Millennials are taking over the world. Some say Millennials are ruining the world. But that’s subjective. Let’s focus on the facts for now: two years ago, Millennials surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest generation on this planet. Millennials are also the most documented generation ever. As in since the beginning of our species. We invented the selfie. We invented Snapchat. We have this desire to share everything. More than we probably should.
I’m a novelist. In my line of work, story trumps everything. Don’t believe me? Look at the Twilight saga. Horribly written, but a fantastic story. I wanted to create an online magazine chronicling our story. My story. Your story. We’ve all got them.
In this era of clickbait self-journalism, I wanted to create an environment of storytelling, unabashed by vulnerability, because often vulnerability translates to likeability and credibility.
Originally, this was a platform to share my growth, struggles, and successes in my writing career. But then I had a thought most Millennials don’t often have, “Who cares?”
Instead of sharing my struggles, successes, and stalemates, why not expand that to anyone that would like to contribute? And instead of one person (yours truly) helping promote an infant blog/magazine website via social media, let’s get some help.
So I came up with a logo. And since Millennials are the primary demographic, I used a bust of Edgar Allen Poe with some trendy hot pink and neon green glasses. Classic typewriter font. All that nostalgic hipster trash my generation craves.
I also thought about popular catchphrases of my generation. I needed a title. The phrase “mind blown” kept coming back to me. So I made it one word—mindblown—because who has time for capitalization, right?
I had a logo and a title. And after way too much time on YouTube studying how to start a blog/online magazine, I had a WordPress site. The story would be our featured element, but I also saw the importance of complementary content. Video, audio, photos, quotes, et cetera, would be vital to our storytelling. This influenced which particular WordPress theme I chose.
Once I had the concept, the site, it’s branding, and a first story published, I reached out to friends I thought might be interested in contributing. Writers, artists, musicians, teachers, soldiers, comedians… I wanted this to inclusive to anyone and everyone.
I contacted twenty people and nine confirmed. Better odds than I had hoped for. And I think it was important to have the site up and running, with the branding, overall concept, and vision already established. I think it gave credibility and validity to the project.
We published the first story on July 23, 2017. I created social media profiles for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. In a month we averaged over 100 hits a day. Let’s say half of that is spam. That’s still a strong audience for such a young website.
We’ve posted ten stories in three months through five different writers. We’re close to 200 likes on Facebook, over seventy followers on Twitter, and over 150 followers on Instagram. Facebook is far and away our biggest referral to our website. Instagram seems to be trending upward, and Twitter, well, Twitter is hard.
We have four more writers working toward their initial stories, and if you’re thinking this project is up your alley, we would love to have you on board, too. Our vision still remains strong in storytelling but as to the future of mindblown? We’re keeping that organic. We hope to see where the stories, dilemmas, and oversharing lead us next.
Luke Treat is a writer living in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. For five years, he worked in television and radio, covering everything from the NBA Finals to the 2012 Presidential Election. He currently is studying fiction writing at Western State Colorado University’s MFA Creative Writing program. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.