This weekend, having just flown in from London, we got on a Jet Blue flight to Burlington, Vermont, where we spent the weekend at the Mark Bittman / Kelly Doe wedding.
Bittman is an old friend of ours, long-time food critic for The New York Times, and author of that big yellow cookbook, How To Cook Everything that you and everyone else has in their kitchen. He has also written many other cookbooks and of course, his columns in The Times. I was following his step-by-step recipes long before I ever met him.
His new wife, Kelly Doe is a graphic designer and art director at The NY Times, and has already had a considerable impact on Bittman’s own design and art. A long-time afficianado of horizontally striped t-shirts, he was nattily attired in grey Prada suit. Things are looking good.
Bittman is of interest to us not because of his lovely lakeside Vermont wedding (mazel tov), but because of the predominant position his video takes on The New York Times website.
Bittman’s columns are a natural for video – it’s informative and it’s how-to, and it’s extremely popular.
It’s also one of those situations where the video is more powerful than the text – owing to the very visual nature of food and cooking and purchasing, the ability to go on location, and of course, Bittman’s own engaging style and personality.
As paper’s move to the web and as the web embraces video, it is only natural that newspapers are going to embrace video if they are going to survive. Of course, the cost-point for production has to be commensurate with the cost point for producing text, or none of this transition will work.
In this case, it all works extremely well.