The battle of the Chinese joke-writers
Updated: 2015-05-15 10:42
More than writing duanzi
About 300 professional duanzi writers have emerged in the past three years.
Successful writers have highly recognizable Weibo posts. Among the most successful writers are @同道大叔(uncle Tongdao), who draws Western horoscope comics, @回忆专用小马甲(an account exclusively for memory) , who likes to feature cute pets, and @谷大白话(talkative Gu), who mainly focuses on American talk shows.
While the Internet era has reshaped the format of duanzi by using pictures and videos, it has also endowed the profession with deeper significance.
Duanzi has become a part of daily life as they are read during a tea break or on the subway and quoted by people in their conversations. Duanzi writers, therefore, do not limit themselves to writing stories with many interacting with their fans on Weibo.
@粽粽粽粽粽粽粽(seven rice dumplings) sometimes writes more than 50 posts a day on Sina Weibo, mainly about trivial matters, but still, her fans enjoy it as if she were a friend and companion.
Embedding ads is still the main profit model for duanzi writers, but apparently their influence has already spread much further than the SNS platforms. Those standing at the top of the pyramid are gradually breaking away from the profession.
Though favored by millions of fans, @天才小熊猫(a panda genius) doesn't like being called a duanzishou, or duanzi writer, which he thinks is a low-end job. With his fame and influence, he has become a partner in an O2O company.
The studio of @同道大叔(uncle Tongdao) is preparing a series of books on western horoscopes while he is focusing on a app startup.
@眼睛长在屁股上(eyes on butt), a 23-year-old who entered the industry right after graduation, is now the scriptwriter of the hot web series Detective Di Renjie.
The era of posting ads on SNS will end and the industry needs to break into other fields, said Lin Rui.
In fact, his company has already set up subsidiaries to develop new businesses in books, comics and movies.