Salon: Influencer culture is everywhere — even in academia

Salon: Influencer culture is everywhere — even in academia. “Several years ago, while writing a book on social media labor, I noticed how the accounts furnished by aspiring YouTubers and Instagrammers resonated deeply with my experiences as a then-junior academic. These social media hopefuls had an acutely perceived need to remain ‘on brand’ and an unabashed pursuit of metrics. As an academic, this felt all too familiar. Their media kit was my tenure dossier, except ‘likes’ and ‘views’ were swapped out for Google Scholar citations and h-indexes–two indices of our ‘impact.’ I felt compelled to be eminently visible — not unlike the pressures on influencers to ‘game’ the algorithms or ratchet up their engagement.”

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