Gawker Media is a juggernaut of the blog world, running sites like Gawker, Defamer, and Wonkette that draw thousands of obsessed fans who seek daily, wit-infused updates on their topic of choice.
When the company decided to start Oddjack, its first blog devoted to gambling, it turned to A.J. Daulerio. He spoke to PRWeek about the future of blogs and Gawker Media's stringent job qualifications.
PRWeek: How did you get into blogging?
Daulerio: I was actually working at a trade publication called The Bond Buyer, and after that I was co-editor of a website called The Black Table, which gained a little bit of notoriety. From there, I interviewed with Gawker about its new gambling blog, and it went from there. But I really had no blogging experience whatsoever prior to Gawker.
PRWeek: Do you like blogging better than trade writing?
Daulerio:Obviously, trade writing is not the most glamorous or sexy job in the world. But blogging has been a new experience, especially coming from the journalism community.
PRWeek: Where do you think blogs fit into the media landscape? Will they be the death of traditional media?
Daulerio: Not at all. I think there has to be a coexistence. I don't think blogging exists without the mainstream media and print media. Blogs are kind of like online ombudsmen, so far, of mainstream media. I don't think print media should be fearful of that.
PRWeek: What qualified you to be the editor of Oddjack?
Daulerio: Essentially, they wanted somebody funny who had some semblance of gambling knowledge. I was always a big football and NCAA [gambling] guy, but coming into this I was pretty ignorant of exactly how many things you can gamble on. It's been a crash course for me.
PRWeek: Did Gawker decide to start that blog because of the rise in popularity of gambling?
Daulerio: We launched during the World Series of Poker, and that's obviously the most popular thing right now in the US. But in Europe, I think gambling is just becoming part of the public consciousness, especially with all of the online gambling companies going with IPOs.
PRWeek: How much attention do you get from PR pros?
Daulerio: Tons. That industry is just throwing money at publications. I went to a conference in July and spoke to a lot of the gambling-magazine publishers, especially the poker publishers, and they're having such a monstrous year.
PRWeek: Do you have any tips for PR people about how to approach you?
Daulerio: The things I respond to most are when sites, for example, have a unique handicapping angle I can use. If somebody's pitching Paris Hilton's wedding odds or something along those lines, if they approach me with that, I will absolutely jump on top of it, and it will most likely get a link. Essentially, what I won't respond to are things like charity poker tournaments.
PRWeek: Do you have any idea how big Gawker Media is going to get?
Daulerio: I don't. It's a very top-secret society. I'm not privy to any kind of information. I've never even met any of them. That's my stock answer for that.