The winners of the 2006 Pioneer Awards, sponsored by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, were recently announced -- they are Craig Newmark and Jim Buckmaster of Craigslist; Gigi Sohn of Public Knowledge; and Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia.
The work of all these winners is truly inspiring, and I was honored to serve as a Pioneer judge again this year. More details about the award and its recipients are featured in this news release. Excerpts are below.
This year's award winners all represent vital, community-building organizations dedicated to spreading knowledge in or about our digital world. They were nominated by the public and then chosen by a panel of independent judges for their innovations in the realm of information technology.
Craigslist is the world's most-used classified forum in any medium, serving as a non-commercial community service. Craigslist focuses on helping people with their basic needs -- starting with housing and jobs -- with a pervasive culture of trust. Craigslist's Craig Newmark founded the online community in 1995, and he still acts as a customer service representative. Jim Buckmaster has been craigslist's CEO since November of 2000, helping to transform it into one of the most popular websites in the world while maintaining its renowned public service mission.
Gigi B. Sohn is president and co-founder of Public Knowledge, a nonprofit organization that addresses the public's stake in the convergence of communications policy and intellectual property law, and serves as PK's chief strategist, fundraiser and public face. Sohn often testifies before Congress on intellectual property and technology policy, and she takes an active part in debates about proposed legislation.
Jimmy Wales is the founder and president of the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit corporation that operates Wikipedia -- a free, online, collaborative encyclopedia. Wikipedia started in January of 2001, and now it's one of the most-used reference sites on the Internet, with editions in over 200 languages.