Current A-Twitter with Debate Hacking

Sprinkling a little Twitter dust on your broadcast is the hot new trend in television. Both Current and C-SPAN have displayed “tweets” alongside their political coverage, and CNN’s Rick Sanchez created a news show based around Twitter.
Showing watcher tweets on the air doesn’t make you truly interactive, but it’s a nice start. In the first month of his new show, Sanchez increased his time slot’s audience by 25 percent, to almost 900,000 viewers. And for Current TV, the progressive cable network that has yet to make a big mainstream splash, its “Hack the Debate” Twitter project has been a huge breakthrough.
Over at Current TV headquarters, which happen to be just around the corner from our office, folks were beaming with excitement when I visited them just before and during the final presidential debate last night. See my annotated video of the scene above.
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Hanging Out at CurrentTV With Al Gore

Al GoreWith the U.S. Presidential elections likely to be held in November 2008, two major candidates, Senators John McCain (Rep.) and Barack Obama (Dem.) debated issues around foreign policy yesterday. To mark the occasion, Current.tv, a citizen journalism-based TV network, teamed up with San Francisco-based Twitter to host a special event that allowed folks to participate in real time as the debate unfolded. 

Before the debate kicked off, Al Gore, former U.S. vice-president and a presidential candidate who co-founded Current TV along with Joel Hyatt, stopped by the TV network’s fancy digs. They are right across from AT&T Park and a stone’s throw from our more modest offices. 

Om Meets Al Gore

GigaOM Network Managing Editor Carolyn Pritchard and yours truly stopped by. Twitter team was in attendance as well, and so were my friends Tekzilla co-host Veronica Belmont and Gdgt co-founder Ryan Block. David Galbraith, who is in town for a personal visit, was in attendance as well.  

I got a chance to exchange a few words with former V-P Gore, who was extremely warm and gracious and generous with his time. You can check out my photos from the event on Flickr, though they are not as good as Scott Beale’s always excellent photography.