Sometimes I'm paranoid that Netflix employees are looking at my viewing history and wondering what sort of person I must be. "Whoa! She watched nine episodes of Frasier in one sitting? And last Saturday night she just stayed home and watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi twice in a row."
What would they think of a woman who alternates between episodes of Gossip Girl and Top Gear? Battlestar Galactica and Louie? Who watched Gigli for the first time in 2013, just because she could? They might think that with my wide variety of interests, I'd make an ideal Gawker Netflix correspondent. "Something for everyone!" they'd say. "She's perfect!" And bless their imaginary hearts, they're right. While I have my preferences (single-camera comedies and beautifully shot documentaries, please!), I make it a point to explore. It's the best way to discover diamonds in the rough, like the dynastic, gas-huffing Appalachian family of lawbreakers in The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia.
I do have a television line that I will not cross, and it is drawn at the anointed feet of the Kardashians. As a society, I believe we simply cannot tolerate the money and fame hungry behaviors that these shows exalt and profit from. I refuse to reinforce those exploitative value systems unless someone is paying me to do it. Preferably on camera, for the E! Channel.
What makes me well-suited for the position is not my love of movies and television, but rather my love of sharing my love of movies and television. I've hosted viewing parties for the most abysmal reality TV shows humanity has to offer because it is fun to celebrate bad art. I love cracking into a new show, discovering one of its quirks and laughing about it with another fan who noticed the same thing. Like how on Law and Order: SVU "not based on an actual story" means "definitely based on an actual story." Who's the ace detective now, Dick Wolf?
Most of my television and movie related writing up until now has been restricted to impassioned exchanges on Facebook and message boards (which I take very, very seriously), but I am confident in my ability to match the hallmark tone and style that define Gawker's editorial voice.
- My very first Gawker comment ever (aww!) became Comment of the Day when Richard Lawson was at the helm. At the time, I was flattered, but the symbolic significance was lost on me. I recognize it now as a prescient gesture - he was passing the torch.
- I post to the Crosstalk, Clashtalk, and Groupthink community blogs. I tend to keep to the main sites, but I'm familiar with the core commenters and how the satellite blogs integrate with Kinja and Gawker Media. Total Kinja ninja.
- Nick Denton started "following" my Kinja. Maybe he follows everyone, but I felt special and flooded with joy. Then I was overwhelmed by a paralyzing fear that I could never live up to the honor. It was great!
Since that first fateful comment, I've been a devoted (addicted) Gawker reader, occasionally venturing into Jezebel and io9. I became an active commenter again after the launch of Kinja. I was impressed and intrigued by the focus on improving conversations, encouraging author interaction, and community collaboration. I also wanted to keep chasing the high I was getting from those sweet, sweet comment notifications.
I believe in the idea that good comments elevate the entire article, so I take it seriously and try to vary my responses between punchlines (sometimes literally - HEYO! *punches self in face*) and questions/information that will lead to a productive discussion. I always try to reply to and recommend other commenters, too, because it's a communiTY not a communiME. I also believe in the idea behind Kinja, and that its core concepts will be fundamental to the future of digital journalism. I believe that Gawker is a vanguard in the industry, and I want to help. I want to contribute.
In my "real" "life," I consult and work with companies on community management and content strategies, so I have honed my instinct for finding topics that will resonate and encourage interaction and I have an understanding of how stories travel through social media. I know how to use data to inform decisions that will optimize and improve the type of content I'm creating. I can strike a balance between marketing and editorial that reflects positively on the brand and remains authentic for readers.
I also know the voice actor who plays the Gaelic Spongebob, and I believe that should count for something.
Gawker Media needs a brave soul to trudge the depths of Netflix's darkest corners (I scrolled down on the documentaries page for about four minutes and found no sign of the bottom) and protect their delicate readers from the horrors that lurk beneath, gleaming with the light or sparkling editorial commentary. I am that brave soul.