Today’s internet-connected population has a limitless array of information they can access at their fingertips, creating a population of intentional filtering to process the most important relevant information to an individual. This massive amount of information, however, demands intentional filtering and validation especially as distrust of the media has continually built. The Doe took a different stance from most traditional publications: instead of focusing on news and reporting facts, they focus on what they call “narratives”, the stories from the lives of marginalized voices. This difference allows for them to publish, often marginalized, narratives to spark civil discourse among a generation of echo chambers.
The Doe is a digital publication that shares anonymous stories that hope to spark valuable civil discourse. In a world filled with customized press releases and beautified life stories, The Doe intends to break the practice by giving justice to the life-altering stories of people from marginalized sectors of society. By providing a platform where people can share their life experiences without fear of being judged or rejected, the reading public is educated about the realities that other sectors face.
Milan Kordestani, the founder of the publication, had one goal in mind when he established The Doe: to challenge the way people engage with new ideas. The unfiltered narratives that are featured each month shed light on an often-ignored reality of some sectors in society. These stories hope to encourage readers to do some introspection and confront their own biases.
Milan started his own writing path at the young age of 16, as a contributor for the Huffington Post. He understood early-on the power of words and their potential to influence and inspire change where they are needed most. When the platform eventually shut down, Milan lost his avenue and decided to take a break from writing altogether. When he finally decided to start writing again, his outputs were mostly narratives, no longer the articles he was used to making in the past. Milan realized that his personal narratives could have a significant impact on individuals who could relate to his stories or would be interested in hearing experiences from a life and perspective they otherwise do not know about.
From that single realization, Milan conceptualized and planned the making of The Doe. As he has always been an advocate for intelligent civil discourse, he believes that this platform will continue to inspire difficult conversations that will bring about relevant change. Through the digital publication, the young entrepreneur hopes to reach millions of readers all over the world and inspire them to not only read and start their own discourse, but to contribute their own narratives to The Doe.
From the very beginning, Milan made sure that everything about The Doe is innovative—from its content and social media promotion to the revenue strategies. He introduced unique membership options and relevant merchandise. The Doe has a clothing line that is congruent with the publication’s mission. Each item of apparel represents a theme from a featured narrative so that when one wears it, it is not just making a fashion statement. The user is also wearing a story that can still invite a healthy discourse. Beyond the two revenue streams, The Doe also boasts two charitable arms in the form of the Endoement, a monthly donation to 4 charities in which their subscribers vote on the distribution of the sum, and Twitter giveaways rooted in rewarding their audience for fostering civil discourse.
In doing this, Milan ensures that their published stories live longer than the 20 seconds of fame that is common in this generation. He hopes to encourage meaningful conversations that will open the eyes of many to the harsh realities of people from marginalized sectors. In the end, it is these conversations that will ignite the change the world needs.