A new breed of influencers has emerged from the PKM market: indie thinkers, which some call thinkfluencers. From researchers to entrepreneurs and writers, these influencers rely on new dissemination tools to monetize their unique knowledge.
^ I think the term thinkfluencer is pretty awful - hope that doesn't take off. I guess I just have a negative reaction to the modern notion of "influencing" others' behaviour. But I suppose in some sense also I do wish to influence others' behaviour through what I share.
Producing work that makes other people think, and perhaps change their behavior, is the validation, and it’s enormously satisfying.
'Monetizing' I also don't like, but on the flipside in the current absence of universal security, I do think it's fair enough for people to be recompensed for what they've worked on. Certainly don't want it to end up as some winner-takes-all profit-driven competition of thinkfluencing bullshit though.
I guess I just hope the idea is that the indie stands more for 'independent', less for 'individual'. I like the idea that the institution of the university need not be the only route for research.
There’s no reason that universities need to be the gatekeepers of exploring and developing new ideas.
Perhaps even better would be if the indie stood for something like Ton's /inter/dependent thoughts.
1. Indie Research webinar
I watched the webinar The Indie Researcher: Tools for thought and internet academia. It was more discursive than practical to be honest, but a few takeaways that I like:
- being an indie researcher is about being curious in public - not necessarily an expert in some domain with a position to defend (I think Anne-Laure said this)
- being 'indie' doesn't mean you just do it all yourself - it's very much about discussion and community, too
- it might free you to do some things that might not happen in an academic environment
2. Some indie researchers
- Nadia Eghbal has written about this:
- Calling all indie thinkers (literally) - Other Life
- note: after subscribing to his newsletter, I suspect (perhaps unfairly, TBD) that this dude is a bit alt-right.
- The personal PhD