Like David, I had seen many people linking to this article profiling Flickr’s Director of Community, Heather Champ, and was unsure why. Once I read it, however, I found it an engaging look at the intricacies of policing an online community.
At first glance this parallel society has been made, quite literally, in the image of our own. But in truth it’s more like a Photoshopped image — the nice parts accentuated, the inappropriate bits cropped away. So it goes with any online community, of course. Behavior must be moderated and a communal ethos must be preserved; Wild West cliches aside, total freedom at any entity like this would sink it in a storm of lawsuits, flame wars and gridlocked cacophony. So directors of community exist. And while the job of nurturing and policing any online realm would make for a fascinating study, I was particularly curious about how it worked at Flickr.