I’m a child of the 70′s and a teen of the 80′s.

My name is Eric Foster and I’ve been a Community Manager for quite some time.  I’m currently managing communities for HP, including Tabblo, Tabbloid, and the HP ePrintCenter.

Since I had been a hacker and social engineer for as long as I could remember I decided to ply my computer skills and find a new job in my mid 20’s, otherwise known as “back in the day.”  I applied to a local ISP and started from the ground floor, working my way up over 2 years to become the manager of “Dedicated Digital Services,” which was the division within TIAC that supported the higher capacity connections ranging from dial-up ISDN to T1’s.  We had a crack team and I fought to get them a raise and thankfully I was successful!  I remember getting my first salaried check and swallowing hard when I realized I was making 30k a year. That seems silly now…but then it was a huge amount of money for me. Eventually TIAC was bought out by PSINet and lessons learned with that experience were bound to serve me again in the future.  When we all realized that our company was not going to be utilized by PSINet and instead dismantled I started looking for a new job.

That brought me to Abuzz.com and the best working experience of my life to date.  When I was hired we had around 20-ish employees and when it was finally dismantled we were about 80 strong. Abuzz is the best job I’ve had, bar none.  Abuzz was well before it’s time as a destination “Answer/Discussion” site.  It was at the height of the internet boom and money was out there waiting to be claimed…and we rode it hard. Unfortunately the year 2000 arrived and the internet bust smacked us off our high-horse.  The enormity of the bust hadn’t really hit me…and I wasn’t phased.  I was convinced my next job would be better than Abuzz, so would the money…I’d be fine.  This ended up being a year “off.”  I even passed up a few offers because they didn’t surpass Abuzz in salary or challenge.

So, I was running out of options and beginning to understand humility.

The great thing about not having many options is that your choices are narrowed significantly.  I moved in with childhood friends of mine with the intentions of starting our own business.   They had just arrived at the apartment with a storefront attached way out in the boondocks of western Ma.  That was the perfect place for me to start rebuilding.  I was doing something that I could be proud of and we ran a great business that really, honestly served the community.  For being open 4+ years we helped a lot of people and for less money that we should have…that led to our realization that the model we were using wasn’t as sound as we thought it was.  We learned quite a few lessons from the endeavor and if I ever open my own business again I’ll utilize those lessons.

Shortly after we closed the business I got a call from Dan, my former boss at Abuzz.  He knew a few guys that were working on something pretty cool and wanted me to consider working there as the Community Manager, much like my experience at Abuzz.  So, Tabblo was acquired by HP shortly before I came onboard and I’ve had the great pleasure and honor of managing Tabblo.com, Tabbloid, our Facebook and MySpace projects, books with Gwen Stefani and Hanna Montana, and now the HP ePrintCenter over the last 3+ years.

It’s an amazing time to be in the community management space…it’s about time as I’ve been here for a while now!

Me on Facebook

Me on LinkedIn

Me on Tabblo

Me on Twitter

Me on the ePrintCenter

Me as an Ambassador on the HP Support Forums

Me as Me

So you have no excuse if you’re trying to get in touch with me!

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