As technology and the Internet advances, is it shaping us or are we shaping it? Last year .ORG created a short film, the Digital Citizen, which explored the concept of human interactions in a digital age. What we found was that the .ORG domain extension consistently serves as a platform that empowers the community — for a cause, through activism, perseverance, and the desire to engage in social good.

This year at SXSW 2013, Public Interest Registry has had the privilege to participate in the Interactive Trade Show for the very first time. We have been showcasing the Digital Citizen at our booth to help the public understand our true mission: to serve the public interest. Coincidently, one of the storytellers from our film (Leigh Durst) just happened to walk by our booth (#737) and see herself on the screen, so we were able to snap a picture and thank her for sharing her story with the world!

(From left to right, Thuy LeDinh, Leigh Durst, Megan Soffer, and Anand Vora)

Leigh’s story was/is pretty special, and actually hits home with the SXSW festival. In 2011, she took action with other Interactive participants and created after they witnessed the tsunami and catastrophic damage happening in Japan while they sat in the exhibitor halls at the Austin Convention Center. Leigh and her peers were determined to help all of those affected; by creating a fundraiser through their site they were able to raise over $125K for the cause in just a matter of 4 days. Simply amazing.

In addition to sharing the Digital Citizen, Public Interest Registry has been collecting a list of all of the .ORGs that are in attendance at SXSW this year because we want to know what their stories are and how their purpose(s) have been fulfilled thus far. Following the conference, we will reflect on each of these stories to create a second .ORG short…hopefully to submit for the film festival at SXSW 2014! To participate or view the terms and conditions of our contest here.

Again, we want to acknowledge everyone who contributed to the making of the Digital Citizen, as well as those who came by our booth at SXSW to share their own .ORG stories with us. Additionally, a big thank you to all of those who actively strive to do social good and support worldly causes. Your efforts do not go unnoticed and we appreciate you.


The Public Interest Registry Team