Because millennials grew up around personal computer technology and experienced the emergence of the world wide web in the public domain in the late 90s, it is safe to claim our generation of ," are well acquainted with digital online media. Since we are so accustomed to the Internet phenomena, online media caters to millennials.
Let's not forget all those stories and list-articles dedicated to "20-somethings" we see on our Facebook dashboards and Twitter feeds. Furthermore, I can conclude online media – especially news – caters to the younger generation, because of the nature to adapt and utilize media technology almost effortlessly in everyday life. If we rule the Internet, of course, we are going to become a profiting consumer demographic.
The shift from print to digital appears to be old news. A less commonplace discussion falls onto authorship in the online world of self-publishing, beyond the printed book.
If we are able to pay enough money, any writer can published his or her book through an independent publishing website. However, what about the authorship?
Thought Catalog founder and publisher, Chris Lavergne, originally found success in confessional, and often controversial, published online essays. The site includes a submission form, open for anyone to potentially become published through the site. Much of the pieces on the site are published through this process.
I write and have been published on PolicyMic.com. The site similarly runs on the catchphrase that resonates, "news for millennials, by millennials," with a mission that concludes: is our generation's platform to make our voices heard. We reach millions of people with our high-quality, personal analysis on the news, policy, and pop culture that's changing our world." The sentimental purpose of the website now only vocalizes the activists of our generation through content generation and exposure to an already present base of followers, or rather, habitual website viewers, Twitter followers and Facebook fans.
However, volunteer-based web content lacks something journalists have received in the past: a paycheck.
Often, millennials see online publishing through these sites as a window for professional development, especially if potential employers are using a Google search for applicants' names.
Ramapo College class of 2013 alum, Michelle Regna, regularly contributes to BuzzFeed, a similar platform that opens up for volunteer contributors.
"My posts that do get boosted by the editors and featured on the homepage of BuzzFeed.com, have gotten up to 130,000 views," Regna explains.
One of my stories received tremendous exposure, like Michelle's. I can't say that my writing alone drew the crowd, but fortunately, was able to with the help of the website's fan base. A paycheck would be nice, but I think that defeats the purpose of millennials' messages.
Voluntary submissions to potentially become published online do not encapsulate and isolate young generations entirely for free labor, but instead, increases their potential to speak out, especially since they are not tied to a stipend or even weekly paycheck.
"In the meantime, I'm doing this all for free," Regna added. "Would I love to work at BuzzFeed? Absolutely, it's the main reason why I post to their site. I don't mind doing it for free right now, as long as my posts are doing well, it'll look good for potential jobs that are social media related. I enjoy the ability to post on whatever subject I want. Some of it will be embraced and some of it not, but it's fun and will hopefully come in handy for a job some day."