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Al Gore Wants to Put You on TV

Al Gore Wants to Put You on TV

"The magic of the Internet isn't that you can watch 'Desperate Housewives' on it. The magic of the Internet is that this is where you can engage and interact and build community and influence."
- Joel Hyatt, Current TV co-founder

October 29, 2007 —

Al Gore's Current TV has relaunched its website in an effort to integrate its revolutionary television concept with the YouTube model for Internet video sharing. Now an Internet video archive will mirror what is shown on television, with users able to create responses minutes after they see a clip, and Current able to broadcast those responses minutes after they're posted.

Current was actually ahead of its time when it launched in 2005, more than a year before "you" were named Time's Person of the Year, or before Google bought a controversial media site that most said would suffocate as soon as its copyright-protected content was removed. Today, YouTube is recognized by many to be a model for the future of the video medium, and Al Gore—inventor of the internet and discoverer of global warming—did it first.

Current TV is a television network completely comprised of user-generated content. Even some of the commercials are submitted by users via competitions organized by its advertisers. Current says its research shows that viewers prefer homemade advertising to the Madison Avenue stuff by a 9-to-1 ratio.

One of the biggest criticisms of television has always been the passivity that it encourages on the part of the viewer. It's always been a one-way conduit by which companies can communicate to consumers. The programming that keeps the viewer sitting there is incidental, what's important are the commercials and who's watching them. But with Youtube, TiVo and Current paving the way, the age of the sedated consumer who watches an hour of commercials a day, may be coming to an end.

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