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Bill Gates shares his notes

Microsoft's chairman is launching a Web site to offer his thoughts on matters from philanthropy to the climate. In an exclusive interview, Gates talks about the site.

Gates Notes screenshot
Bill Gates is launching his "Gates Notes" Web site on Wednesday, featuring his thoughts, travels and more. CNET

SEATTLE--Now you have a chance to compare notes with Bill Gates.

The Microsoft chairman is launching a Web site on Wednesday designed to to share his thoughts on everything from his foundation work to musings on other topics including energy and the environment.

Dubbed Gates Notes, the site is launching with postings from Gates himself, and in the works are plans to allow for more discussion on the topics he raises.

Bill Gates
Bill Gates Microsoft

In an exclusive interview, Gates told CNET that he missed having the kind of Web presence he had at Microsoft.

"The Internet is tailor-made for the kind of activities I am involved in," Gates said. "When I take a trip, we have all these photos. People want to see that and it's very easy to put it up there. If I read a book, some people are considering whether to read that book or want a short understanding of what that's like."

Gates said he plans to post content about three times a week, with some posts being brief and others being more in-depth.

"I think it's going to be a lot of fun to share on an ongoing basis," Gates said, adding that he is looking forward to the feedback. "It will help guide me."

In its initial form, the site features articles on education reform, lessons from the swine flu pandemic, and the need for help in Haiti. There's also a podcast series with Gates speaking on climate change and the challenges of developing friendlier alternatives to today's energy sources. (Along with being available for download from the Gates Notes site, the podcasts will be on both iTunes and the Zune Marketplace, I'm told).

Although energy and climate issues are not something the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has directly focused on, it is an area of keen interest for Gates and will be the focus of his talk at next month's TED conference.

"The interest in some of the energy things I have been doing has been very high so I will elaborate on that," Gates said.

Gates Notes also features a section on Gates' travels, where he narrates some of the video footage taken on trips, such as last year's visit to India. Another section includes notes on some of the books Gates is reading.

Another section, dubbed "conversations," is designed to include both interviews with Gates as well as excerpts from some of the long e-mail exchanges he has with various thinkers as well as question-and-answer sessions with students from around the world.

The launch of Gates Notes comes a day after Gates joined Twitter, where he quickly racked up hundreds of thousands of followers.

Although Gates Notes draws on work from the foundation, as well as from Gates' work at Microsoft and at Nathan Myhrvold's Intellectual Ventures, the Web site is a project of his personal staff.

In a note, Gates welcomes visitors to the site. CNET