Not getting it

I don’t get it. From the start, I would have thought that Current.TV would have been built to be seen by anyone anywhere. Why shouldn’t I be able to watch the stream online? Better yet, why shouldn’t I get to see the segments they air whenever I want? Better yet, why shouldn’t I see the stuff they don’t air, too? Best yet, why don’t I find the stuff I like and distribute it for them?

That is the potential of Current. I don’t see that online now. Too bad.

: Broadcasting & Cable is live-blogging the launch of Current — which, if they did any of the things above, would be unnecessary, eh?

  • http://greatideawow.blogspot.com brian

    why are they going the route of cable TV? Isn't that so, what…1970s? Moreover, because of the agreements they probably have with the cable cos. don't expect to see repurposed content online anytime soon.

  • Jim Dermitt

    I was confused by the whole thing myself. It is designed to work with the Internet and TV, but no streams on the Internet. Something doesn't make sense with that whole idea. What's the deal with the inaugural Google Current? I thought the idea was using Google to blend TV and Internet. I saw it called sort of CNN meets MTV format. You would think they would at least stream audio with a picture slide show. It looks like a waste of time so far.

    I searched Current TV at http://video.google.com/ and got CSPAN2
    http://video.google.com/videopreviewbig?q=current

    So then I looked for Al Gore with quotes so Google would find it. I ended up at some CSPAN2 content about al-islam and al-qaeda.

  • Jim Dermitt

    What kind of blog is this? http://www.current.tv/blog/
    I thought I'd post something about streaming video and they have a blog that you can't post comments on! What are they trying to do, prove why interactive TV won't work? I just wonder how much money is being invested into this whole thing. From what I have looked at, it looks like they are setting this up to fail, but think it's very high tech or something. You would think they would want bloggers to comment and get some buzz going.

  • Jim Dermitt

    Does Current have ads?

    Yes. We run ads in different ways, though, and we're keen to start experimenting with different formats as well. Viewer-created advertising, anybody? Stay tuned. This is from http://www.current.tv/faq/

    The viewer created ads should be something else. No blog comments, but you'll be able to create your own television ads. They are going to experiment with ads. Maybe you send them 2 grand and they get something keen out for you!

  • Jim Dermitt

    I did a search http://technorati.com/search/current.tv
    This was the top hit. It's clueless, which is what any reasonable person would think once they browsed the thing. People aren't going to pay money for that, are they?
    http://amitp.blogspot.com/2005/07/currenttv-is-cl
    It says, "It's $23.86/month extra to get Current TV."

    This is a good summary of under-Current tv

    "Overall, I get a sort of pre-dot-com bust vibe from the Web site. It's high on style and low on usability, verging on being brochureware." I have to agree!
    http://rc3.org/2005/08/currenttv.php

    I give it 6 months, tops.

  • http://www.vonralls.com von

    you have to click the link to find out if you can get current tv. then you put in your cable provider. then you have to give up all your personal information. just to find out if you can even get the station? odd.

  • http://punditdrome.com Scott Ferguson

    Current TV’s URL is current.tv

    Al Gore is such a hipster. Even the name “Current TV” is so… happening. Yet blipping through their linup of shows, it sure looks like an old man’s idea of what “those young people” want to see — “and it’s good for them too.”

    Bleah. I’ll try to find it on Dish Network when I get home; but judging from the web site, Current TV is DOA. That is, unless they can find a charity to rob $800k from. Then it should survive until the money runs out or until they grow a brain and get a PD who can fog a mirror.

  • http://punditdrome.com Scott Ferguson

    It’s dead, Jim.

    It’s the Pajamas Media of cable TV. (Well, at least Current TV actually IS something — they haven’t just been telling everybody that they would be something someday.)

    It’s pining for the fijords.

    Stick a fork in it. It’s done.

  • Jim Dermitt

    Scott, It doesn’t look good. They should start running Cheech and Chong movies or something. Up in Smoke comes to mind! The whole thing looks like a public media suicide. How is Google tied up in this whole thing?

  • http://punditdrome.com Scott Ferguson

    Hehehe. Jim, now you know that young people should not be encouraged to smoke marijuana. Current TV should offer enlightened programming about the perils of illicit substances in a way that the youth of America can dig.

    I bet to Google, this is a “business” that isn’t a business. It’s charity for an ex-VP who doesn’t have a law degree and really isn’t equipped to do anything for a living that’s both useful and dignified.

    We should do a “dead pool” for Current TV. Interested? :)

  • Rob Hoffmann

    CurrentTV shapes up as one of those good ideas on paper that should never have actually seen the light of day.

    Death pool date: May 15, 2006. :) I will yield the date to either Scott or Jim if they want it, since they were here first.

  • Jim Dermitt

    Scott, I think I’m just going to make dinner and watch the evening news the old fashioned way. Maybe they will interview Al Gore on CBS or NBC and show a video clip since I can’t get Current.tv. Maybe the PBS NewsHour will cover the story.

  • http://punditdrome.com Scott Ferguson

    Jim: Sounds like a good plan.

    Rob: That’s a pretty good date. I would probably pick one a little farther out into the summer, say August 1, 2006. But they might surprise us and die before Labor Day. It depends on their backers’ tolerance for pain.

    I’m not even sure if dead pools are legal in the US. Is the outcome of a future event considered an element of chance? Maybe it would have to be administered by a bookmaking firm in the UK. But if Ladbroke or William Hill or another such firm ran a dead pool for Current TV, I’d sure put a link to it on my sites! (hint hint)

  • http://punditdrome.com Scott Ferguson

    Just had a flash of genius. :)

    A lottery has to have (a) an element of chance, (b) consideration for entry, and (c) a prize of value to the entrant. So, we can remove element “c” by running it as…

    THE CURRENT TV CHARITY DEAD POOL!

    For $10, pick a date for Current TV’s demise, and also the name of your favorite nonprofit charity. If you win, all the money in the pool goes to your charity.

    Nah… I wish we could do that, but I hate getting “cease and desist” letters.

  • http://www.projectnothing.com Nathan Lanier

    Headline on DRUDGE in six months: “WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?”

    And Jeff, thanks for making the number code just three numbers. Much more convenient, and as a user of WP myself, I can understand the need for it.

  • Jim Dermitt

    Sneaker Pimp is coming on next.
    They had something about suicide earlier.
    Wasn’t there some cult in California that all committed suicide in their sneakers?
    Paris Hilton-A look at privavy and encyrption is coming up soon.

  • http://moveleft.com Eric Jaffa

    Don’t cable companies pay content-providers?

    If a channel is webcast, then a cable company may not want to pay for content people can watch for free.

  • Marinaid

    Heaven forfend that it fails!!! We need an alternative to Faux Nuze. Give them your support. I’m quite excited about it and think that $23.86/month is not much to pay for such a fantastic resource. People probably said the same thing about Microsoft. Think it over people.

  • dualdiagnosis

    Marinaid-
    You forgot the tag.

  • dualdiagnosis

    the /sarcasm tag.

  • http://blogspot.mediacode.com/ Media Code

    I went on the current TV blog site – http://www.current.tv/blog/. did anyone notice that the name under the “About” is Robin Sloan of EPIC 2014 fame (Googlezon)?

  • Jim Dermitt

    If I was starting a TV\Internet content channel and charging a monthly fee, I’d offer the content over the Internet. I’d have a blog that would let watchers comment, I would use Google, Yahoo and other search data using DMOZ like search engines do, but not exclusively. I would offer users a blogging service so they could establish current tv blogs of their own. I would do a bunch of stuff differently. All of the this is the future now hype is fine, but when you get down to business your product or service needs to be defined by the consumers if you are to have any repeat business. Blogs are perfect for collaboration, so the current.tv comment free blog really makes the entire thing seem clueless. It’s like blogging is taking a step backwards. I think I’d offer RSS news feeds and base my news content on RSS and RDF rather than search data, which has been known to be manipulated to alter Page Rank and search results. Current seems to be going back into the future. I think it may be left behind by being stuck in the present. It will be interesting to see if they make any money or if the whole thing just consumes cash and then crashes and burns. From what I have seen, it looks like crashing and burning is in the future. I could be wrong and they could be inventing a whole new media model that has investors pumping money into it. We’ll see what happens! If the new model is the future, look for plenty of competition and more outlets like current.tv. I wouldn’t try to duplicate what they are doing, but I guess it could be done.

  • http://werblog.com Kevin Werbach

    Jeff, there’s a simple answer for this. Current TV’s contracts with DirecTV and Time Warner Cable, which provide their carriage, effectively prohibit them from streaming the full TV content over the Internet. This is standard operating procedure in the cable business. It’s going to be a big legal issue for the FCC as IPTV takes off, comparable to some of the network neutrality issues we’ve been fighting over in the VOIP world.

    But yes, given Current TV’s vision and positioning, one would expect them to look for creative ways around these limitations.

  • http://punditdrome.com Scott Ferguson

    Jim, if you remember the 1970s, do you recall the Lincoln Versailles? It was a Ford Grenada with a “hump” trunk lid and a different grille, and a much bigger price tag. Nobody bought it. It sucked.

    Sort of like appending internetishness to a cable channel.

    I think the media model for a typical cable channel is optimal. The Scripps channels (Food Network, Home & Garden Television, DIY Network, etc.) are the gold standard — find a niche that is broad and deep, and produce great television to cater to the niche. You find advertisers on these channels (particularly the Food Network) who advertise nowhere else.

    Moreover, their associated web sites have a commensal relationship with the channels. You want the recipie? Go to foodtv.com. While you’re at it, we have a great deal on Alton Brown DVDs or Emerilware pots and pans.

    (BTW, E. W. Scripps is a publicly traded company. Their projected 5-year annual growth rate by First Call is over 12%. That is damn good.)

    So, what is Current TV about? Does it serve a clearly defined niche? Where will its revenue stream come from?

    I don’t know really know. And I don’t think they do, either. That’s why I suspect it’s primarily an exercise in corporate charity for an ex-veep with delusions of grandeur, rather than a serious business venture.

  • Jim Dermitt

    I don’t get this, “Thanks for your interest in the Partnership for a Secure America blog. This page is currently under construction. We expect that this page will be fully operational on November 15, 2005. Please revisit this page then.” http://www.psaonline.org/blog.html Al Gores Current TV Blog, at least has something posted. I’m starting to think we are doomed! Maybe people will start setting up blogs for later. Don’t die before your blog becomes fully operational!

  • Jim Dermitt

    Lincoln Versailles? I worked at a garage and remember ordering parts. I think the Ford Granada parts were cheaper and fit the Lincoln, except for sheet metal, so we were ordering Granada parts and I’m sure the shop owner was charging the guy Lincoln prices. He got screwed, but he thought because he was driving a Lincoln everything should cost more I guess. It was all about the brand and the sucker as consumer twit! This was the era of AM Stereo and New Coke, if you remember those. With AM Stereo, you had to buy a new car radio which would get you about 2 new stations which just died without much warning or fanfare. New Coke created a soda revolt before Coca Cola surrendered. Then there was Pepsi Free, which was in the movie Back to the Future along with the Delorean converted into a time machine. John DeLorean built an auto plant in the middle of an Irish war zone, if you recall! If you want a Pepsi you are going to pay for it! Our culture, whatever the shortcomings, has had some fun.

  • Jim Dermitt

    Scott, Current TV is the AM Stereo of the new century!

  • http://punditdrome.com Scott Ferguson

    Jim D., you’re giving me flashbacks! Aieee!

    ‘Scuse me, while I kiss this guy! =))

  • Jim Dermitt

    PIMPIN FOR A LIVIN

    Maybe the technologists behind Current TV can start Current AM in Stereo and reinvent radio after they get done with showing the world how TV should work. Maybe we’ll all need devices with V-chips or something to protect us from TV’s. This will cause the landfills to fill up with old working TV sets that don’t work with Current TV technology, because of the V-chip. Lord help the environment. Save the Planet from new digital products designed to be discarded in 18 months. Our old TV with tubes lasted for 20 years and could be fixed. I wonder when Current TV will be promoting the V-chip.

    In the Telecommunications Act, Congress determined that parents should be
    provided “with timely information about the nature of upcoming video programming and with
    the technological tools that allow them easily to block violent, sexual, or other programming
    that they believe harmful to their children . . . .”

    The next thing you know the kids will be using the web to hack the V-chips using Current TV or google and the whole thing will turn into some sort of scandal.

    User Interface. We tentatively conclude that the program blocking technology
    should be implemented in as “user friendly” a manner as possible. Parents should be able to
    program their television receivers easily to block categories of programs they do not want
    their children to see with a common rating. Similarly, we tentatively conclude that the
    program blocking technology should be secure enough to ensure that children cannot easily
    override their parents’ decisions.

    Current TV was showing Sneaker Pimp. Protect your children, they may want to grow up and become Sneaker Pimps. What a nutty world!

  • Jim Dermitt

    Current TV: The Lineup
    Sneaker Pimp
    Paris Hilton and Encryption
    Suicide in Japan

    Here’s a program idea.
    V-chip Pimp and softcore with Paris Hilton
    Media Suicide for all you ho’s, players and pimps out there in TV Land.
    Warn all the parents first!

  • Jim Dermitt

    Parents should be able to program their television receivers easily to block categories of programs they do not want their children to see with a common rating.

    What happens when Google becomes the tuner? All the kids are watching Sneaker Pimp and suicide programming from Al Gores new network. Al becomes a mogal and the kids want to grow up to become sneaker pimps and the ones who don’t kill themselves. No wonder the democrats are all screwed up at the national level. I’m sure Current will be covering the conventions, if it lasts that long. What a joke! It’s time for a quote from Will Rogers.

    Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need.

  • rigo

    the best part of current.tv….
    the converse ads
    the worst part…..
    the programming
    there are basically 8 segments that repeat themselves over and over
    the hosts are difficult to watch; they’re trying too hard to be cool
    i’m unimpressed

  • http://www.antimedia.us/ antimedia

    Hey, Al invented the Internet. He never said he understood it. :-)

  • Jim Dermitt

    Here’s an interesting idea. Blogcasting. All you need is a low power tv service and content of course. http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/lptv.html

    The FCC site says, “LPTV stations are subject to a minimum of program-related regulations. There are no prescribed amounts of non-entertainment programming or local programming, and there are no limits on commercials, and no minimum hours of operation. However, the broadcast of obscene and indecent material between 6 A.M. and 10 P.M. is prohibited.”
    Here is some history at museum.tv
    http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/L/htmlL/lowpowertel/lowpowertel.htm

    We have our local government meetings broadcast in my area, but you have to have cable to watch them. How democratic! I still remember the old sets with the UHF dial. I have one sitting around. It goes up to channel 82. I think you got maybe two channels and the rest of the dial had no programming. To get that you needed a set top box and cable which could read the list of channels. This was the opposite of AM Stereo. To get that you needed a new AM Stereo radio to get two new channels of AM Stereo.

  • Jim

    And the reviews are now coming in.

    Clueless and elitist.
    Dead air and little humor.
    Pass the Ritalin.
    Mindblowing and clueless.
    CBS News reruns, how current.