Talk about the slow boat to getting a job: Gabriel Delahaye spent three years as a commenter on Gawker.com before he got a fill-in gig there, according to the Columbia Journalism Review.
“He wanted to be a writer, and while he had a blog, he was trying to develop a presence on Gawker’s site,” says CJR’s Alysia Santo. “It seemed like the only access point to that industry,” Delahaye told her. “I didn’t understand how else to do it, so that was the route I took.”
Gawker’s Nick Denton told CJR that “It was much safer to look for talent online – and where better than to tap the best of the commenters.”
In fact, Ryan Tate, who covers tech for Gawker Media’s Valleywag, got his job after “viciously” mocking a Gawker job ad in the comments. Denton told CJR that Tate’s comment was “so viciously and so skillfully that I wanted him on my team.”
Other sites that look to commenters include Daily Kos, which hires “almost exclusively” from its comments section; and Videogum, where Delahaye now works.
Is spending three years focusing just on witty comments the most efficient job search? Heck no. But if you do harbor dreams of working for Gawker or another online site, do try to keep in mind that what you see as a comment might be seen by an editor as an audition.