Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
The Wall Street Journal website — paywalled from the very beginning — turns 20 years old today
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Feb. 21, 2014, 10:40 a.m.
LINK: instagram.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   February 21, 2014

Whenever a new form of online media comes along, it’s pilloried in some corners as insufficient for real content. Think blogs in 2002 (“It’s just guys eating Cheetos in their mothers’ basements!”) or Twitter circa 2009 (“You can’t say anything in 140 characters! #longform”). And we’ve seen the same sort of reaction with the rise of new short-form video networks like Vine and Instagram: “You can’t show anything real and valuable in 15 seconds!”

Changing people’s minds on this sort of thing usually requires a new set of people doing work that embraces the constraints of the form — while at the same time being undeniably professional and high quality. With that in mind, here’s the Dutch chef Bart van Olphen, who has started the world’s shortest cooking show, Fish Tales, on Instagram (via Kottke). In 15 seconds or less, Bart shows how to cook a complete seafood dish:

It helps that he’s making simple seafood dishes and not something old-line French — you probably couldn’t squeeze pâté en croûte into 15 seconds; Julia Child needed the full half-hour, after all — but even so, it’s a remarkable act of compression.

I have no idea what van Olphen’s business model is — he has a book for sale, and I imagine any notice he attracts for this could be turned into catering, teaching, or other kinds of work. But his little cooking show is evidence that you can build interesting things if you understand and use the limits of the form.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
The Wall Street Journal website — paywalled from the very beginning — turns 20 years old today
“From the very beginning it was very clear we needed to cover all the same concerns and sensibilities of the print Journal even though we were online and even though we were a young staff.”
Newsonomics: In the platform wars, how well are you armed?
“Think about platforms as fishing places where you can find large, engaged audiences and build a relationship with them by providing content. Then offer these users some other services off-platform.”
Wired’s making the long and slow switch to HTTPS and it wants to help other news sites do the same
With its HTTPS implementation, Wired’s starting with its security vertical and for users who pay for the ad-free version of the site.
What to read next
0
tweets
How Atlas Obscura helps its web audience discover the real world
Events like its upcoming Obscura Day are meant to help the site’s digital readers discover places they previously only read about.
0Inspired by “independent YouTubers,” wary of cable, Vox.com takes its explainer mission to video
“I made one rule starting out: No desks.”
0You can now get personalized Breaking News alerts on Slack
The NBC-owned company’s new Slack bot lets you follow more than 90,000 topics.
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
Poynter Institute
Drudge Report
El Faro
Mozilla
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Hearst
Twitter
Ars Technica
Spot.Us
Creative Commons
Windy Citizen
The UpTake