Paul Ford first made waves under the nom-de-plume Gary Benchley. From 2003 to 2005, he wrote regular dispatches for website The Morning News under the guise of a fictional twentysomething Brooklyn rocker. When Ford finally revealed himself as the true author, he also touched on how the book deal for his Benchley musings had taken shape:
Literary agents began to email Gary, telling him he should start turning his column into a novel. A few months after that, editors at publishing houses began to write in as well. One agency, ICM, figured out I was behind Benchley, and I decided if they could puzzle out my identity from the clues I left in Gary’s story, I should give them my business.
As a contributing editor for The New Republic, Ford will write a monthly column focusing on technology and big data issues. In his forthcoming June debut, he highlights a social network hidden within Spotify. From today’s announcement:
“I didn’t know if The New Republic was ready for the full force of my nerdery,” Ford said. “But they told me to BRING IT. This will be fun.”
This is a smart and dynamic addition to the TNR mix by EIC Gabriel Snyder. Ford still writes for The Morning News, as well as other outlets. He’s also currently (among other things) a director at tech-media consultancy Activate and an instructor for New York’s School of Visual Arts, teaching the course “Content Strategies.”
Ford was an associate editor and contributing editor at Harper’s magazine from 2005 through 2012, and a featured voice on NPR’s All Things Considered from 2003 to 2006. This Brooklyn-based man of many talents is also staying true to the playful spirit of his Gary Benchley efforts, recently for example engaging in a little bit of fake emails fun with Virginia Heffernan.
[Photo courtesy: TNR]