In a feat that can only have one thinking, "hmm, why didn't you come up with this idea five years ago when it might have shown people that you weren't a robot," former Vice President Al Gore has launched a new TV channel with short, A.D.D.-friendly entertainment and current affairs programming aimed at America's youth. The channel, called Current, will be made up of 15-second to eight-minute "pods" ("creatively" taken from Apple's iPod), otherwise known as very short mini-programs. These pods will deal with a wide range of topics from fashion and lifestyle to finance and world affairs and, this is the really cool part, the station encourages its audience to make their own pods and submit them.
Although it hasn't been launched yet, Current's website will offer tools, software and tutorials for viewers to upload their own pods into the Current system. The best viewer-contributed pods will be voted on and will air on the station. You can check out a few user-submitted pods here. They're damn good - informative, creative, indie and moving.
"We are about empowering this generation of young people in their 20s to engage in a dialogue of democracy and to tell their stories about what's going in their lives in the dominant media of our time," Al Gore said.
Gore also said that the station is NOT going to be used as a left wing mouthpiece.
Through a deal with Google, the channel also has pods that deal with the most searched topics on the Google site at a given time, which has the potential to be interesting.
The station is not currently available through Dish Network, which I use, so I don't know if the actual execution of this great idea for a TV network is done well, but judging from their website, it seems like they "get it". I'd expect that after the kinks are worked out (the station had dead air it's opening night for quite some time), Current could actually make a difference.
Has anyone out there watched Current? Let us know what you think. Inquiring minds want to know.