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What I hope Bill Gates will blog

June 30th, 2004 · 3 Comments

The news appeared in the paper a few days ago that Bill Gates may begin blogging soon. The line from the Seattle Times story described the Microsoft chairman as someone who tends to come late to the party. I’ve describing blogging as a party and Bill G. is welcome to come. In fact I’ve heard, years ago while I was growing up in Seattle, some funny stories about what it’s like when he is at a party so I’m sure it will be a blast whenever he begins posting and partying with the rest of us.

Yesterday through Robert Scoble I saw that Jay Rosen has posted a letter to Bill Gates, giving him advice about blogging.

I agree with Jay Rosen that there was

a certain cluelessness in the Seattle Times account when it came to describing what the weblog “trend” is all about.

I laughed to see my hometown paper describe blogs as one of those online diaries that have been the rage among techies. For a tech town, with one of the largest Blog Meetup.com groups (second only to NY, last time I looked), the reporters seemed a bit unaware of where and what blogging is.

And I like Jay Rosen’s suggestion

I have a different idea: Do a newsy blog. Something like: Bill Gates reads the headlines. Gates on politics and world affairs. Gates on the spread of freedom and markets, war and peace, public education, AIDS prevention, the limits of technology, the misery of Africa, and the difficulty of solving messy global problems. Gates on why the politicians are sometimes a joke. The big picture Gates. The occasionally angry Gates. Even the ranting Gates. The man who had to expand his knowledge in order to extend the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to its practical, global and problem-solving agenda.

But I hope that’s not all Bill Gates blogs. I want to know his opinion on world affairs. I’m eager to hear his take on the headlines of the day.

Yet when I think about what I want to read on Bill G.’s blog, some different questions come to my mind…

Bill Gates, if you blog, here’s what I’d like to know…

  • What do you do to enjoy a summer day: do you walk barefoot in the grass with your daughter?

  • When you see a homeless person, what do you think?
  • How do you stay sane? Is it roses in the blender? Or jump roping as a family in your kitchen?
  • Where have you seen something beautiful this week?
  • What is a strange story from your childhood? Or a funny retort you’ve told someone on the street?
  • Have you ever loved and lost a pet…and been surprised by your grief?
  • Which concepts have you taught your children by using various vegetables at the dinner table?
  • How did it feel to feed your baby sweet potatoes for the first time?
  • What did you read today that made you laugh?
  • Does your wife ever ask you for a booklet of coupons so she can use one to get you off the computer? ;-)

    and finally

  • Which member of N*Sync are you?

    Okay, I’m kidding about that last one…

  • but I’m serious about the rest. I hope that if Bill Gates, posts pieces of himself onto the Web, that he will write with passion and reveal not only what he thinks about news and technology, but also little bits about what he likes to do on a slow Sunday morning, how he and his family celebrate the summer, or what he misses most about childhood. I hope he’ll let us know that he likes to feel the grass beneath his feet (or that maybe he doesn’t), that he holds his kids and wonders how amazing and strange it is to be a parent, and that there are moments he feels sad, mad and grateful to be alive. I hope he rants. Raves. Writes poetry. Paints pictures. Makes mistakes. Posts pictures. Posts. I hope he comes to the party.

    Tags: blog

    3 responses so far ↓

    • 1 Andrew Grumet's Weblog // Jun 30, 2004 at 5:39 am

      http://grumet.net/weblog/archives/2004/06/30/000948.html

      Julie Leung: “What I hope Bill Gates will blog”…

    • 2 PressThink // Jun 30, 2004 at 6:42 am

      Letter to Bill Gates, Soon to be a Weblogger

      I heard that Bill Gates may be blogging. In the Seattle Times, which broke the story, Barry Mitzman is identified as “a former public-television host who helps Gates write…

    • 3 Katherine // Jun 30, 2004 at 6:47 am

      Loved this post. Great link to making mistakes :-) Thanks for your warm invitation to blogging – I feel it too, even though it’s meant for Bill.