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.

Quasi-Famous People Pile Into Web Series

When it rains, it pours. A host of new online original series were announced in the past 24 hours, most of which are professionally produced content featuring semi-famous people — or the siblings of semi-famous people.

Lloyd Braun, the former Yahoo exec who was supposed to bring Hollywood-style content to the portal years ago, only to be booted from the company, is back, kinda. AllThingsD reports that Braun will produce The Lunacy Report, a daily show devoted to “weird news” for Yahoo, as well as a celebrity news content portal for MSN. Lunacy will be hosted by Ellen DeGeneres’ brother Vance.

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Vid-Biz: PS3, lg15, HD TV

Sony to Launch Video Service Through PS3; company hopes third time is the charm for piping movies and TV shows directly into the home. (The LA Times)

lonelygirl15 and KateModern Characters to Meet; crossover event kinda like the Internet’s version of when Magnum P.I. met Simon & Simon. (emailed release)

People Buying Smaller HD TVs; credit crunch has people shifting to 30- to 34-inch sets, taking a bite out of the 40- to 49-inch models. (Bits Blog)

Fix8 Adds Candidate Avatars; now you can have a web video chat as Barack Obama. (TechCrunch)

Revision3 Signs Deals with Hulu and Joost; just in time for the arrival of Veronica Belmont, new media studio expands its reach. (MediaWeek) (Disclosure: Revision3 produces the GigaOM Show.)

Rambler Media Set to Launch Rambler Cinema; video service will use Hiro Media for ads, signed content from TNT and Starmedia; holding company also owns Russia’s second largest portal. (Quintura)

Edelman Launches UGC Ad Studio; aspiring filmmakers can compete to make ads for the likes of Burger King, Expedia and Butterball. (USA Today)

Mahalo Daily Featuring Veronica Belmont Launches

Mahalo, an upstart search site, today launches a video show hosted by Veronica Belmont called Mahalo Daily. The show promises to publish four short episodes a week — “we’re ‘daily’ like The Daily Show,” said Belmont — and will include how-to guides, events and conventions, company profiles, and web site reviews. Here’s the first episode, a visit and test ride at Tesla Motors.

Belmont left a gig as a video host and producer at CNET (CNET) in July, news we broke on NewTeeVee. Belmont — a geek girl who really talks the talk and walks the walk, rather than coming off as having been hired for her headshot — already has a significant fan following, and we’ve selected her as a contestant on our web video celebrity game show at NewTeeVee Live.
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