Reading “Quyuan Community”: Starting from Why Young People Like “Rice Circles”

Our goal is to enable technology to empower literary creation and content production in a more reasonable way.

Reading "Quyuan Community": Starting from Why Young People Like "Rice Circles"

The “star-chasing culture” with idol stars as followers is nothing new, and it can indeed meet the spiritual needs of pop culture consumers to construct self-identity to a certain extent. However, in the context of the gradual loss of traditional social ties such as blood, geography, and industry, those social networks that have flourished with the help of social networks provide an effective emotional compensation for the new generation of digital natives. This is the reason why Quyuan’s social society is so “prosperous” at the moment.

Speaking Community interest margin, the most compelling moment of attention perhaps should the number of “rice Circle” of. This can be regarded as a kind of fun community formed around the hobby of star chasing.

As the names of the two vertical applications of “Idol” and “Interest Tribe” suggest, “Meanquan” can also be more specifically defined as an interest tribe or rather formed around “Idol” Funyuan community.

The “Idol” mentioned here should not be regarded as the Chinese transliteration of the English word “Idol”, but should be regarded as the Chinese transliteration of the Japanese variant “アイドル” and the Korean variant “아이돌” of “Idol” , It is actually a concept born in the cross-border experience exchange and cross-language cultural practice of the East Asian entertainment industry.

Since the 1970s, in the Japanese pop culture industry system, idols have gradually become a professional identity different from professional singers, professional dancers, and professional actors. Although they will engage in some singing and dancing activities, they may also dabble in the field of performance, but the main source of the popularity of such idol-type artists is not the one-way spread of skills and works, but they are offline (such as The emotional connection with fans is established in the two-way interaction process of performances, auditions, handshake meetings, and online (such as social media, webcasts).

Since the 1990s, the “Korean Wave” has begun to sweep the entertainment market in East Asia. South Korea’s idol industry has not only absorbed Japan’s experience in starmaking, but also combined its local investment environment and media ecology to form a larger-scale vocational training mechanism based on the trainee system and singing programs. The content output mechanism represented by the dance stage.

Since the 21st century, Korean entertainment companies have successively discovered and recruited Chinese trainees, added Chinese members to the projects of their idol groups, and launched a highly targeted penetration of the Chinese fan community. After 2016, the spread of “Korean Wave” has been restricted to a certain extent, and the idol industry in mainland China has grown rapidly, filling the market space left by South Korean idol groups, and with the help of Internet capital, it is constantly exploring A “sinking market” with huge potential.

If we observe the idol industry in mainland China with the Japanese and Korean idol industries as a reference, we will find that there are at least two important similarities between the two.

The first point is that they all try to establish an emotional connection between idols and fans, and even establish some kind of imaginative quasi-intimacy (the so-called “boyfriend fans”, “girlfriend fans”, etc.) or quasi-kinship relationships ( The so-called “sister fan”, “sister fan”, “mother fan”, etc.), and then use this kind of emotional connection to enhance the action of fans in specific commodity consumption behavior and media use behavior.

The second point is the similarities between the Chinese mainland and made some CAA cluster team consciously borrowed from Japanese and Korean fans love bean industry management experience, the introduction of a fine, commercial “fan operation” practice mode.

On the one hand, these brokerage companies and star-making teams will explore and train artists based on the needs of fans, refer to the opinions of fans, create a “personal design” for the artists, and provide stable material pushes to maintain the emotional connection between fans and idols. to enhance the so-called “fans sticky”; on the other hand, they will organize the fans by docking, formation of the “official fan club,” incorporate “big meal” employment “grade powder”, etc., penetration fans circle layer, and the self Xiadi conducts continuous emotional stimulation and behavioral disciplines on fans, so as to fully integrate and mobilize fans to participate in communication work and consumption activities, and strive to achieve “effective conversion of fan enthusiasm.” 

It is precisely under the long-term effect of this commercial operation that the fan community of idols far exceeds other more self-organized fun-related communities in terms of scale, structure, function, and institutionalization. It has become a kind of “interest tribe” with the most rigorous organization and clearest business goal orientation in the Quyuan social network in Mainland China.

Reading "Quyuan Community": Starting from Why Young People Like "Rice Circles"

01Why do  young people “need” the Quyuan community?

Since the 1990s, the highly market-oriented social transformation and the process of urbanization accompanying the market-oriented social transformation have created a strict household registration system that is different from the original collectivist ideology. The different living conditions of the people in the acquaintance society under the system.

The lonely and alienated atomized individuals in the stranger society living in the reinforced concrete jungle are constantly emerging in the process of urbanization and marketization. The original geo-social, business-related, and blood-related social relationships have all been strongly impacted.

At this time, there is a new way of socializing, filling the social void of many new generations of atomized individuals who are in a lonely and alienated state in the Internet age, that is, fun social.

As a special form of the Quyuan community, Fanquan also has two very important psychological needs to be met.

One of the psychological needs is the need for narcissistic libido projection. Today’s post-industrial society is a narcissistic society, and the narcissistic society also encounters a structural contradiction with it: on the one hand, society requires us to continuously achieve personal self-satisfaction; on the other hand, Class consolidation makes it difficult to achieve personal achievement.

In such a social environment, many individuals cannot satisfy their imaginations of honor and prestige, but they can find an ideal self, a mirror image in the Lacanian psychoanalytic sense.

I cannot realize my imagination of glory , luxury, and vanity fair in myself, but I can project this narcissistic “libido” on an idol who is similar to me but better than me, and realizes this kind of self-discipline. Alternative gratification of loveism. This is also one of the reasons why many fans in the fan circle like idols and are their career fans.

There is also a very important reason, which is the need for a certain kind of intimacy or quasi-social relationship. Fans can imagine themselves as an idol’s girlfriend, wife, older sister, younger sister, older brother, younger brother, husband, or boyfriend. They can establish a quasi-intimate relationship or quasi-kinship relationship between themselves and a visual idol, celebrity, or idol.

This kind of quasi-social relationship can easily be viewed pathologically in the field of psychoanalysis in the middle of the 20th century. But in the idol industries that have emerged one after another in Japan, South Korea, and China, the imagination and construction of this quasi-social relationship is not regarded as a pathological phenomenon. The idol industry in East Asia has done a very important thing, that is, aiming at De-pathologization of social relationships.

Reading "Quyuan Community": Starting from Why Young People Like "Rice Circles"

02How is the  rice circle culture formed?

In the process of industrial ecological transformation in the era of “Internet + cultural and creative”, with the popularization and development of big data technology, “idol”, which originated from the Japanese and Korean pop culture industrial system, has evolved into a new form in mainland China.

The use of big data concepts and technologies means that the media usage behavior of the fan community may be captured and quantified by data mining and data analysis mechanisms, and a series of new media power lists represented by various celebrity power lists have emerged as the times require. .

It is precisely under the operation of this kind of industrial link that can realize the realization of traffic flow, a new type of idol has appeared in the entertainment circle of mainland China, which is called “traffic star”. If it is said that traditional performing arts stars mainly accumulate media attention and public awareness through film, television, music, and dance works, thereby winning valuable resources in the performing arts circle ; then, the “traffic stars” emerging in the era of big data are even more important. Relying on the traffic data in cyberspace and relying on the new media power list may not have enough credibility, but there will always be new media indexes adopted by some practitioners to attract cooperation invitations and commercial brands from investors in cultural and entertainment projects. Endorsement contract.

The formation of the “top star” new media power not only relies on the resource betting of the pan-entertainment industry capital and the technical support of the Internet platform, but also highly depends on the “fan operation” of the star-making team on its fan circle.

They will maintain close communication with the “official support club” and “fantou”, and use the “data group”, “investment group”, “network publicity group”, “ amway group” and “controller ” led by “ fantou ”. Functional and structured fan organizations such as “comment” and “anti-triad group” carry out continuous mobilization and discipline on the fan community of “traffic stars”, and arrange for fans to create and increase “positive” The task of eliminating or suppressing “negative” data is to fully stimulate the communication and liquidity of the fan circle and achieve the purpose of exploring the “business value of the rice circle.” 

It is precisely because of the long-term, large-scale, and high-intensity implementation of such “fan operations” that the fan circle around these “traffic stars” has formed a “rice circle” that calls idol the “principal” “Rhetoric” has formed a “rice circle concept” such as “If you love him, make data for him” and “If you love him, then you will pay for him”, etc., a series of control reviews, clean squares, and anti-criticism are formed in cyberspace The visible and controversial “fanquan practice” has formed a “fanquan culture” that is different from the cultures of other online interesting communities.

The operation of this “fan circle community” is highly dependent on the idol-fans emotional community, and the motivation to continue to maintain the emotional bond makes it easy for the “fan circle fans” to perform unreasonable behaviors, and even rely on external ” “Hate” to strengthen internal “love”, with the help of group exclusive “online battle” to consolidate the community identity of the fan circle.

What is more worthy of attention is that in an environment where internal entertainment resources are limited and idols are highly homogenized, many of the idol team’s “fan operation” practitioners are still easy to divide the enemy and ourselves, under the thinking of zero-sum competition. The party’s “fixing fans” strategy and the conspiracy-theoretic “fan abuse” strategy form path dependence, which further intensifies the group opposition and mutual attack among the “fan circle fans”.

The phenomenon of “mutual tearing of rice rings” caused by this has attracted widespread attention. This involves the value guidance and behavior guidance of “fan operation”, and relevant stakeholders must urgently assume corresponding social responsibilities.

Reading "Quyuan Community": Starting from Why Young People Like "Rice Circles"

Conclusion: Let technology empower literary creation in a more reasonable way

It is necessary to point out that compared with Japan and South Korea idol industry, the internal entertainment idol industry has structural deficiencies in both the vocational training mechanism and the content output mechanism. However, in the context of the prevalence of data-only cross-industry, such The lack of has also brought some controversial consequences.

For example, “calling” no longer just means the tacit cooperation between fans’ support and idol performances, and is no longer linked to the collaborative creation and dissemination of high-quality stage content, but is alienated into the behavior of “doing data”, that is, Cyber space for love beans to create “positive” data, fueling momentum of public opinion, control network behavior of wind assessment network.

At the same time, since the internal entertainment idol industry has not yet established a sufficiently complete and strict training mechanism and entry barriers, in recent years, most of the internal entertainment idols have varying sing and jumping capabilities, but their spread in Korean entertainment is limited. The loose competitive environment occupies a large market space, and enjoys the demographic dividend of the inland market and the new media power created by the “rice circle”, which has caused dissatisfaction among many film and television practitioners and film enthusiasts.

In the past few years, Internet frictions caused by “rice circle practices” such as control and review and anti-criminalism have continuously aggravated the dissatisfaction of many “non-fan circle people”. In the past two years, the grievances that have been brewing have imploded in various forms, and have evolved into a wave of public opinion directed at “traffic stars” and “rice circle culture” .

In September 2020, the State Cyberspace Administration of China issued an announcement stating that “6 websites and platforms have undesirable information and behaviors such as inducing minors to chase stars without a bottom line, and “rice circle” tearing each other.” There are a large number of platforms inducing minors. Participate in bad information and behaviors that support the list, make large purchases, and incite and provoke youth fan groups to verbally abuse each other”.

On the whole, from the perspective of long-term development, whether it is for the singing and dancing idol industry or the entire entertainment industry, the trend of data-only theory needs to be broken. It is true that in the evolution from “Internet + Cultural and Creative” to “Artificial Intelligence + Cultural and Creative”, a new generation of artificial intelligence driven by big data and big data application technologies driven by artificial intelligence will inevitably play a more abundant role. effect.

However, under the new ecology created by the combined forces of media reform and industrial transformation, we still need to persist in rethinking how to make the application of science and technology empower literary creation and content production in a more reasonable way, and how to reconstruct a business that focuses more on business capabilities and A comprehensive evaluation system for artistic quality? This is a new topic facing today’s cultural and creative leaders and cultural governors, and it is worthy of discussion by more insightful people.

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