Are you interested in finding a cable channel that allows the viewers to create the content? Current TV, probably best known for its connection to Al Gore, is an independent satellite and cable channel that wants to spread a message and give the viewers a chance to share stories from their point of view. I feel this might be a great way to connect to users and really see what people care about. It’s nice to see video uploads that aren’t random friends dancing and singing.
Current TV is a nationally carried US channel based out of San Francisco, California. What makes them different is that one-third of their content comes from viewer created content, which they call VC2. The idea is that they care about what the viewers think. Most of the VC2 videos are available for viewing on their website, even the ones that don’t make it on the cable channel. Other video you can check out are short web-friendly highlights from their regular schedule. The content is very interesting, featuring key figures in social and political issues.
Because they are pushing their independent status and the importance of user video on their channel, Current TV offers clear submission guidelines and good tutorials for the socially conscious but technically inept. The Current Studio is the hub for viewer created content. It offers story ideas, basic tips about filming, and technical info and instruction on uploading and compression. It is clear and useful information even if you aren’t interested in uploading to Current TV. Basically, the top viewed viewer created videos on the site are selected for airing on the cable channel. The users vote for the videos then the channel checks all the legal stuff and then it’s on TV. There are clear ownership and reimbursement policies listed on the site.
Currently they are running a viewer video contest with the topic of tolerance. The aim is to get true stories or stories from the video makers point of view about the issue of tolerance or lack of it in the world. The winner of the contest will, of course, be shown on the cable channel and receive $100,000 plus an additional $15,000 will be donated to charity of the winners choice. The contest runs until August 15. The judging panel will include some celebrities such as Edward Norton and Margaret Cho.