Home Foremother of Community Management Joins Ex-Flickr Founder’s Stealth Startup

Foremother of Community Management Joins Ex-Flickr Founder’s Stealth Startup

In the world of online community management, Heather Champ’s work in the early days of Flickr has been the inspiration for countless practitioners who followed and who aim to optimize the social in social media around the web. Champ left Flickr 18 months ago to start her own consulting practice but today announced on Twitter that she and her old boss, Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake, have been reunited.

Heather Champ says that today was her first day working at 2BKCO, the stealth mobile social software startup that Fake announced in June that she was working on.

Fake and Champ “are both brilliant and were the heart and soul behind Flickr, so I’m excited to see them come together again under a different project,” now Buyosphere CEO Tara Hunt told me by email. “I hope their re-joining ushers in a rebirth of making stuff with meaning. That would make me incredibly happy!”

How did they do it when they built community so successfully together before? “Flickr’s community team was all about enabling a vibrant community that created value for itself and helped keep their own members in line,” says admirer-from-a-distance Evan Hamilton, Community Manager at customer service platform Uservoice. “The fact that Caterina is gathering folks who worked with her at Flickr is a great sign. Whatever Caterina is up to, she’s taking the community aspect seriously, as more startups should be. Can’t wait to see what it is!”

Me too.

The influential Flickr Community Guidelines that Champ lead the creation of (eg: “Don’t be creepy.

You know the guy. Don’t be that guy.”) remain one of the most important documents that new online communities should read.

“I’ve never met Heather, but she’s an inspirational figure in our space,” says Maria Ogneva, Head of Community at enterprise micromessaging service provider Yammer. “She is a great example of living and breathing her passion. As the community manager for Flickr, Heather embodied the notion that the community comes first, and that it wouldn’t be the same without each individual member. Her passion for her community and for the art of photography is apparent and infectious.”

What will Fake and Champ bring the world next, together? Time will tell, but they will have a lot of eager people waiting to see what it is when they’re ready.

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