My name is Chen Changwen, a first-year Ph.D. student from CNM, NUS. Before entering NUS, I studied at Tsinghua University and Wuhan University of Technology for my master and bachelor degree respectively. My research interests include the political economy of communication, digital labor, and the communication history of socialism China.
How does the logic of "network traffic" affect content production? ---an empirical study based on Wechat Public Platform
Based on an empirical study on the content production process of Wechat public platform, this paper discusses how the logic of "network traffic", as a new form of market pressure in the digital era, affects the production of media content. Firstly, this paper analyses the general ecology of content economy, based on Wechat Public Platform from two aspects: profit model and division of labor model, by which the logic of “network flow” can penetrate and reshape the structure of content production company and can impose further potential impacts on content production. This is the macro background for understanding the specific labor process of digital content production on the Wechat public platform. Secondly, through participatory observation of two WeChat platform content startups and in-depth interviews with several practitioners from other different startups, this paper analyses how "traffic logic" affects the production of media content from three aspects: work rhythm, duration, and assessment. Finally, combined with the observation of the daily practice of content production, this paper analyses and discusses how the logic of "network traffic" can further promote itself to a hegemonic ideology based on its impact on specific labor practices.