Al Gore’s television project, Current, launched today. Of course I, like pretty much everyone else, can’t watch it because it’s not carried by my cable provider. Current has segments rather than shows, which means that it will be difficult to Tivo things. There’s no broadcast schedule on the Web site beyond what’s coming up for the next hour or so. There’s no way to watch any of it on the Web, making it nearly impossible to know what the channel will even be like unless you’re one of the households that receives it. At least Current doesn’t seem to be centered around professional blatherers “discussing” the issues of the day.
According to this Washington Post article on the network, they’re going to be focused on participatory media, but it’s hard to get that from the Web site (aside from this preview). Current’s blog doesn’t support comments, which is kind of odd considering the network’s emphasis on public participation. They probably don’t want to be inundated with comments from Al Gore-hating right-wing trolls.
Overall, I get a sort of pre-dot-com bust vibe from the Web site. It’s high on style and low on usability, verging on being brochureware. How about an RSS feed of upcoming segments? Or anything that says Web 2.0 in any way? It strikes me a strange to launch something brand new without any of the trappings of the participatory Web as it exists today.