasingly clear to me that the teenagers and young adults who have mastered these platforms -- who are often dismissed as shallow, complacent narcissists by some uninformed adults -- will dominate not just online culture or entertainment but society as a whole.

  我之所以说“当”而不是“如果”,是因为我刚刚在阿纳海姆的年度社交媒体大会VidCon上待了三天,和数千名现在和未来的网红们在一起。在我看来,越来越清晰的一点是,掌握了这些平台的青少年和年轻人(他们往往被一些不了解情况的成年人视为肤浅、自满的自恋狂)将不仅主宰网络文化或娱乐产业,还有整个社会。

  On the face of it, this could be a frightening proposition. One day at VidCon, I was with a group of teenage Instagram stars who seemed to spend most of their time filming "collab" with other creators and complimenting each other's "drip" -- that's what influencers say about clothes and accessories. (they, for example, are head-to-toe Gucci and Balenciaga, paired with diamond necklaces and popular logo sneakers.) The other day, I witnessed an awkward dance between two up-and-coming TikTok web celebrity's, who didn't look more than 10 years old. (note to adults catching up: TikTok is a short video app owned by bytedance, a Chinese Internet company.)

  从表面上看,这可能是一个可怕的提议。一天,在VidCon,我和一群十几岁的Instagram明星在一起,他们似乎大部分时间都是在跟其他创作者一起拍摄“合作”(collab),并互赞对方的“行头”(drip)——这是影响力人物对衣服和配饰的说法。(以他们为例,从头到脚都是Gucci和Balenciaga的衣服,搭配钻石项链和潮牌运动鞋。)另一天,我目睹了两个刚蹿红的TikTok网红之间的一场尬舞,他们看上去不到10岁。(正在迎头赶上的成年人请注意:TikTok是中国互联网公司字节跳动旗下的一款短视频应用。)

  But if you can ignore the silly, status-seeking moves, many at VidCon struggle. Becoming a web celebrity is a grueling job, and people who excel at it often take years to climb the ladder. Many social media influencers are one start-up, the most famous of these can be found that trend, constantly trying new format, new platform, establish a real contact with the audience, pay close attention to their channel analysis, find out how to stand out in a crowded media environment, at the same time also continue to create new content stream.

  但如果你能无视那些傻里傻气、追求地位之举的话,VidCon的许多人其实都很拼。成为一名网红是一份令人精疲力尽的工作,而擅长此道的人通常都用了好几年的时间才一步步爬上来。许多社交媒体的影响者其实都是一人创业公司,其中的佼佼者可以发现趋势走向、坚持不懈地尝试新格式、新平台,与受众建立一个真实的联系,密切关注他们的渠道分析,找到如何在一个拥挤的媒体环境下脱颖而出的办法——与此同时还在不断产生新的内容流。

  Of course, not all Internet celebrities are well-read and intelligent. Some of them are successful because they have traditional appeal, or they are good at video games, or they have other superficial qualities. Others made their names with dubious stunts and extreme political commentary.

  当然,并非所有网红都是博学多闻的聪明人。他们中的一些人之所以成功,是因为具有传统的吸引力,或者擅长电子游戏,或者拥有其他一些表面上的特质。还有人则以可疑的噱头和极端的政治评论爆得大名。

  But as social media expands its dominance in culture, those who can steer the conversation online will have the upper hand in any niche they occupy -- media, politics, business or otherwise.

纽约时报中英文网 www.qqenglish.com

  但随着社交媒体扩大在文化中的主导地位,那些能够在网上引导话题的人,将在他们占据的任何利基领域处在上风位置——无论是媒体、政治、商业还是其他领域。

  Think of influencers or creators as entrepreneurs, said Chris stokel-walker, author of "YouTube web celebrity." "These people are starting businesses, hiring people, managing budgets. These are pretty transferable skills."

  “要把影响力人物或创造者看作创业者,”《YouTube网红》一书的作者克里斯·斯托克尔-沃克(Chris Stokel-Walker)说。“这些人是在创业、招聘员工、管理预算。这些都是相当可转用的技能。”

  Look at representative Alexandria ocasio-cortez, democrat of New York, who has become a major force in congress by combining her policy agenda with an intuitive understanding of how the web works. Or consider what happened in Brazil, where YouTube's web celebrity won political elections by mobilizing their online fan base.

  看看代表纽约州的民主党众议员亚历山德里娅·奥卡西奥-科尔特兹(Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez),她已经成为国会的一支重要力量,她把自己的政策议程与对网络运作的直观理解相结合。或者再看看巴西发生的事情,那里的YouTube网红通过动员他们的在线粉丝群赢得政治选举。

  In the business world, influential culture is an established power. A generation of direct-to-consumer brands using social media tools and strategies has become a hit -- the cult favorite Glossier recently raised $100 million at a valuation of more than $1 billion; Or the ubiquitous Instagram ads for luggage startup Away that helped it reach a $1.4 billion valuation. In addition to making money through advertising and merchandise sales, many social media stars have endorsement deals with big brands. Even in sleepy traditional industries, executives are now hiring "personal brand consultants" to help increase their online following.

  在商业世界,有影响力的文化已经是一种既定的力量。利用社交媒体工具和策略打造的一代直接面对消费者的品牌,已经一炮而红——像深受影响者喜爱的美妆公司Glossier最近筹集了1亿美元,估值超过10亿美元;又或者行李箱初创公司Away在Instagram上无处不在的广告,帮助它达到14亿美元的估值。除了通过广告和商品销售赚钱,许多社交媒体明星还与大品牌达成代言协议。甚至在那些昏昏欲睡的传统行业里,高管们如今也开始雇佣“个人品牌顾问”来帮助增加网上的关注者。

  Natalie Alzate's YouTube channel, Natalies Outlet, has more than 10 million subscribers. She is typical of a group of BBBS who see building an online brand as a business, not a hobby. When arzate first attended VidCon four years ago, she was a marketing major with fewer than 7,000 subscribers. She decided to research her favorite YouTube web celebritys to see how they made videos, and then test different types of videos to see which ones performed best on her channel.

  娜塔莉·阿尔扎特(Natalie Alzate)的YouTube频道叫Natalies Outlet,订阅者超过1000万。她是这一批网红中的典型,他们把打造网络品牌当成一种生意,而不是一种兴趣爱好。四年前,当阿尔扎特第一次参加VidCon时,她还只是一名市场营销专业的学生,只有不到7000名订阅者。她决定研究一下自己最喜欢的那些YouTube网红,看看他们是如何制作视频的,然后测试不同类型的视频,看看哪类在她的频道上表现最好。

  I grew up looking at people like Michelle Phan, and to be honest, they built their careers on connecting with people online, Mr. Arzate said. "That's always been my ambition."

  “我从小就看着像米歇尔·潘(Michelle Phan)这样的人,说实话,他们的事业基础就是在网上让人们产生共鸣,”阿尔扎特说。“这一直是我的抱负。”

  Eventually, she found some patterns that did work, like beauty tips and life hacks, and she started doing it. Today, she is a full-time YouTube creator with a small staff, a production studio and the kind of fame she once dreamed of.

  最终,她找到了一些确实表现不错的模式,比如美容秘诀和生活小窍门,于是她就开始投身这个行业。如今,她是一名全职YouTube创作者,拥有不大的员工规模、一个制作工作室,以及她曾经梦寐以求的那种名气。

  In fact, influencers have ruled the world for many years. We just don't call them that. We call them "movie stars," "talk show hosts," or "davos attendees." The ability to stay relevant and draw attention to your work is always important. Who better to get attention than a YouTube star than President trump?

  事实上,影响者已经统治这个世界很多年了。我们只是没有这么称呼他们,而是称他们为“电影明星”、“脱口秀主持人”或“达沃斯与会者”。保持相关性和吸引别人注意你的工作的能力一直都很重要。除了特朗普总统,还有谁比YouTube明星更能吸引眼球呢?

  VidCon started 10 years ago as a meet-and-greet for popular YouTube creators, the perfect place to observe web celebrity in its natural habitat. Many of them are here to promote their channels, connect with other creators and move toward their dreams of Internet fame.

  VidCon始于10年前,最初是受欢迎的YouTube创作者的见面会,是观察网红在其自然栖息地的完美场所。他们当中许多人来这里是为了宣传自己的频道,与其他创作者建立联系,并朝着互联网成名的梦想迈进。

  Sometimes this means appearing with the more popular web celebrity in photos and video to increase their following, a practice known in web celebrity circles as "chasing influence". There are also seminars on "building a personal brand" and "how to go viral and build an audience". For VidCon's special creators, superstars with millions of followers, it's a day to meet fans and a night out for VIP parties.

  有时,这意味着与更受欢迎的网红一起出现在照片和视频中,以增加自己的关注者,这种做法在网红圈子里被称为“追逐影响力”。还有时要参加一些以“打造个人品牌”和“如何做到病毒传播并建立受众”为主题的讨论会。对于VidCon的特别主创们,也就是那些拥有数百万粉丝的超级明星来说,白天则要和粉丝见面,晚上出去参加VIP派对。

  Not all the young people I met at VidCon spent their lives pursuing online fame. Some of them will go to college when they grow up and eventually become doctors, lawyers or accountants. Others will fail and be replaced by a younger generation of Internet stars.

  并不是我在VidCon遇到的所有年轻人都用毕生来追求网络上的名声。他们中的一些人长大后会去上大学,最终成为医生、律师或会计师。还有一些人将会失败,被年轻一代的网络明星所取代。

  But the lessons they learn from their performances on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok will stay with them no matter what they end up becoming. Just as the 20th century produced a generation immersed in television culture, the 21st century will produce a generation of business tycoons, politicians and media personalities who grow up chasing online influence and know how to leverage the attention economy.

  但他们从YouTube、Instagram和TikTok上的表演中学到的经验会一直伴随着他们,不管他们最终成为什么样的人。就像20世纪培养了一代沉浸在电视文化氛围中的孩子一样,21世纪也将培养出一代商界大亨、政界人士和媒体人士,他们在成长过程中追逐网络影响力,懂得如何运用注意力经济的杠杆。

  Early on, I thought it was a niche for youth culture, Beau Bryant, Fullscreen's director of talent, told me at VidCon. He pointed to a room full of BBBS on velvet sofas. Some are taking selfies and editing their Instagram stories. Some are holding business meetings about partnerships and sponsored content deals.

  “早期,我觉得这是青年文化的一个细分市场,” Fullscreen公司的人才总监博·布莱恩特(Beau Bryant)在VidCon对我说。他指了指满屋坐在丝绒沙发上的网红们。一些人在自拍,编辑他们的Instagram故事。一些人在举行有关合作伙伴关系和赞助内容交易的商务会议。

  Now, it's like this is youth culture, Bryant said.

  “现在,好像这就是青年文化,”布莱恩特说。

  In other words, web celebrity is the future. Ignore them at your own risk.

  换句话说,网红就是未来。忽视他们,你只能后果自负。

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