The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's partnership with MTV is taking new shape as the U.S. election year approaches. The foundation is one of the key supporters of the thinkMTV social networking venture, launched today as "a platform for activist campaigns."
The site connects people and causes, with user-generated news and video and links to take action on issues such as poverty, war, politics, health, environment and education.
The Gates Foundation started supporting thinkMTV back in 2005 as part of its education efforts.
If you want to see Jay-Z talk about a water crisis or Pete Wentz explain why he put Ugandan refugees in a Fall Out Boy video, this is the site for you.
But MTV is also paying individuals for activism. For those who volunteer, donate blood or do other good works, it's giving "badges" that can be used for things like access to MTV events, media exposure, meetings with celebrities and video cameras. More on that here.