Yik Yak's communities are the most important thing to us.
In just two short years, Yik Yak has spread to thousands of communities around the world; each of them has their own characteristics. For example, in our college communities, we see a lot of witty jokes, school pride and moral support during finals. We actually have a team of people at Yik Yak who work extra hard to ensure that each community can thrive.
Who leads that team you might ask? The one and only, Ben Popkin.
You might catch Ben in an intense game of ping pong, or making other coworkers laugh hysterically with his witty jokes. A Wake Forest alum, Ben was one of the earliest employees at Yik Yak, and is a true embodiment of what it means to work at Yik Yak — grind hard, put the herd first and have fun in the meantime.
Q: What inspired you to work as Lead Community Manager?
A: I started working in community management because it lets you have a lot of freedom to be creative. You also get to interact with the people using Yik Yak.
Q: Why did you decide to work at Yik Yak?
A: I originally came on as a contractor to help with community management in the early days. Once I experienced the creative freedom and environment here, I knew I wanted to stay.
Q: Who inspires you at Yik Yak?
A: The dev team that works on systems. They are constantly fielding all of our requests and turning them into something that's actually useful. They have an amazing amount of patience and a huge work ethic that is really great to see. They're also bananas smart.
Q: Who’s the funniest person at Yik Yak and why?
A: Justin Oh. Especially when he says he can beat me in ping pong or smash bros.
Q: What are your hobbies outside of work?
A: I do stand up comedy when I'm not working. Atlanta has a really great comedy scene with some amazing shows and talented people. It's a ton of fun.
Q: What’s the best life advice you’ve received, and who was it from?
A: "Be nice." My parents use to tell me that whatever I have to do, just be nice about it. And then I saw Roadhouse and Swayze said the exact same thing, so it's legit!
Q: What is the highest number of upvotes you’ve received on a yak?
A: Somewhere around 460 I think is my highest for stuff that wasn't on the herds page. *takes hard look in the mirror*
Q: What’s a fun fact that no one would guess about you?
A: I know all of the words to "X Gon' Give It To Ya"
Q: What songs are included in the soundtrack to your life?
A: Welcome to Atlanta - Jermaine Dupri featuring Ludacris
Teenage Dirtbag - Wheatus
Give It Up - KC & The Sunshine Band
Bombs Over Baghdad - Outkast
One Week - Barenaked Ladies
Young Blood - The Naked and Famous
Grown Up - Danny Brown
Clint Eastwood - Gorillaz
The House That Heaven Built - Japandroids
Fake Empire - The National
Anything from Run The Jewels
Q: If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
A: I'd like to learn different languages so I could communicate with all the nationalities of the world and be a bridge for cultures. Or backflips. Backflips seem awesome.
Q: What is your favorite part about living in Atlanta?
A: We have Pandas.
Q: If you could give one piece of advice to someone looking of a job in tech, what would it be?
A: That really cool company you want to work for is probably hiring.
Q: Would you rather be a tiny elephant or a giant hamster?
A: Tiny elephant. I feel like people would want to cuddle with a tiny elephant.