When we signed up as a Gawker commenter ten years ago, we needed a persona — a screen name and avatar. Our own name is terribly dull and terribly common, so we chose an in-joke nickname we had been using among friends. And for the avatar, we cropped a low-rez webcam photo showing us wearing old-school 3D glasses while leaning over a battery hamster. The combination pleased us.
Gawker was already on its third blogger by the time we discovered it — Elizabeth Spiers and Choire Sicha were gone, leaving Jessica Coen to toil in their wake — but what attracted us to it was the feeling of yet another attempt at reviving Spy, the satirical magazine we had called Mad for grownups. Like Spy, Gawker covered the Manhattan media scene with a jaundiced eye and healthy wit. And like Spy, Gawker would stray outside those bounds if something sufficiently amusing merited the attention.