Upperclassmen, lowerclassmen, faculty, students, friends, enemies, junkies, sexually active band geeks, nerds, JAPs, FLIDs, DUFFs, babies, lend me your ears!
I’m talking Odyssey — and not the ancient Greek poems attributed to Homer. I’m talking the “Five Reasons Why My Cat Is Actually My Soul Mate,” and “Losing Your Virginity as Explained by the ‘Teletubbies’” Odyssey.
Yeah, you know the one.
The one that top-tier Phi Kappa Psi alum Evan Burns co-created with student Adrian France at Indiana University back in 2009 as a Greek tabloid. The one that transitioned from a publication strictly for Greek Life to an online social content platform for
geeds too all millennials.
Odyssey is known for publishing listicles and articles without substance — but it’s also known for it’s rapid growth on the Internet and attracting $25 million from investors.
Odyssey gets made fun of by Twitter accounts and is personally victimized online— but it’s also read by 70 million people each month.
Based on the numbers and success of Odyssey, why all the bashing and the scrutiny? My hypothesis is that it’s fun. I mean, c’mon – this Twitter account is hilarious.
And my personal favorite…
My other hypothesis is that the bullies don’t understand what Odyssey stands for, and what its mission is.
And I don’t blame them.
When I started writing for Odyssey in the Fall (I know seasons aren’t capitalized, but I think that’s dumb and they deserve to be) of 2014, the very year it launched online, it was still a platform for Greek students only. I had just become a member of SDT, so I was one of the 20 percent on campus allowed to join. Holy shit, this is boring. Why is she telling me her life story? And with percentages? I hate math. After much ass kissing and good-enough writing, I rose the ranks and upgraded from writer, to contributing editor, to Editor-in-Chief.
Rest your applause – it wasn’t that difficult. All I did was meet weekly deadlines, followed APA style, and wrote about whatever I wanted. And I mean whatever I wanted.
That’s the mission of Odyssey. To give everyone seeking a platform where they can share their unique, obscure, weird, interesting, provocative, and funny thoughts exactly what they seek — a platform.
Uh, okay… ever heard of Wordpress?
Sure, there are blog sites that amateur writers can utilize to build their brand, but Odyssey supplies more than just a platform; it gives writers structure and access to brilliant editors who supply their staff with invaluable lessons and advice (the editors are also super hot and totally single).
Odyssey also rewards its content creators with money incentives – that’s right, you can get paid AND laid (Odyssey writers are known for seducing their audience through compelling articles).
Back to me and my personal history with Odyssey. I used to compare my chapter’s publication to the IDS and other campus sites like The Rival, and The Tab. I was embarrassed because we were never the first ones to publish updates on Hannah Wilson’s death, or cover interesting speeches and write reviews on auditorium performances. But that wasn’t fair – because Odyssey isn’t like those other publications. It’s not a satirical site, it’s not a news source, and it’s not a Greek tabloid.
Then what the hell is Odyssey?
It’s an all inclusive site for anyone and everyone to have their diverse perspectives published. It’s up to the writer —with an editor’s guidance— to choose what their chapter is made up of.
As I mentioned, you can literally write whatever you want, as long as it’s moderately PG-13. I mean, where else could I get “What it’s really like to get your period as told by Buffy the Vampire Slayer” published?
There are many different facets of Odyssey, and one of them happens to be listicles about why your grand-little is actually your sister’s grand-uncle. Others include perspectives on the ever perpetual conflict in the Middle East. We even have articles on why you should masturbate.
So when you think about Odyssey, don’t focus on the articles flooding your Facebook that you don’t like, because chances are those articles are coming from people who YOU are friends with. Instead, check out the website and see what the extended community is like. Explore the other side of the story you never considered, and discover new perspectives you never could have imagined.
No matter how many “What having a twin is really like,” or “Freshman year as told by The Wild Thornberrys” articles I get, I will never moan or groan again, and no matter how much scrutiny Odyssey gets, it will never penetrate through my thick skin (yes, that’s a fat joke). Why? Because to be a successful HBIC (head bitch in charge) I have to emulate and encompass Odyssey values; inclusiveness, diversity, originality, and love of Zac Efron.
Request to join the “Indiana” Odyssey community today. Tell your friends, tell your enemies, tell everyone! We’d love to have you.