Christopher T. Ogden

Blog About Projects

25 Mar 2012
J.D. Bentley

Through Patrick Rhone’s post Other People’s Must Reads, I discovered the site of J.D. Bentley. Bentley is a designer, but his site is focused on his writing. The first post I read, The Californian & The New Yorker, tells of his attempt to get published in a traditional publication (the prestigious The New Yorker, no less). Tired of the mediocrity of publishing on the web, which he believes is mostly due to the ease of accessibility (almost anyone can get a blog up and running in a matter of minutes these days), he seeks vindication with his high goal. Unfortunately, they “aren’t need­ing any new writ­ers right now”. He says he is relieved, and concludes:

I’m greatly dis­ap­pointed that the web allows medi­oc­rity to be so eas­ily dis­trib­uted, but I should not over­look the fact that it also offers this cheap, world­wide dis­tri­b­u­tion to the thought­ful and the tal­ented. If you work hard to learn a craft and even harder to mas­ter it, if you put great thought into what you say and who you want to say it to, then there’s no bet­ter place to be pub­lished than on a web­site you your­self own.

He encourages us to

Get an audi­ence, or get bet­ter and then get an audience.

Personally, one of my goal with this site is to get an audience, but my focus is to improve my writing and thinking. Another Bentley post, Our Secret Handshake Is Not An Algorithm, explains his decision to not include a comment form on his posts, as well as his decision to block search engines. I haven’t gone so far as the second, but the lack of comments on this site is deliberate (with that said, feel free to email me at if you have something to discuss).

In recounting the article, though, I’m getting away from my point: that you should be reading it yourselves, and his other posts as well. I’ll be working my way through his past postings whenever I have the chance. Join me in the archives!

P.S. Speaking of Patrick Rhone, don’t forget Enough, his new book published digitally.