Although he tried to convince us he invented the Internet, Al Gore’s new foray into television isn’t getting a much better reception. Current.tv is an innovative idea – at least it sounds innovative – creating a television channel where the audience produces the programming. But do I really want to see a TV program created by my neighbor Floyd? There’s still too many masterpieces of film and television out there I haven’t watched yet – so I think I’ll pass on the new video by the local high school geek. As a result, Free Press reports that cable operators are giving Gore’s network a cool reception – even with the influence of a former Vice President pitching the concept.
Once again, we’re seeing that media do not always intersect. What seems to work with web video networks doesn’t necessarily translate to network or cable TV.
We must remember that changing the medium, requires us to re-think the entire concept. It’s why TV has taken so long to migrate to our desktops. I’m not interested in watching a two hour movie on my computer – unless I’m trapped on a plane or in a hotel room with few other options. It’s the same thing with moving TV programs to the internet. Taking a normal thirty minute or hour program to the net might not be so wise in a world where people prefer shorter entertainment options. Which is part of the reason the Sundance Film Festival received a record number of short film submissions this year.
Changing the medium, means changing our expectations of what the consumer will enjoy, and how it fits into his or her lifestyle.