Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates finally joins Twitter on January 19, 2010 and in a near-record breaking frenzy of followers, has ended up with nearly 300,000 followers in 2 days. The account is real and is not a squatter or impersonator as you see across social media. It is a verified account and has also been validated from Twitter’s Caroline Mizumoto.
He has only had 12 tweets total, retweeting Ryan Seacrest about the final numbers raised for the American Red Cross and UNICEF, as well as retweeting Time’s list of people tweeting live from Haiti and a couple of replies to @aplusk and @RyanSeacrest.
He is following 42 people on Twitter, Microsoft, who Gates has surpassed by more than 6 times as many followers, a number of charitable and philanthropic organizations including UNICEF, WorldFoodPrize, MalariaNoMore and the Carnegie Foundation. Other notables that aren’t surprising are The Economist, Tech Crunch, The Huffington Post, and the NY Times.
Interestingly enough, yesterday at 1:20 pm, one of the most intriguing people that Gates opted to follow on Twitter was High School Musical star Ashley Tisdale. This could be because he is a huge fan of High School Musical, a supporter of Disney, or perhaps it’s because Ashley has done some work with Microsoft in the past. Whatever the reason, it must have been fleeting. Since then, it seems as though he has reconsidered his choice. Maybe it was all of the press surrounding it. Check out a few of the stories we found: http://ow.ly/Zdnx http://ow.ly/Zdn8
Other than that, it seems like he may have joined Twitter to promote a new website. It’s the link that he has provided in his bio as well as the content for a couple of his tweets. Here is his tweet promoting his new website:
The site that he used Twitter to launch is an ambitious blog and information site. It is called The Gates Notes: An Inside Look At Global Matters. The note that was sent out yesterday regarding the site and the effort is below:
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.
Upon visiting the site, a welcome note from Gates greets you:
Welcome to the Gates Notes
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.
He has also joined Facebook, attracting over 60,000 fans already, generating a number of interactions from fans. He has promoted the new website for blogs through his facebook page as well.
So, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and a new website? What’s next for Bill Gates? Foursquare? YouTube? Linked In? Or is he just doing research?
Written by: Sara Paxton, managing partner, CTO, and Social Media Officer of Evans Media Group, Kansas City’s Social Media Agency, a boutique agency located in Overland Park, KS that specializes in traditional marketing, social media marketing, online marketing, and public relations.