We are a grassroots, web-based community dedicated to chronicling and resisting corporate attacks on democracy, worker's and human rights, fair trade, business ethics and the environment. Our shared goal of a more informed and conscious consumer is being accomplished via this website: a vast database of easily searchable corporate and political info designed to aid responsible citizens, progressive thinkers and activists.
We are not affiliated with any political party, candidate, or PAC in any way. Our primary objective is to provide an independent, objective source of information to our readers about some of the most crucial, contested topics of our time.
Short Term Goal
The most immediate goal of Knowmore.org is to provide detailed information and ratings for a broad enough base of companies and products that our 'search' feature can be readily used by consumers everywhere. Once this goal has been realized, first-time users will be able to enter the name of the products, companies, services and brands they buy into our search bar and immediately Know More. In this way, Knowmore.org can be a major force in changing how people use their purchase power.
Knowmore.org was conceived in 2004, by poet/activist B. Dolan. While investigating the links between his own consumption habits and social justice, Dolan realized the need for a resource such as Knowmore; a clearinghouse where consumers could easily access "Responsibility Profiles" of the companies and practices they support with their dollars.
B took the idea to his friend and fellow poet Sage Francis in early 2005, who agreed to throw his support behind the project, bankrolling the site's early construction and bringing his considerable grassroots resources to Knowmore.org.
In 2005, Data entry began with a small, dedicated group of volunteers. Shortly thereafter,the original Knowmore.org website was built and launched. At the time of it's launch, the site contained about 10 company entries.
At the end of 2005, Sage Francis, along with B. Dolan, Sole, and the Solillaquists of Sound embarked on the Knowmore.org Tour, a national hip-hop tour to raise awareness of the site. The tour was a huge success, attracting thousands of new readers and donors to the site.
By years end, Knowmore had covered around a hundred companies in detail, and was receiving millions of hits each month.
2006 saw Knowmore's first confrontation with a company; leading to a year's worth of research surrounding American Apparel. "Understanding American Apparel," published on the Knowmore website in August 2006, attracted considerable attention and praise for Knowmore's objective and thorough reporting.
Data entry continued in 2007, leading to company profiles for around 200 corporations. A massive overhaul of the Knowmore interface was also undertaken by developer Danny Brown and our designer, Irena Andreic.
In late 2007, Knowmore.org was re-launched, with the current design and interface. Our "Behind the Logos" and "Uncommercial TV" features were also launched at this time.
Data entry continues, with the goal of covering the entire Fortune 500 by years end!
Quotes that have inspired us
"In addition to developing an organization to orchestrate state-level laws, we also believe we need a national clearinghouse and institute for scholars and activists who wish to study corporate power and develop innovative solutions to controlling corporations. Such a clearinghouse could also support the movement-building process, develop new organizing strategies and model legislation, and continuously develop new ways to connect local struggles with national policy questions."
- Report of The Citizen Works Corporate Reform Commission, The People's Business: Controlling Corporations and Restoring Democracy
"My own feeling is that the right approach is to build on the strengths: to recognize what's healthy and solid about having not hundreds, but thousands of flowers blooming all over the place--people with parallel concerns, maybe differently focused, but at the core ... similiar values and a similiar interest in empowerment, in learning, in helping people understand how to defend themselves against external power and take control of their own lives, in reaching out your hand to people who need it. All the things that you people have talked about--that's a common array of concerns. And the fact that there's a tremendous diversity can be a real advantage--it can be a real way of learning, of learning about yourself, and what you care about, and what you want to do, and so on. But of course, if it's going to bring about real change, that broad array of concerns is going to require some form of integration and inter-communication and collaboration among its various sub-parts...
...in the end, there really are only small changes that can be made within the existing institutions--because they've got their own commitments, which are basically to private power. In the case of the media, they have a commitment to indoctrination in the interests of power, and that imposes pretty strict limits on what they can do.
So the answer is, we've got to create alternatives, and the alternatives have got to integrate these lots and lots of different interests and concerns into a movement--or maybe not one necessarily, which somebody could then cut the head off of, but a series of interconnected ones: lots of associations of people with similiar concerns, who've got in mind the other people next door who have related concerns, and who can get together with them to work for changes. Maybe then we can ultimately construct serious alternative media... serious in scale, at the point where they can consistently present people with a different picture of the world, a picture different than the one you get from an indoctrination system based on private control over resources."
-Noam Chomsky, Understanding Power