Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

A Month to D-Day

It’s hard to believe it is only a month until the next D: All Things Digital conference that Walt and I produce and host, now in its fifth year. When Walt and I started creating the conference for The Wall Street Journal, it was in the midst of severe industry doldrums, but we felt that the story had become too much about stock prices and not about the underlying idea that the digital tidal wave would continue unabated and have much larger impact as time went on.

We made a good bet and this year should be our most interesting yet. The obvious draw of this year’s event is the pairing of industry legends and longtime rivals Bill Gates and Steve Jobs for a joint interview, which is pretty rare, and which should produce some lively moments for obvious reasons. Gates and Jobs remain, to my mind, among the most important digital figures, even amidst all the change that has continued to occur in the digital space.

We know a lot of people would like to see this take place in person, but our hotel ballroom is only so big and the conference is sold out. So we, like a lot of other media attending D, will be doing a huge amount of coverage of the event. Walt and I started this site to bring the conversations we start on the small stage at the conference to a larger audience, and take off from there. That means bringing you as much information as we can about the Gates-Jobs interview, as well as the others who will appear at D5, including director George Lucas, Sen. John McCain, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, CBS honcho Les Moonves, News Corp. number-two Peter Chernin and more.

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As long as the newspaper was a bundle, no one ever had to care that people were buying it for radically different reasons. But once you go online, and people can unbundle things, where you can traffic directly to a story without going through the home page or any of the rest of it, suddenly what it — the individual choices made by individual readers come to matter a lot.

— Clay Shirky, on NPR’s Talk of the Nation with Neal Conan