Photo by @addisonray.photos on Instagram
Keep Indy Indie is, simply, an abbreviation and play on words of the phrase “Keep Indianapolis Independent.” The statement in and of itself is obviously persuasive in nature, the meaning of which is summed up in the entity’s sub-motto: “Support independent business and art in Indianapolis.”
In the summer of 2013 KEEP INDY INDIE was formed initially as a social media-based blog documenting the creativity of various artists and businesses in the city, with photography being the primary medium and Instagram being the predominantly used platform. Since Keep Indy Indie’s inception, the phrase has caught on with many local businesses and creatives, and the #keepindyindie tag has been used tens of thousands of times on social media.
The Keep Indy Indie online business directory was added for the purpose of helping residents, as well as tourists, discover independent business in Indianapolis via a digital map filterable by business category.
On the surface, “Keep Indy Indie” might sound like just another “support local” campaign bearing the “Keep” meme. What distinguishes Keep Indy Indie from organizations or movements of a similar nature is that the principal focus is based more on the appreciation for what makes the city of Indianapolis fun, unique, and significant. Economic, environmental, and public health impacts are considered more peripherally.
Keep Indy Indie was originally created to be little more than just a “for fun” project- not really a business per se. However, because of its exponential growth and eventual evolution into more than just a blog, occasionally a post is made on behalf of a business in the form of a paid advertisement, as long as the content is relevant to the concept of the Keep Indy Indie brand itself. Shirts and stickers are also sold on the Keep Indy Indie online store and in various shops around town.
When it comes to the subject of “independent” business, there are debates about what should truly be considered “indie”. Common examples include whether the business is locally owned as well as how many locations the establishment has (i.e. whether it is a “chain”). Keep Indy Indie tries not get too involved with such classificatory disputes and so, in avoiding these technicalities as much as possible, the criteria for what should fall under the umbrella of “indie” is based upon the subjective perception of what is being featured, and whether that subject appears to add to the distinct personality of the city of Indianapolis exclusively.
An essential component of any community is something which binds people. In the age of the internet, online communities based around common interests or goals are augmented by technology such as smartphones and digital media. In the case of Keep Indy Indie, the hashtag has been an effective way for businesses, artists, and other Indianapolis inhabitants to contribute to the “Keep Indy Indie” story as well as to connect and even collaborate with one another.
Simply tagging #keepindyindie to a post on Instagram, for instance, provides a hyperlink to a reverse-chronologically ordered gallery of other photos that have been posted with the tag. Since #keepindyindie was first used less than three years ago, the feed has become a dynamic, photographic conversation of diverse experiences from the Indianapolis independent business and art microcosm.
The Keep Indy Indie Instagram account often reposts photos from the #keepindyindie gallery, giving users an opportunity to get featured and increase exposure to their business and/or art and photography.
Continue to visit keepindyindie.com for the latest news, features, and articles from the Indianapolis independent business & art community, and feel free to follow us on social media @keepindyindie. Sign up for the email list in the footer of the site you wish!
If you would like to drop a line, provide a news tip, ask a question, or possibly be featured on Keep Indy Indie you can do so via the “Connect” page in the navigation bar or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your interest and being a part of this project!
Keep Indy Indie™ promotes independent business & art in Indianapolis.