// April 29, 2009 by mario_athe team over at SuperNews! are returning to the airwaves this friday with a brand new episode. so, to whet the appetite of the Internets, they passed us a clip from the show in advance.
yup, continuing on our legacy of animated Star Wars references, a certain wookie shows off his sexual prowess in 'using pets to get laid.' you can catch the full episode this friday at 10pm p/e.
- SuperNews! realizes that cell phones complicate relationships. find out how love can get even more complex when you text your ex.
- Meghan McCain feels the wrath of 'Jabba the Rush' in SuperNews!' politically-charged homage to Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.
- Facebook, MySpace, and Friendster are re-imagined as bachelors on the prowl in the SuperNews! take on a social media sitcom. watch out for Mr. Furley!
// April 28, 2009 by dcuisinotHello and Happy Tuesday Currentians!
Last week we interviewed Current.com veteran and Science channel curator DeliaTheArtist. This week we bring you the super duper newtastic AwesomeJosh!
AwesomeJosh is a self proclaimed news junky who posts all sorts of interesting stories, so be sure to check out his profile for tons of great items ranging from a 40-pound tumor being removed from an 82 lb. woman (!) to a robot gardener. Those two stories alone make Josh, well... awesome.
Take a look at the interview below to get to know AwesomeJosh a little better:
Q: How did you find out about Current? What made you a fan?
A: I found out about Current while browsing the World Wide Web looking for a website that I could add to my daily website ritual. I was looking for a site that not only supplied a daily dose of news but featured other things and had a fun atmosphere to it. I was about to give up my quest when I found you through a Google search. You were everything I was looking for and had something I didn't expect. All the news content on the site was user submitted. That meant that I could submit news or whatever else was on my mind and that aspect of the site got me hooked. You had me at hello.
Q: Where do you look for stories to add to Current?
A: I am a news junkie and my favorite place to get my daily fix of stories to add to Current is msnbc.com because it features stories that you wouldn't normally see on other major news sites along with really well written articles. I also like to visit Breitbart.com, Google news and the Drudge Report.
Q: Okay--we gotta ask. How did you pick your username?
A: Simple. I am an awesome person. My name is Josh. The two just came together so smoothly.
Q: If you could have one Superhero power, what would it be and why?
A: Invisibility. Not to use to fight crime though but to spy on people.
And there you have it! Don't forget to check out the rest of his items and profile for always interesting and relevant information.
Until next week...
// April 24, 2009 by mario_aWhoa! I just noticed that the Official Star Wars Blog ran a piece the other day on our animated cartoon series, SuperNews! sweet!!
Current TV’s web series SuperNews takes a funny look at trendy topics and news items, and then animates them into hilarious Web cartoons. Since Star Wars is ever-present in pop culture it makes sense that some characters show up in a few episodes.
One of the cameos they reference is Boba Fett's appearance in "Rambo vs. Terror Part 1." If you haven't seen it, take a look:
More recently, Rush Limbaugh was featured as everyone's favorite Tattoine gangster in "Jabba the Rush." Here's what the Star Wars Blog had to say:
Conservatives kneel before the almighty Rush Limbaugh (as Jabba the Hutt) to beg forgiveness. Add bonus — Ann Coulter as Salacious Crumb!
Looks like they enjoyed Super_Josh's take on Ann. What do you think?
Seeing SuperNews! featured on the Official Star Wars Blog has inspired me to dust off my lightsaber and play Jedi for an hour or so re-watch the original trilogy. perhaps this weekend.
If you haven't checked out their blog yet, you really should. It's chock full of Star Wars references that surface across the interwebs and in other forms of media. The write-up of last week's episode of LOST, titled "Some Like it Hoth," in which Hurley tries to re-write The Empire Strikes Back was a personal fave. Check out their post, titled "The Empire Strikes LOST." Great stuff.
Here's another recent favorite, a mash-up called Star Wars as MacGyver:
From the same fan who brought us Star Wars as Dallas comes another excellent TV intro mashup. This time it’s Macgyver! Will Luke blow up the Death Star using chewing gum and a drinking straw? We may never know.
Did that spark an idea for another '80s TV show + Star Wars mash-up? Too late, the same fan just released a Star Wars as Airwolf clip. Best dig out some old footage from The A-Team.
To the folks over at The Official Star Wars Blog, thanks again! You make our geek hearts jump for joy.
// April 23, 2009 by mario_aHello Currenteers,
It's time for another feature release on current.com! Thanks to our crafty dev team, this time around we have something that has been in the works for some time: a brand new embeddable video player!! Here are some notable new features:
- Killer new design and slick new layout
- New tools for share and embed -- we're going to add some functionality to the share tool in an upcoming release
- Controls disappear during playback, but reappear when you mouseover
- Info tab gives you the scoop on the video, a brief description, including who uploaded, and how many responses it's received
- A brand new end slate featuring other current videos
But enough with the talky-talky. Take it for a test drive and let us know what you think:
Take our new player for a test spin, and shoot us any feedback, questions, or suggestions on our Get Satisfaction page.
// April 22, 2009 by sgwhitesIt's time for the 2009 Webby award, and this year, Current is up for three awards! We think the Webby statue would look really cool in the Current offices, so we need your help to win. Voting ends April 30th, so don't procrastinate.
It's super simple--all you have to do is vote for Hack the Debate and Obama's Army on the Webby awards website. (If you've already voted, then why not help us get the word out on Facebook or Twitter?)
I'll even walk you through it.
First you'll need to head over to the official Webby voting site. It should look like this:
If you're not already registered, you'll need to do that. You'll have to wait for a confirmation code to arrive in your email. It's a good time for a coffee break.
Once you're registered, look for the Online Film and Video category.
Then, scroll down. Current is nominated in three different categories: Hack the Debate is nominated in Best Use of Interactive Video and Events and Live Webcasts. Obama's Army is nominated in News & Politics: Individual Episodes.
Then--you vote! Super easy. You can only vote once, and your first vote in a category is the one that counts. so click carefully. And, for non-US fans, voting is open internationally!
If you're wondering what we've been nominated for, check out Obama's Army, Mariana van Zeller's look inside the Obama campaign of young volunteers.
While you're flashing back to election season (it seems so long ago, doesn't it?) you might also want to take a trip down memory lane and watch Hack the Debate, Current's debate coverage with live Twitter commentary from you!
Cast your vote for Current, and while you're at it, why not tell your friends, family, and all those random people following you on Facebook and Twitter!
// April 22, 2009 by dcuisinotHey Everyone,
Last week we featured a newer community member, whitespacecarpet, and his variety of interesting stories. This week we're interviewing a Current veteran, DeliaTheArtist. I'm sure everyone has seen at least one of her great stories, but in case you haven't, go take a look at her profile for an array of awesome posts. A few of my favorites are Gecko-Inspired dry adhesive headed to Space, Musicians' brains keep time-- With one another and Men and Women Respond Differently to Beauty. Call me nerdy if you like, but all of these are seriously interesting (and educational!).
This is one of DeliaTheArtist's best know and favorite pieces of art, titled Peace.
Check out DeliaTheArtist's interview below to get to know her better:
Q: How did you find out about Current? What made you a fan?
A: My fiancee watches Current TV and heard about Current.com from there. Once he told me about it, I was hooked. I love the user participation and discussion on world events, the broad range of topics and the level of interaction with the site, the television station and the community. Current has done a lot for me. I feel like I'm part of something important as well as participating in a fresh, customizable experience, and I think a lot of users feel that way. We're bringing something new to journalism, art, activism, viewer created content and the internet in general.
Q: Where do you look for stories to add to Current?
A: All over the place! I go to a lot of science places (Sciam.com, Nat Geo, Discovery, etc) and I follow News Sources and Science sources on Twitter.
Q: Okay--we gotta ask. How did you pick your username?
A: I went through a lot of online names in general and I wanted to decide on ONE and stick with it. I stopped bullshitting around and kept it simple: My name, what I am. DeliaTheArtist.
Q: If you could have one Superhero power, what would it be and why?
A: I'd want powers like Professor X - totally awesome mind powers that include telepathy and telekinesis. You can do pretty much anything; mind control, lift objects, fly around- it's the perfect power!
And, if you haven't heard, DeliatheArtist is now the curator of the Science channel, which is chalk full of stories terrific stories, maybe one of yours has even been featured! If one hasn't though,we thought we would have Deliatheartist give ya the scoop:
Q: As curator of the Science channel, what kind of what do you look for in items for the Science channel?
A: I am always looking for breaking science news, but I'm really looking for conversation starters. Stories that pose a question to people. For example, I recently posted an article about possible legislation against animal/human hybrid cell research. I used it as an opportunity to ask the Current community how they felt about Animal-Human Hybrids- discussion ranged from the bioethics of mixing cells to what kind of animal parts people would like to have to the accusation of scientists "playing god." Science is about questioning reality to achieve a deeper truth- that's what I'm looking for, stories that make people really think!
Well, there you have it! Be sure to check out Deliatheartist's profile and the Science channel for some amazing, thought-provoking content.
// April 21, 2009 by mario_a
As some of you may remember, we mentioned that we're on the look out for some community members to help us out with an alpha-test for our upcoming channels feature. We're calling these folks our Current community channel curators, and we're happy to announce the first batch to the rest of the community:
"So what can you post on the US Politics Channel? It's simple, post anything that has to do with politics in the United States, that's a lot of stuff. In order to contribute to the channel you'll have to tag it with US Politics. If you have any questions about me and my curating feel free to post them here or if necessary current-mail me."
"Science is the effort to discover and increase human understanding of how reality works."
"Random is having no specific pattern, purpose, or objective."
"Here on the Current Indie Film Channel together we will explore the mighty and the mini of Independent Film. You will learn about Mumblecore, Schlock, Homebrew, Guerrilla and DIY filmmaking. You will get the skinny on the latest gear, the latest gossip and experience art and entertainment beyond the bounds of visual viral hyperbole."
"Interviews, reviews and videos produced by and about indie music acts"
"no explanations, no excuses, nothing more, nothing less. seriously! WTF!!"
So how do you participate in these channels? Simple! Submit your stories and tag them to each relevant channel. Our channel curators are able to feature relevant submissions on their channel. They also have the ability to remove stories that are inappropriately tagged to their channel, which means you should be mindful of whether or not your story really belongs in that channel before applying the tag.
It's also important to note that these powers are limited to individual channels only, which means our curators can't apply their featuring or untagging abilities in other areas of Current.com. Additionally, the community guidelines still apply to our community channel curators.
We are still accepting slots to participate in our alpha-test of our new channels features, so if you're interested, make sure to head over to our Get Satisfaction "alpha-test" thread and add your Current.com username to the list. If you've already responded but have yet to hear from us, don't worry! We're still getting the second group of testers ready to go. We'll be in touch shortly!
In the meantime, tag some of your latest relevant submissions to these channels and help our curators out. You never know, your story might get featured! In addition, follow our new channels by clicking on the ""Follow this Topic" button in the channel header.
When you do this, and you have email notifications set to receive updates, you will get a weekly email with the latest additions to the channel. It's an easy way to keep track of what is going on in a curated channel.
// April 16, 2009 by dcuisinotHey guys and gals of Current!
Ever feel like you don't know your fellow Current community members? Well, not to worry, I'm here to help you with that. Each week I'm going to be interviewing and featuring a different community member for us all to get to know a little better.
We're kicking this off with the wonderful Whitespacecarpet. They've posted some really cool things on Current, ranging from Treetents (I want one!) to Robo-Maid. These are just a couple examples, so check out their profile for all the other great posts, and enjoy the interview.
1. Q: How did you find out about Current? What made you a fan?
A: I first became aware of Current when I was flipping through my TV stations and landed on your channel, which eventually led me to the Current website. I love the site – it has lots of great news stories and some unique ones that you don’t see everywhere else.
2. Q: Where do you look for stories to add to Current?
A: I scour the web to find anything that I think might be cool and unique – the quirkier the better. Sometimes I just do a simple Google search and combine random words related to the category I’m searching for (art, design, etc) and see what comes up. But I do have some favorite sites I visit daily – Red Ferret, Gizmodo, Wired, Design Boom, Cool Design Ideas Blog, Inhabitat. I also find a lot of information just by visiting artist websites and sometimes people forward me links to check out.
3. Q: Okay--we gotta ask. How did you pick your username?
A: It’s not the most exciting username, but it comes from the company I blog for – whitespace carpet (www.whitespace.bz <http://www.whitespace.bz/> ).
4. Q: If you could have one Superhero power, what would it be and why?
A: Just one superpower? This is probably the toughest question I’ll answer all day. There are so many…let’s go with super speed. Buying into some of the things The Flash is capable of doing via super speed it opens the door for a lot of other perks like time travel, running across the Atlantic so you never have to worry about flight delays ever again and really good reflexes. I’m a geek.
// April 07, 2009 by sgwhitesSo, you've found a great story and you're ready to post it to Current--but how will people find it? There are lots of ways to make it easier to find a story, but the most important one is adding topic tags -- especially if you wish to make to the homepage of Current.com.
Adding tags to a story is not just a great way to get it noticed, tags place your story into channels on Current.com. In addition, tags help determine what surfaces when people search for items on Current. But keep in mind, adding too many tags could run the risk of becoming spammy and non-relevant tags will be removed.
For example, say I were to clip this tutorial on making tulle blossoms. Since it's a tutorial, I'll tag it with DIY.
But that's just one tag--and having only one tag limits the number of places that this will appear on Current. It also won't show up on any of the homepage channels. So, I'll add a few more.
But wait--that's way too many! I happen to think these blossoms are pretty cute, but they aren't news--or movies, or music, or comedy, or green. Aside from looking suspiciously like spam, adding too many tags can hurt a story's popularity, since someone looking for news would probably red vote this just because it doesn't belong.
Aha--now these tag are just right. All of these tags are relevant, so there's a better chance that people will find this story but it's not lurking in places that it doesn't really belong.
As you can see, adding tags to your item is a great way to help people find it, or help that item to the homepage, but overtagging can backfire. If we see stories popping up in unrelated categories, we will remove those tags, and excessive over-tagging can be considered spam, which is against our community guidelines, so it's a good idea to take a couple of minutes to think about what tags really fit!
Hope you've enjoyed this first Current 101 guide. Next up, I'll be talking about homepage channels, so stay tuned!
// April 07, 2009 by mario_a
Welcome to April! We have some new features to cover, but first I'd like to welcome you to our new digs...say hello to the brand new Current.com Blog! Each one of our new channels and our TV shows will be setting up blogs in the coming weeks. So far Current Music, Current Movies, and Current Comedy are all up and running, but keep an eye on our main Current blogs page for new additions.
Let's dive right in, shall we?
// Email verification //
In our never ending quest to thwart spam on Current, we've turned on email verification for newly registered members of the community. Until validated, these new members are not able to contribute items, comment, or vote. Requiring that new community members validate their email address is pretty standard for social sites, and we feel that although it isn't the sole answer to battling spam, it is certainly a step in the right direction.
Those of you who are already members of the Current community will not be required to validate your email to participate, but I still highly encourage it. We occasionally like to send out swag and inform our community about special ways to contribute to Current, and we can't do that without a valid email. So, take a minute to update your account preferences and request verification for your email address. Thanks!
// Channel Curators //
In one of our recent Town Hall chats I mentioned that the team is working on building group creation functionality into Current.com -- which we are calling channels. We're still a long way away from launching this new feature, but we are making some headway. In the next few weeks we'll be opening up a set of tools related to our channels project to a handful alpha testers, and we'd like to invite some of you to join in on the test. If you're interested in testing out our new tools head over to our alpha test page on Get Satisfaction page and put your username on the list. If you don't make it into the alpha this time around, don't fret. We will open this up to a wider group of testers in the near future, and we already have a target date for a full release. Stay tuned!
// Improvements to Search //
Our search functionality on Current.com has been improved in the last few releases. This time around, we've added a new "highlights section" at the top of the search results page. The "highlights section" is used to surface some of our TV show content for certain search queries. For example, someone searching for comedy will now find the latest clips from infoMania in the highlights section. Try it out and let us know what you think.
// Questions about Channel Staleness //
We've been receiving frequent questions about the staleness of content on the channels, and we totally agree. When we made the switch to our channel structure, we knew it was only a layout change for the time being, and we still have some heavy lifting to do with regards to channel specific algorithms, scoring, freshness, and decay. The good news is, we have a brand new addition to our team, and figuring this out just happens to be on his project to-do list! So, ladies and gentlemen of the Current.com community, I'd like you to meet Gary:
Thanks Gary! We're all looking forward to some of the coming improvements, but in the meantime if you have suggestions or wish to shoot us feedback, feel free to start a thread on our Get Satisfaction support page, or as always you can shoot us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
// Increased File Size for Video Comments //
If you've ever tried uploading a video file as a comment, you've probably bumped your head on our 200mb file size limitation. NO MORE! We've upped the total file size for video uploads in our comments to a full 1GB. So what are you waiting for, fire up that camera and record some video comments. My suggestion? Upload video reviews for this week's movie releases for a chance to get on The Rotten Tomatoes Show. Check out Current Movies this Friday for the updated list of eligible films to review via video for the next episode of The Rotten Tomatoes Show!
(Note: this update to file size does not pertain to webcam comments.)
Well, that's it for this release. As always, let us know what you think!
// March 31, 2009 by sgwhitesAll good things must come to an end, and sadly the time has come for the VC2 Leaderboard to go away, at least in it's present form. As of April 1, 2009, the final leaderboard champion was 'Trash to Treasure' by VC2 producer pauls21. In this pod, pauls21 takes a look at the Artist in Residence program at the San Francisco Recycling Dump. The art they've created ranges from junk mail scrapbooks to a Death Star made of recycled metal curtain rods.:
Rest assured that this is not the end VC2 video uploads on Current. We are always looking for new ways to get your videos on Current TV, and we are working feverishly behind the scenes to find more ways to incorporate VC2 content on air, so stay tuned for more details.
And of course, you'll also be able to keep watching VC2 pods on air, or by visiting the Viewer Uploads section or find your old favorites in the VC2 Hall of Fame.
// March 28, 2009 by mario_aThere's no denying that Twitter is catching on. In just the last few months, we've seen reports of the microblogging platform's incredible growth rate of 1382%, and even celebrities like Britney Spears, Ashton Kutcher, and Mrs. Kutcher (Demi Moore), are flocking to the service, which has prompted some questions about celebrity authenticity on Twitter.
But there is much more to Twitter than just celebrity interaction, the microblogging service has impacted lives in ways that many have called into question. Our very own Josh Faure-Brac (head honcho of the SuperNews! team) may have taken a satirical look at the tweet-obsessed in a recent episode, but the irony is certainly not lost on him. After all, that leaked clip was picked up by the very Twittersphere it sought to lampoon and quickly rose to become a top trend on Twitter Search.
Additionally, stories about Twitter use seem to surface daily. Everything from people getting fired in 140 characters or less, surgeons tweeting from inside the operating room, and Jennifer Aniston dumping John Mayer over his Twitter obsession may sound far fetched, but each is grounded in reality. Additionally, Twitter as a means to empower citizen journalism has been proven several times over. Most recently, news of the plane crashing into the Hudson River was broken via Twitter.
Of course, there is also the brand marketing angle. Companies like Comcast, Southwest Airlines, and Starbucks have all mined the Twittersphere to help repair brand image and recognition. It's an old story, but certainly one that may be tied to providing Twitter with a plan to monetize and become profitable.
Despite all of this, members of the Current.com community recently rallied around the simple question: Does society really need Twitter? It's no doubt that the service has transformed communication in many ways, but at what cost? Weigh in with a comment below, or head over to Current.com and join in on the discussion.