Bill Gates On Using Bloggers To Pwn The Media

Dec 16th, 2006 | By | Category: Citizen Media, Commentary

Bill Gates Pwns Bloggers

Microsoft invited a small group of influential bloggers to their Redmond campus Thursday for an hour long one-on-one with Bill Gates, as part of Microsoft’s Mix n’ Mash ’07 event.

In doing so, Gates demonstrated how to use bloggers to pwn the media:

Microsoft paid the bloggers’ travel expenses, treated them to Zunes and other tchotchkas and gave them access to their Chairman. In return, the bloggers published Microsoft’s bullet points and turned Microsoft’s agenda into front page coverage around the world.

For example, it looks like one of Microsoft’s points was trying to undermine the success of Apple’s iPod. Gates did this not by directly criticizing the iPod, which is insanely popular, but by criticizing one of the underlying technologies that has been instrumental to the iPod’s success, digital rights management (DRM).

Both of Microsoft’s DRM technologies, PlaysForSure and Zune, have failed to make a dent in Apple’s success. Microsoft has largely abandoned PlaysForSure, and the Zune introduction is considered by many to be a debacle.

“DRM is not where it should be,” Gates told the bloggers. “People should just buy a CD and rip it.”

Essentially, Gates told people to avoid the iTunes Store. Gates made his point in a very smart way, though. He didn’t tell the bloggers to avoid iTunes. Instead, Gates told the bloggers that they’d be smarter to skip iTunes and rip CDs instead.

What’s a few thousand dollars and an hour of Bill Gates’s time get Microsoft?

Not a bad investment on Microsoft’s part.

Image via Jeremy Zawodny

Leave a Reply