Here’s an important message to the NCDD community from Leah Lamb, who’s now the Director of Current TV’s Online Election Initiatives. Leah has been actively involved in NCDD since we formed in 2002, and I’m so excited that we have an “in” at Current TV. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Current TV is Al Gore’s youth-oriented cable channel that plays tons of high-quality “user generated content.” It’s starting to do for television what blogs and wikis have done for the web (democratize it). And here’s an opportunity for our community to get involved…
As Al Gore announced at the Emmy’s, he and Current TV are dedicated to democratizing media. I am excited to share with you a new web tool to do just that—be a place where regular people, celebrities, and political leaders can be on level playing ground to express their views on pressing social issues of the upcoming election.
But here’s the cool part — because here we are…in the future. The tool is designed to use video to show personal opinions. During its beta phase, Video Opinion Walls will be focused on the most urgent and important topics of debate: election-related issues. Users will be able to explore public opinion by selecting the topics they’re interested in—Iraq, health care, the environment, abortion, eventually even the local zoning ordinance — and then dive straight into first-person commentary from real people. Because it’s video, and because it’s real people (not pundits), the 60 second Video Opinions will offer an unprecedented view of politics: Instead of polarization and abstraction, you’ll see nuance and emotion….
Current will air the most compelling and most provocative of these opinions on our global cable and satellite TV network—giving normal citizens a platform just as powerful as the pundits on cable TV. Forget red and blue; we are building a palette of every color in the spectrum, full-motion and full of passion.
As the Video Opinion project progresses, we’ll add new issues and new Video Opinion Walls. More and more over time will be suggested by the community itself: When an issue gets enough traction with users, we’ll give it a Wall of its own.
Current.com’s goal is to become the universal platform on the web for citizens of the U.S. and the world to come together and share their opinions, in video, on the big issues facing us today.
I am coming to you for several reasons:
1. I am in the process of seeding the site, meaning I am looking for articulate and interesting perspectives and opinions to put on the page before we launch (October 15th)!
2. I am looking for recommendations of your favorite bloggers. People who are articulate who may be interested in vlogging for us.
3. We are looking for thought leaders…people who can watch the discussion and weigh in on subjects they are experts on.
4. Plus…I’m looking for a few regulars, people I can call and say, “Hey, would you respond to Lisa’s comments on health care?” (There are incentives to be one of these people.)
5. And finally….we are looking to include groups of all perspectives, I am in the process of reaching out to groups who express conservative and republican points of views…if you have a connection with these groups, please contact me.
Current TV’s target audience is 18-35. While we want to hear perspectives from everyone…we REALLY want to hear from the 18-35 year olds…so any help you can provide connecting us to younger groups who would be interested and have the technology to participate is appreciated.
WSHEW! That’s a lot of info! Hope you are all wonderful and well! Keep up the great work you are doing!
Director, Online Election Initiatives