Sunday, November 13

Current TV is video podcasting, but are they 'getting it'

Current TV has finally started to deliver some of it's content via RSS enabled video feed. They have custom feeds for iTunes, Quicktime, and WinMedia format. All powered through Feedburner.

Current TV video blog

Current TV Quicktime RSS feed

Via: Current TV // Blog // Feeeeed me

The promise of Current TV...

Unfortunately there are no comments or conversational mechanisms on Current TV's video blog so it's really just a one way conversation. Current TV talking to you and not the other way around. It may be on the internet, but it's still just more broadcast.

There's so much more potential here! Current should be an advocate in helping their community make media, because in addition to all the indirect social benefits in the end that citizen made media will become a pool of content on which Current TV can draw.

There's three things Current MUST do.

1) Current should be promoting media education, educating people on how to make their own media through workshops, conferences, and other programs.

2) Current should be partnering with not for profit and community groups like OurMedia.org and Node 101 whom will help provide these facilities and training.

3) Current should then encourage people to not only submit their individual videos to Current, but videos from their vlogs or even submit their whole video blog! That way Current TV will have an ever growing pool of content to draw on. A pool of content that will come from a community that's both self sustaining and growing.

Without these three things Current is working on an unsustainable model. It's unsustainable because it's "one way".

Current's submission system is NOT sustaining. Who has time to create one video to submit just to Current TV? Especially when the majority of the time that work will simply be rejected and will never be seen by public eyes? If people want to create something bad enough that they'll create it and submit it to Current, then they want it SEEN. While current doesn't have enough time on it's cable channel or even website to showcase every piece of media submitted, they can help people to help themselves.

By stopping to think about what it's customers need which is a community, some visibility, and a voice (NOT just to see their videos on TV) Current can light a fire in the community. It's not even a big step, it just involves implementing a strategy that is a little less selfish and a tiny bit more altruistic.

Video blogs are a great source of citizen made media with benefits for both Current and the individuals that create them. By encouraging Current viewers to create their own video blogs as well as submit media directly to Current everyone wins. On the one hand there will be an established and growing independent, self sustaining community which will not only entertain itself through social interactions, and on the other side Current will in so facilitating this community build a huge base of content and a community of media creators from which it can readily draw on. A community of media makers who've "partnered" with Current by saying "my creations are available to Current TV to use."

Some details...

I could see an "I video blog for Current TV" badge campaign by users who've successfully submitted videos to Current TV. I could see Current creating a standard creative commons like license by which media creators can openly deed the work on their video blogs so that they have a pre-established legal relationship with Current TV where by they'll be compensated.

I could see Current tracking the popularity, comments and "interestingness" of those video blogs to mine for potential videos, stories and leads.

Best of all I could see current living up to and creating a new standard in TV where those such as CNN or MTV have before.

So how about it Current?

It's time to not just talk the talk, but walk the walk. MTV and CNN showed how to take niche markets like 24 hour music videos and 24 hour news world wide... The hallmark of this new revolution in media will be that network that can position itself to really feed upon and take advantage of the tremendous amount of independent citizen made media bursting forth from the internet. It will be that network whom connects to this, the new generation whom demand something more than the weekday sitcom.

Instead of 24 hour news bits or music video bits the next big revolutionary TV cannel will be 24 hour citizen media bits.

Establish the infrastructure...

So Current, come join the vlogosphere and use it as a pool on which to draw. Take the time to establish those connections, educate and facilitate. Give a little something to the community and it will give back to you a thousand fold. Take the time to establish the infrastructure by which you can fit into your communities lives, and they can fit into yours. Infrastructure that will allow you to interact with each other on a higher level than just a form on a website. Help build the infrastructure with legal frameworks, blog mechanisms, and media creation facilities by which we can better interact with you.

It's time for the "great debate" to be elevated to the next level. We're not just screaming at TV's anymore or writing letters to editors. We're making media. We're establishing the legal groundwork and we're communicating with not just text, but video and audio. And we're not just talking on our cell phones either. We're having personal conversations in open forums. Though it may seem odd to all the old school crowd, we're talking openly because we're inviting each other into our personal conversations, we're you in. Just as I'm inviting others into this conversation though it's become a personal message to YOU. Come work with us on a new level. That's the promise. That's the vision.

Enough of the silly forms and your bureaucratic systems... stop being so hierarchical and elitist... stop being the judges... and come join the hive. Once you establish the relationships you can then "curate" your channel. We're a lot more sophisticated and ready for you than you think. Take the leap of faith. It's a very small one. We're spelling it out, what more do you want? Do want us to do it all for you? Because we're pretty much doing it.

Doing it: 20051109_ToraBora2.mov
(video/quicktime Object)

Via: Current TV // Current International // The Caves of Tora Bora

5 comments:

Markus Sandy said...

I don't think this video is "journalism" in any sense. I don't take current tv seriously at all. It's sad to see such that a decent international news network (NWI) was bought up and displaced for this hollywood make believe baloney. Propoganda at it's best (worst?). What do you think will happen to current tv at the end of 2007 when it is no longer needed (win or lose)? Sold for scrap is my guess and so we (the people) end up with double nothing in the end.

Michael Meiser said...

You may very well have a point there... But here's my point.. Cable however flawed in architecture is still the most efficient way of delivering copious amounts of media to the masses. I don't think IPTV matches it's effectiveness or efficiency yet. We still need it. It's in this hope that I hope that someone if not Current TV will "get" this bottom up, democratic microcontent revoolution and actually find a way to "curate" a network of bottom up media.... this in much the same way we create our revlogs like Josh's picks or Steve Garfields vlog soup... but on a very large, large scale. When you think about it it's not really so different from what MTV did.

But... maybe we don't need cable TV... maybe that much cross over between vloggy media and broadcast media is a ridiculous notion. I look at newspapers though... and the way they have embraced blogging and think that maybe it is possible.

Let's see blogs haven't been exactly printed in the newspapers, but newspaper have come into the digital domain and started blogging.

Perhaps Cable networks will start vlogging / video podcasting some of their content on the open web?

Mike Travels said...

I have watched some cuurent tv on and off for a few months now. Today I watched it for about 2 hours, then went to the site and looked at a couple dozen videos. The experience was not unlike ifilm or atomfilms, in which the 80 - 20 rule once again applies. 80 percent of the videos are rubbish, while 20 percent are pretty good, and those 20 percent will comprise about 80 percent of current tv's broadcast materials.
The thing I don't like it that the schedule (DirecTV in my case) says google current every half hour of the day. Instead of playing random pods going from one subject to another, with the occasional VJ segment, why don't they make each half hour a different subject, like every other tv network, and website for that matter. Since digital media has become so targeted to sub-audiences, it stands to reason that someone who views and enjoys a pod about say bicycle polo is going to tune out if the next pod is about grannies knitting socks for homeless babies. Since a tv station only stays afloat if the advertisers stay with them, then mixing up the programming like they currently do is going to drive away viewers in the long run.

Dave Toole said...

I think the point is that there is a great opportunity for particiapatory media. Current has the ability, though not the clarity to grab this. Yes they will help provide the education but the big question is who will do something about building a bridge between the broadcast medium and the internet. We're getting closer and most of us are hungry for it but the institutions aren't ready yet and maybe the increased visibility of the personal media community will rise up faster than their awareness will.

Francisco Daum said...

Watching Mr. Larsen's travail in the Tora Bora, I kept thinking how dangerous things could have gone. Besides unexploded ordnance laying about, landmines had to be around and the possibility of ambush. "The Law of the Pashtuns" made it smooth for him. I wish him well and hope he gets a good story.