More on Current TV and Olbermann

Yesterday I wrote about Keith Olbermann’s move to Current TV, a move I argued was a touch depressing. One of TV’s most innovative channels—if one of its most unwatched—seemed to be saying it was becoming another news/opinion hub.

For comment, I had contacted Leslie Walker, former “.com” technology columnist at The Washington Post, where she worked for sixteen years, and now the Knight Visiting Professor in Digital Innovation at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism. She had written about Current TV around the time of its launch. As these things go, I had to publish before we got to chat.

In an e-mail today Walker had some interesting thoughts on the comparisons made between YouTube and Current. Walker wrote:

YouTube was a pure technology play, simply providing a new Internet delivery platform to the public and creating zero content. Same as Facebook and Twitter, both pure communication platforms.

Current TV was more like Yahoo, trying to blend technology AND original content creation. Those blended startups, by and large, haven’t worked in the Internet age. Success with creating delivery platforms requires a laser focus on technology. So to my mind, Current TV had little hope of being able to invent new forms of interactivity or delivery for Internet video, while it was simultaneously trying to be a content creator/provider.

Plus, inventing new forms of interactivity for TV is really, really hard! Your article made it sound easy!

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Joel Meares is a former CJR assistant editor. Tags: , ,