Based on material previewed on its Web site, Current at first glance seems like a hipper, more irreverent version of traditional television newsmagazines.
Most of its programming will be in “pods,” roughly two to seven minutes long, covering topics like jobs, technology, spirituality and current events. An Internet-like on-screen progress bar will show the pod’s length.
Its short films include a profile of a hang glider and a piece on working in a fish market. One contributor talked about what it was like to have his phone number on a hacked Internet list of Paris Hilton’s cell phone contacts, saying that dealing with curiosity seekers was like “hosting your own radio call-in show.”
Every half-hour, Current promises a news update using data from Google on news stories most frequently searched for on the Web.
My attraction to the story is based in the interest at seeing traditional media react to the internet revolution – and more particularly to the blog phenomenon. Al Gore’s Current TV is testing the waters of a more interactive TV where viewers and producers could mix. The punishment for insufficient interactivity is the setting up of a rival… more open channel… as Gore has already seen with Rise Up Network (see Time article).