Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Bill Gates Joins the Oversharing Generation: He Tweets, He Pokes and Now, He Blogs!


Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates–who has been devoting most of this time to philanthropic work via the Gates Foundation–has just launched an ambitious blog and information site.

He is calling it “The Gates Notes: An Inside Look at Global Matters,” but BoomTown has officially nicknamed the site–which you can see on a screen grab below–All Things B(ill) or perhaps the more hip-hoppy All Things G(ates) today.

Here’s a note about the effort, sent out today:

Today, Bill Gates launched The Gates Notes (www.gatesnotes.com), a website designed to share his learning and excitement with his new foundation work along with his personal interests in areas such as energy and the environment. Bill has been spending time learning a lot from thought leaders in their fields. He has been taking notes and sending emails, and the site is a collection of the conversations, books, articles, trips and people who have inspired and informed Bill. The site is designed to encourage people to dig deeper–to explore questions from multiple angles. Bill will update the content on an ongoing basis, and we also plan to add some features in the near future to make the site more interactive such as RSS and commenting/discussions.

And in a welcoming note on the site, Gates writes:

Since leaving my fulltime job at Microsoft to dedicate more time to our foundation, a lot of people have asked me what I’m working on. It often feels like I’m back in school, as I spend a lot of my time learning about issues I’m passionate about.

I’m fortunate because the people I’m working with and learning from are true experts in their fields. I take a lot of notes, and often share them and my own thoughts on the subject with others through email, so I can learn from them and expand the conversation.

I thought it would be interesting to share these conversations more widely with a website, in the hope of getting more people thinking and learning about the issues I think are interesting and important. So, welcome to the Gates Notes.

The site has a spare and elegant look–dare I say, it looks as if it could have been designed by Apple (AAPL)? Interactivity is limited at this point and social networking nonexistent.

The site includes several sections: “What I’m Thinking About” (cheery things today like pandemic response and Haiti), “What I’m Learning” (He loves the book “Super Freakonomics” and lectures from global health professor Hans Rosling), “My Travels” (a video about a recent trip to see health clinics in India), “Curious Classrooms” (questions Gates answers from students), and “Infrequently Asked Questions” (more questions he answers).

Yesterday, Gates officially joined Twitter and restarted his Facebook account.

This has all been in anticipation of this site’s launch, which appears to be part of an effort by Gates to raise awareness of what he has been up to since he stepped down from day-to-day involvement at Microsoft (MSFT) in mid-2008 and stepped up his ambitious philanthropic work.

Here’s the homepage screen (click on it to make it larger):


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When AllThingsD began, we told readers we were aiming to present a fusion of new-media timeliness and energy with old-media standards for quality and ethics. And we hope you agree that we’ve done that.

— Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, in their farewell D post