Monday, January 28, 2008 Al Gore's Social Web TV network

ReadWriteWeb features an article about and reports that's parent company has filed for a $100 Million IPO. Al Gore is the Chairman of the company. a new kind of news and information network.
Current is the only 24/7 cable and satellite television network and Internet site produced and programmed in collaboration with its audience. Current connects young adults with what is going on in their world, from their perspective, in their own voices.

With the launch of, the first fully integrated web and TV platform users can participate in shaping an ongoing stream of news and information that is compelling, authentic and relevant to them.

I really like the Viewpoints feature -- a facewall of people's videos organized by topics. You can also voice your opinions by submitting votes. It's kind of digg + youtube.


Median Joe said...

Seems rather savvy of Mr. Gore. Certainly a grass-roots media company will empower individuals and be a novel means of communication. But in the long term, he who controls the media also has a powerful means to influence opinion.

Andrew said...

Current is really a neat site, if you're into social/political issues its a great way to spend a couple hours laughing/applauding/slapping-your-head-in-frustration/sighing.

In response to Joe, the point of the site is rooted in getting away from the idea that someone controls the media. The involvement of Current in any sort of control is more of a position of moderation - obviously, you don't want the site to become a platform for bigotry or violating the law, but otherwise, its hands off. Other people, instead of corporations with their financial interests, are the judges of what is news and what is not, especially so in the viewpoints section.

Its great to see this sort of new-media venture because it truly fits in with the basic tenants of democracy. The british philosopher John Mill wrote about how a collision of ideas would ultimately lead to a derivation of truth, and stressed that this point is why honest democracies are often superior forms of government. The fact that there are popular sites born out of this simple tenant is really a big turning point in American media.

Yuepu said...

The idea behind the Viewpoints is innovative, but I do not think the motivation for people to upload the video is as strong as mentioned in the article by saying that you can respond a video clip by uploading your owns. At least for me, it is more convenient to put some texts there as the comment rather than seeking 1 minute video clip which is appropriate as the response.

Harry Chen said...

I think Yuepu has a good point. Not all people are either willing or comfortable to post their opinions in the form of video.

However, allowing users to submit feedbacks in video clips has some advantages. If I was watching President Bush's State of Union on my cellphone while commuting, submitting my opinion in a video is far easier than submitting which as a text.