Reader Vikram Chandrashekar points me to a couple of news pieces (1, 2) about the launch in the UK of Current TV, the television channel started by Al Gore. We are informed:
The user-generated programming will feature three to eight-minute short documentaries, known as pods, and half-hourly “news” bulletins describing the UK’s most popular Google search terms.
A third of the films will be made by members of the public and the rest voted onto the channel by viewers.
I’m rather sceptical about “user-generated programming.” As I mentioned here, crowds are great at collating content (Wikipedia) and filtering content (Digg etc), but not so much at creating content. Still, the content creation of crowds can work if you have a real-time filtering mechanism that crowds themselves operate, and if you can cater to the long tail. YouTube can do both of those; Current TV can do neither. For that reason, I think Gore’s venture is likely to fail.