As Public Knowledge turns 20, a new website takes us into the future

A year ago – after a few heavily digital months – Public Knowledge decided it was time to design a new website. And what better time than the end of our 20th year in 2021? I have had the unique opportunity to lead this process from its inception until today, our launch date.

As part of this process, I reviewed 20 years of our content – and over 200 authors – to create a more streamlined, focused website with a categorized search function. This task gave me a captivating view on the growth of the organization.

As I listed the old documents, I remembered some of our victories: the withdrawal of SOPA / PIPA in 2012, the extreme anti-piracy bills that would have put community platforms and online innovation at risk; the cell phone unlocking bill in 2014, which ultimately allowed consumers to move their cell phones from one service provider to another; and the adoption by the Federal Communications Commission of the Open Internet Order in 2015, which enacted the strictest net neutrality rules in history.

I have also relived heartbreaking losses: the FCC’s repeal of those same net neutrality rules in 2017, removing critical consumer protections put in place to phase out traditional telephone networks; The withdrawal by Congress in 2017 of the first rules describing how ISPs use and share their customers’ private information; Justice Department’s approval in 2011 of Comcast and the vertical integration of NBCUniversal, allowing NBCU to control both the way television is made and how it is delivered to people’s homes.

Sorting through past authors, I came across the names of people who have completed our scholarship program and marveled at how their work and the program has evolved over the years. I reflected on my own 8 year career at Public Knowledge, when I started as a junior communications associate in 2013 – coinciding with the launch of our last website. And, I came across over 300 pieces written by the late Sherwin Siy, a prolific staff member of Public Knowledge for many years who passed away at just 41 last summer. As I read this part of his legacy, I felt a deeper appreciation for the importance of preserving our library of ideas.

Examining our past has made me think a lot about what lies ahead for Public Knowledge. There is so much work to be done; it may seem intimidating. But seeing the progress of our first 20 years inspires possibilities for what is to come. This is especially exciting because I have seen Public Knowledge’s current policy proposals gain momentum this year, such as a dedicated digital regulatory agency, an Internet Superfund, and a $ 50 per month broadband grant for Low-income Americans.

Take a moment to check out our new website today. We have maintained our hugely popular topic pages that summarize our top priorities, and revamped our PKThinks subsection for our articles and reports and our PKTrains subsection for our advocacy training. You’ll discover new ways to search our content by subject and author. We have aimed for a straightforward, forward-looking approach to sharing the latest information on technology policy and how you can help.

Redesigning our website was a team effort. Many people have contributed, but I would like to thank two people who have particularly helped. Our Director of Communications, Shiva Stella, was always happy to lend an ear and discuss major organizational decisions during the design phase. And our communications intern Anna Hickey really dove into the implementation phase, taking on the essential behind-the-scenes work that got us going today. Plus, a big thank you to John Bergmayer, Kristine DeBry, Courtney Lee and everyone else who helped make today’s new website a reality.

Finally, I hope you will contribute to our end of year donation fund or become a friend of PK with a recurring donation so that we can continue the important work reflected on this new website. We wouldn’t be here without your support.

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