The first generation of the Internet “Shui Juntou” dictation: The current routine was played ten years ago
In the past 10 years from part-time to full-time “water army”, Shi Feng has witnessed the business scope of this industry, from simple brand promotion, to star hype, and then to reporting, rights protection, whitewashing, extortion and other fields .
In the era of mobile Internet, the traditional “fifty cents party” has lost its living soil, and Shi Feng has long bid farewell to the life of “water army”. But on the other hand, after becoming Party A, he found that online promotion is still the old way, but the platform has changed, and the pictures and texts have become videos. Based on the fact that big and small Vs are everywhere and everyone has an account, Shi Feng feels that the navy is becoming blurred, “Now everyone can become a ‘navy’.”
He said that he still remembers what Sister Furong said in 2005: “Today, when you see a few photos I posted on the Internet, you think this person is sick. In the future, everyone will post photos on the Internet.” A prophecy.
The following is Shi Feng’s narration:
Intern reporter | Shen San
Editor | Wang Haiyan
Enter the line
I am considered to be the first generation of navy in China’s Internet era. I joined the industry in 2006. At that time, I didn’t even have the word “navy”.
I majored in computer science at university. After graduating from university in 2002, I worked in a newspaper in Xi’an, responsible for the sales of advertising space in the real estate section of the newspaper. At that time, I was very fond of the Internet. I registered a lot of websites and saved a lot of accounts. Occasionally, a friend asked me to help me post a post, and the reward was to pay for the phone bill or something.
Later, I came into contact with many advertising companies. In early 2006, a friend in the advertising industry introduced a domesticcell phoneThe company gave me, they want to do brand mobile phone promotion, but can not afford the high advertising fees of big media, they want to find someone to post on vertical websites. At that time, China’s copycat machines were just emerging, and there were many mobile phone vertical websites, and people would also exchange content such as installation programs in the BBS community. For this job, they have already written the publicity content, and I will be responsible for posting.
At that time, there was no clear pricing mechanism in the industry, so when we talked about the price, I replied “wait for it” and said that I would talk about it after the post. It took me 2 hours to post 100 posts even when I registered an account, because the computer network fee at that time was 2 yuan per hour, so I set a working hour of 25 yuan, which is equivalent to 5 cents per post. money.
This is my first official order. After receiving the order, I made a series of plans including posting posts, posted it online with my own account, and advertised myself. I don’t know if it was a coincidence or not. Later, I saw a peer’s advertisement, and the target was also 50 cents a post, which became the prototype of the “50 cents party” in everyone’s mouth.
Illustration | Rice Circle Circle
At that time, my basic salary in the newspaper was 800 yuan, and I received a commission of 1% to 5%. At that time, the newspaper space was quite expensive. A full page was about 100,000 yuan, and even a small square page cost thousands of yuan. I am not very good at sales. On average, my monthly salary is only more than 1,000 yuan. I thought that if I could earn 50 yuan a day by posting posts, it would be 1,500 yuan a month, which is much easier than going to work.
After the successful completion of the work, friends and customers around me recommended one by one, and more people began to look for me. In March 2006, I decided to move from Xi’an to Beijing, and rented a group house near Zhongguancun, with three bedrooms and one living room, for 15 people. The rooms are all bunk beds. The bed fee is 600 yuan per person per month. Spread down nearly 1,000 yuan a month.
“I am Yu Huanshui” stills
When I first came to Beijing, the job was not stable, so I found a job similar to the previous one, running business during the day, recommending newspaper advertising space to real estate, education and training institutions, and earning more than 1,000 yuan per month. Only returning to the dormitory at night or going to the Internet cafe to post replies, that is, “watering”. The price is still 5 cents per post, which is relatively scattered, and can earn about 2,000 yuan more per month.
In the second year and the third year, in my daytime work, I met customers who felt that the cost was high. I would recommend online promotion, including word-of-mouth, keyword ranking, and charging according to the combination and result, such as 1,000 yuan per week. The portfolio, in addition to ordinary postings, also includes supporting press releases and exposure to key websites. At that time, everyone was competing for search engine rankings, and the promotion of this model was very effective, and customers were happy to accept it.
In 2008, a lot of cross-circle incidents came out. Sister Furong and Sister Tianxian were hyping things up. The person in charge of a portal website invited me to participate in a show, which is somewhat similar to the current online variety show. In the program, I met a CCTV reporter, and he asked me to do an interview on the topic of Internet hype. I described the working process of the naval industry to him, which is divided into three layers: upper, middle and lower. At that time, I belonged to the middle and upper layers. Well, then assign the task to the next home.
After the interview, the reporter concluded that, as a group of ours, from upstream to downstream, it is really militarized management, “we often talk about the Air Force and the Army, and you call them the ‘Water Army’. ‘Come on.” Later, the interview was broadcast in the media, and the word “Internet navy” became popular.
After this interview, more and more people came to me to work, almost all of them were soft and wide. For example, I posted pictures and texts saying that a certain store had a very good experience. A post for 50 cents contains 3 pictures, and the extra part is charged by each picture. 1 piece of hair, 1 piece or 1 piece of 5 hair for a large amount, which is similar to brushing comments on a special platform now. In order to communicate more efficiently and finish the work, I will give Party A an EXCEL form, with forums, sections, links and titles listed one by one. Because I am so skilled, I can finish a week’s work for a newbie in the industry in three hours. However, I was still doing it part-time at the time. I remember that there were already colleagues doing this full-time at that time, and earning more than 10,000 yuan per month was more than enough.
The EXCEL table listed by Shi Feng in the early days records the details of the work in great detail
By 2009, the working folders in my hand were accurate to automotive, comprehensive, entertainment, digital, and life and leisure categories. At most, there were 60 folders on a single comprehensive website, with detailed records in it. The account, password, nickname and login name I applied for on each website. Every time I go to an Internet cafe, I open the EXCEL form in the U disk and start working, and the network administrator thinks I am here to steal the account.
When the scenery of the navy 3 years
In 2009, personal blogs started, and a large number of advertising companies were transformed into online marketing companies, which was different from the traditional advertising companies that used to promote branding posts. At this time, the demand became strange. And with the “standardization” of the process, there have been a lot of software specially designed for the navy, which can quickly register accounts, post replies, swipe clicks and swipe comments, and the number of posts has increased exponentially.
At that time, a high-income job came from entertainment companies, mainly to help stars. In the beginning, the entertainment company hired us to create an atmosphere, including guiding other fans to join the QQ group, but the cost was too high, and no matter how good the navy data was, no one would go to the airport or shopping mall activities, and sometimes the navy would complain. , affecting star reputation.
So after taking over the job of the entertainment company, the strategy changed. For example, in 2009, there was a new actress who was highly praised by the company to release a record. If I posted 1,000 posts, the cost was 500 yuan, and I couldn’t make much money. Now, what can you do? One by one, private message those fans who are active in the comment area and ask them to publish promotional articles. In this job, the final comment reached 3,000. I told Party A that half of it was done by ourselves, and the other half was the behavior of real fans. Party A sees good data, can mobilize the enthusiasm of fans, and is willing to cooperate for a long time. So today’s fan economy, in fact, the routine was formed more than ten years ago.
Stills of “Love”
It was also in this year that I felt that the navy had risen up as an industry, and immediately opened a Taobao store to pick up the work. I remember that at that time, CCTV exposed the navy group again. After the exposure, more people added me to QQ. In addition to the demand, more people found me, wanted to be the next family, and wanted to pick up jobs from me.
I have the habit of keeping accounts. I remember that my weekly income at that time began to stabilize at 3,000~5,000 yuan. As the income gradually increased, I decided to do “Internet promotion” full-time, and rented a single apartment in Baiziwan and made it into a small studio. There is a desktop and a laptop in the studio, which were sent by a previous client.
At that time, I took work from Party A, and I usually received 50 cents for a post, and then 2 cents for the next one, and I could earn 3 cents; for replying, I would earn 3 cents a post, and I would earn 2 cents after it was distributed. I remember that in 2009, some remote areas also began to have large-scale naval forces, but some people didn’t even know the software for posting posts. They were like “contractors” who bought computers to hire workers and posted posts by hand. Called the most basic navy.
Our work is generally communicated through QQ groups. At most, I have 15 QQ groups with 300 to 500 people in each, and there are nearly 60 groups in addition to some work transfer groups. Different groups have different professional directions and fields. When I am too busy, I will also cooperate with other group owners.
Because I have been doing it for a long time, I can participate in the planning and communication with Party A. At that time, I also learned to make PPT in an advertising company, and formulated a very detailed promotion plan. By 2011, my monthly income could reach 30,000~40,000. .
Sense of fear
In 2012, the number of ordinary publicity posts I received gradually decreased, and I began to receive a large number of strange upstream customer requests, including reports, rights protection and whitewashing. Can’t see anyone who goes home.
There are even anti-corruption reports, including the cost of managing moderators and the risk of deleting posts, and sending 100 posts, my offer may be 10 yuan a piece. Once someone bargained, I said, “Look at this, is this about 1,000 yuan?”
Reporting posts are generally very profitable and worry-free. After the handover, the other party will usually delete my QQ, and no after-sales service is required.
According to my own work habits, I will pay attention to the work I take over afterwards, such as ordinary brand promotion, and I will monitor the conversion a little bit from time to time to evaluate the effect. I will occasionally pay attention to reports and rights protection. If I see confirmation in the media after a month, I will also be a little vain, thinking, “Look, I will do something for you, justice will be done. Even a wave of the knife in my hand can leave some shadows.”
There was also a popular water army post at that time, very similar to the current water drop fund, which is another form of public welfare fundraising. Upstream gives us the personal information of the sick, leave a bank card number, and post it on the Internet, and those who are caring will send money directly to the card. Later, because of more posts, it gradually evolved into a malicious scam.
Most of the dry army will not review the content and are only responsible for the work. But under normal circumstances, everyone is reluctant to take on too outrageous work, for fear of encountering a title, the loss will be great. Sometimes it is necessary to “sell” the content, find moderators, find official group administrators, stick to the top or give a recommendation position, or find active netizens. The chain of interests behind this is even larger.
Another type is vicious competition within the industry or between individuals. By buying navy, they brush a lot of negative content from each other and incite emotions. But doing this always leaves a mark. There is a combination package for whitewashing and negative deletion. By brushing white posts, diluting negative posts or spending money to delete posts through peer connections. After this kind of life, a group of sailors began to appear, specializing in negatives. When the company found them to delete posts, they would charge a fee of 3,000 to 5,000 yuan, which became another huge benefit project, and it already had the nature of extortion.
Stills of “Class A in Three Years”
In 2013, netizens “Qin Huohuo” and “Li 2 and 4” were arrested because they organized a navy army, spread rumors, made negative comments, and deleted negative illegal profits, including the particularly important railway on the “7.23” Yong-Wen Line. Rumors were created in traffic accidents, and even through obscene means, a group of Internet celebrities were packaged. Before them, there were no clear restrictions in the industry, and no one would be punished by law for posting some content on the Internet.
But before and after that, many of my colleagues around me were investigated and their computers confiscated one after another, and the reputation of the navy gradually became very stinky, and I was a little scared myself. In addition, in early 2013, my daughter was born, and I began to think about quitting.
Variation of the traditional navy
By 2016, I almost stopped taking any outside work, not a single one. On the one hand, it is because the era of portal websites has passed, and forum posting has become a thing of the past, and my previous account is useless; on the other hand, the industry is too chaotic, and I can come into contact with a lot of black products and online scammers every day. , Illegal, I refused at first, and then I could only report it directly. Hundreds of reports are reported every year on QQ.
In mid-2016, when my son was born, I found an online promotion position in a real estate company. Last year, I jumped to a craft beer company to promote. Today, I also cooperate with third-party companies, and it turns out that many online promotions are still the old routines, but the platform has changed, and the content has changed from pictures and texts to videos.
This is what many MCN companies are doing. Party A makes a request, the company shoots videos according to the needs, and uploads the content in the final batch. In the past, I wrote 10 articles a month, posted 1,000 posts, and guaranteed 1 million views. Now I shoot 10 videos a month, distribute them with 10 accounts, and guarantee 1 million views. But those who have done this work know that the clicks of posts in the past can be brushed by software, and now the playback volume can also be brushed by software.
“Perfect Relationship” stills
Even when docking with Party A, the promise is the same. For example, Party A asks, is there any actual conversion? Their answer is generally, “We’re just working, we won’t bear any consequences, we’ll do what we need to do, and make sure the playback volume meets your requirements.” It’s exactly the same as we did back then.
In addition to these organized accounts, there is now one account per mobile phone. For example, merchants need 10 yuan for good reviews on take-out software, and they will also provide free take-out or a few yuan red envelopes to invite customers to review good reviews. From this point of view, now everyone can become a navy.
As for the navy that specialized in promotion in the past, they are disappearing and become purely data-driven. For example, I participated in a like event last week. I swiped 1,000 likes to get a first prize. If I can win the prize, the cost is not too much. As for those who really want to make some influence, useless data can be filtered out.
Last time I accepted a video of a face-showing interview at station B. Before that, the people around me, including my parents and wife, only knew that I was doing online promotion, and no one knew the details of my previous work. The reason why I dared to be interviewed under my real name is because I still have a bottom line in what I do, at least I haven’t done anything illegal, and many public welfare posts that can become social events and media hotspots are done for free.
“The Social Network” stills
In fact, in retrospect, when I was a sailor in the early years, I didn’t have a clear understanding of the standards for posting. Later, I was terrified when I read more about the inside story. If you can’t find the connector, the source is not guaranteed, everyone is an actor, and you can’t tell the truth from the fake.
When you interviewed me today, there is still a sense of loss, not the loss of leaving the navy industry, but the loss of an old Internet person looking back on his youth.
Over the past few years, I have asked several former sailor leaders one after another, but they basically quit. When I was in my 20s, I met some middle and senior leaders of portal websites, and I was invited to participate in some activities at that time, but now most of them have also changed careers. Today’s popular Internet companies are all young people of this generation, which will make you feel that the past is the past.
During the interview, I realized that there are many problems that I never thought about in the past, but now that I think about it, no matter how the form of the navy army changes, there are evils wherever there are benefits. In addition, the content on the Internet may be published by a single person behind it. We were deeply caught up in it at the time, we thought we could see the truth clearly, but after a period of time, we found out that the results were very different, maybe everyone was acting, and it was hard to tell the truth from the fake.
I still remember that in 2005, Sister Furong said a sentence: “Today, when you see a few photos I posted on the Internet, you think this person is sick. In the future, everyone will post photos on the Internet.” prophecy.
(Thanks to Wang Yuxiao for his contribution to this article)