Chris Messina (open source advocate)

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Chris Messina
Taken January 21, 2006
Born (1981-01-07) January 7, 1981 (age 35)
Occupation Open Web Advocate (Google)[1]
Open Source Advocate

Chris Messina (born January 7, 1981 in USA), aka FactoryJoe, is an open source and open standards advocate currently residing in San Francisco. Messina is best known for his involvement in helping to create the BarCamp, Spread Firefox, and coworking[2] movements. Messina is an active proponent of microformats and OAuth.


Messina was formerly employed as an Open Source Advocate at identity company Vidoop and before that was the co-founder of marketing agency Citizen Agency. He worked at Google as an Open Web Advocate,[1] leaving to join startup NeonMob.[3] He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2003[4] with a BA in Communication Design.

Messina co-founded Citizen Agency, a company which describes itself as "Internet consultancy that specializes in developing community-centric strategies around product research, design, development and marketing"[5] with Tara Hunt and Ben Metcalfe, who has since left the company.

Messina is an advocate of open-source, most notably Firefox and Flock. As a volunteer for the Spread Firefox campaign, he designed the 2004 Firefox advert which appeared in The New York Times on December 16, 2004.[6] In 2008 he won a Google-O'Reilly Open Source Award for Best Community Amplifier for BarCamp, Microformats and Spread Firefox.[7]


Messina was featured with Hunt, also his ex-girlfriend, in "So Open it Hurts", in San Francisco Magazine (August, 2008).[8] The article detailed their very public and open relationship shared on the internet, and the lessons they derived from that experience.

Messina is also credited with introducing the "hashtag" to Twitter.[9] [10]


  1. ^ a b Happy Birthday, Chris Messina, And Enjoy Advocating The Open Web At Google. TechCrunch (2010-01-07). Retrieved on 2014-05-23.
  2. ^ "Coworking, a cooperative for the modern age". International Herald Tribune. August 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-25.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  3. ^ Yesterday was my last day at Google.
  4. ^ Messina, Chris. "Heading back to Pittsburgh.". Twitter. Heading to Pittsburgh. Man, haven't been back since I graduated in 2003! 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Mozilla Foundation Places Two-Page Advocacy Ad in the New York Times". 2004-12-15. Retrieved 2010-06-15.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  7. ^ "Google-O'Reilly Open Source Awards - Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  8. ^ "So Open It Hurts". San Francisco Magazine. August 2008. Retrieved 2012-06-06.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  9. ^ Parker, Ashley (June 10, 2011). "Twitter’s Secret Handshake". The New York Times. Retrieved July 26, 2011. 
  10. ^ "BBC News - Hashtag inventor: It was an 'accidental trip over a simple idea':". BBC. 2014-12-05. Retrieved 2014-12-05. 


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