Al Gore and Joel Hyatt have teamed up to create INdTV, a television network geared at young people to contain programming on politics, current affairs, entertainment, media, and culture. When I first learned about the founding of this network – to be live sometime in 2005 – I was immediately intrigued. To have the opportunity to get into 20 million US homes by TV with a channel that would engage teenagers and/or the 25 year olds is exciting yet very challenging.
Since the founding team is operating in San Francisco, out of apartments and coffee shops at the moment, I contacted them to learn more about it, share ideas I had, and just generally get involved. I hooked up with Jamie Daves last week. Jamie has been involved in high-level politics for most of his 30-odd years and thinks like a savvy entrepreneur. There’s only a handful of people working for INdTV full time at the moment and Jamie is in charge of a lot of different aspects of the up-and-coming network.
Fundamentally, INdTV is still trying to figure everything out. Who is our audience? How do we reach them? How will we be different from MTV and CNN? How can we be edgy and rebel but also smart? And the one million dollar question: what types of shows/programming we will create? I didn’t realize how much on the ground floor things still were, which made my brainstorming session with Jamie all the more exciting. The point I tried to drive home with him was the challenge of the medium, TV. I don’t watch TV – at least I haven’t in several months – mostly because it isn’t “on demand” and the programming for the most part sucks. Thus, for INdTV to engage me (or a growing number of young people) they would have to have a formable web presence. Indeed, blogs seem to be part of the plan. (In fact, I strongly encouraged them to set up a blog right now, to document the work they do putting together a TV network. Not only would they be “walking the walk” but it’d engage a healthy audience before the network is even live.) My other main point to Jamie was the need for the network to be transparent. The last thing young people want is another “evil media” player run by old white guys smoking cigars.
So…check out their web site (which I provided feedback on but too late to get the stupid tattoo off the guy’s arm before they went live) and see if you’d like to become a Digital Correspondent, a full-time position which is bound to be quite interesting and fun.