25 August 2005

[zeitgeist] J. Marcus Xavier on "current" TV

Over at Very Small Doses, J. Marcus Xavier's 'blog (you'll remember him as the fellow who came up with a rather witty graphic skewering Windows Vista which I reported on here), he explores the concept that is current TV, the new media venture fronted by Al Gore.

In deconstructing modern TV, JMX makes some cogent insights into why current is an innovation, but also why that innovation may well miss the mark, and a possible reason why current misses the point.

Agree or disagree with what he says, it's good commentary, food for thought, and can be read here.


Jim said...

Gore never said he invented the Internet, so right away the article lacks credibility. Cable allows for narrowcasting, programing that appeals to a niche or relatively small audience. For some reason the author uses that as his premise but never explains why Current TV will not find a niche audience of its own. As best I can tell, Current is supposed to be blend of public-access with for-profit. If that causes young people with camcorders to be inquisitive and expressive, let's encourage that and hope that it is successful and spawns many imitators.

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...


Yah, that Gore chestnut has gone pretty hoary. It was kind of hackeneyed to include it, and what I really think it was a major distraction from the article to go on about it for the-what was it-two paragraphs that he did.

I mentioned that in a reply email to him but I didn't get on him too much about it-his commenters gave him a good amount of heat about it.

I got a somewhat different message from his post than you did. Whatever he said about audience it seemed to me to be that his point seemed to be that Current TV is approaching new media in an old media way-all these podcasts and public content taken under a single network banner. What with the decline of the traditional networks perhaps that sort of thing is dated...the kind of person who would want to get a podcast or blog-like content won't think of Current as a source of it, they'll just go to podcast sites and blogs.

However, as something headed up (at least in part) by Al Gore, I'm for it and hope it succeeds. Much more about Gore encourages me than discourages me, and I think he's one of the noble figures of the last decade of American politics. I think history will bear that out.