Je ne regrette rien
Flickr captured my heart almost immediately. From the moment I could upload from my mobile device, I was hooked. A year later, after the acquisition by Yahoo, I found my dream job and joined the team as Community Manager in May 2005.
I’ve had an opportunity to work with some incredibly brilliant minds on some very challenging issues. How do you take a community the size of small town to the size of a nation? How do you grow a site that began in one region and make it truly global by adding languages and localizing in what’s now 25 countries? How do you apply a content filtering system to a living site to ensure that members can be respectful of one another but still share the greatest variety of content? These are some of the big hairy challenges. There were countless day to day adventures as we did our best to protect and nurture what I think of as the “Flickr-ness of Flickr-being” (with apologies to Heidegger).
Good citizenship may telegraph easily amongst members of a small community, but this is something that will be lost as a community grows. (And grow Flickr did. At present, there are roughly 3.5 million new photos and video every day.) One of the things I’m most proud of is the work that began as a conversation between George and myself on our commutes to and from Sunnyvale. The result is the Flickr Community Guidelines — a document that I’ve seen replicated (with our blessing) around the web.
In the end, Flickr is very much about every member who has ever uploaded a photo or video, left a comment, or faved something. You are the heart of Flickr and you’ve enriched my life in ways. More importantly, you’ve enriched the web through glimpses of your life that you’ve chosen to share.
I was lucky enough to travel a fair amount and meet a few of you. There were even times when we went out and took photos together. These are some of my favourite memories of the last five years.
One of the first things I posted to FlickrBlog was a celebration of our 17th million photo. Almost 5 years and 4.2 billion photos later, Flickr is a big beautiful beast. I’ve come to miss those early days, of wearing many hats and working closely with a few people on a nimble site.
April 30th will be my last day with Team Flickr. I’m going to be taking a month or two to do nothing more than walk my dogs and take photographs. And after that, I’m once again teaming up with my better half. Derek and I are launching a company with a focus on helping community sites benefit from our experience. There’s not much at Fertile Medium at present, but we’re going to be fleshing it out soon.