Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Kara Visits the Women's Conference (Questions for Ashton Kutcher, Please!)

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This morning, BoomTown will be onstage at California First Lady Maria Shriver’s well-known Women’s Conference in Long Beach, to moderate a panel titled “Changing the World Through the Web” for a crowd of 1,800 people.

The panelists for my session at what has become one of the top forums for women’s issues include Hollywood actor/producer, Katalyst co-founder and Twitter demigod Ashton Kutcher (pictured above, of course); Facebook’s Randi Zuckerberg, who leads the social networking site’s elections, breaking news and social change initiatives; Premal Shah, president of online microloan site Kiva.org; and Joe Rospars, founder and creative director of Blue State Digital and new media director for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

In other words, as a group, they are all either prettier, smarter or better for the planet than anything I have ginned up so far.

But, to be safe, send some question suggestions quick that you think I should ask in the interview–via Twitter @karaswisher.

In any case, I shall press on and try to conduct myself with some kind of tech dignity, as I query the group on how the Web–especially social media–can empower people to change the world and be more than just one big pool of mundanities, meaningless status updates, silly apps and online gossip.

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Speaking of which, it was a minor shock to run smack into reality show whatever-she-is Kate Gosselin at a speaker party last night, who is here to flack a book about–of course–her kids, titled “Eight Little Faces.”

No, I did not make that title up and I suppose it takes all kinds.

But it was especially surreal, since other speakers include–how shall I put this delicately?–much more serious and substantial women, such as primatology legend Dr. Jane Goodall, women’s rights activist Eve Ensler, Obama Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, a spate of women news legends such as Katie Couric, and even–my personal favorite, for her cheery butter-loving nature–celebrity chef Paula Deen.

For those interested in seeing some of the all-day event online, there’s a live Webcast from the Web site, which you can access here (the Twitter hashtag is #wc09

I will, natch, post a video report later.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus