Earlier today, Bill Gates reached out via reddit, a social news website popular in the tech community, by participating in an “Ask Me Anything”, or AMA. The format of such a thread allows reddit users to ask questions of notable personalities, who are verified when they post a photo of themselves holding a piece of paper bearing their username. Gates, who recently appeared on Colbert Report, seems to be aiming at raising awareness about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and away from Microsoft. On reddit, he explained, “The company remains very important to me and I’m still chairman. But today my full time work is with the foundation. Melinda and I believe that everyone deserves the chance for a healthy and productive life – and so with the help of our amazing partners, we are working to find innovative ways to help people in need all over the world.”
Throughout the AMA, Gates showed his humorous side, answering questions about his money, his favorite band, his feeling about the future of technology, and even a question about his relationship with Steve Jobs, stating “He and I respected each other. Our biggest joint project was the Mac where Microsoft had more people on the project than Apple did as we wrote a lot of applications. I saw Steve regularly over the years including spending an afternoon with him a few months before he tragically passed away…”
The heart of his message, and his truly passionate answers, regarded the importance of creating vaccines, and getting those to people in need. The use of reddit to raise awareness is a genius move on Gates’ part, and, unlike a certain movie star whose behavior during his own AMA made him the brunt of much ridicule, Gates handled his question answering with finesse.
Here is a short video Gates prepared before the AMA in which he pre-answers a few questions. Be sure to check out the rest of the thread here, and you can read more at Gate’s website, The Gates Notes.