Chris Messina has left Google to join the digital collectibles platform NeonMob. The former developer advocate and UX designer for the search company announced in a blog post that he will be working to build the new startup’s community and service, something he describes as “an important, new platform for digital creatives and art enthusiasts.”

His departure comes after more than 3.5 years with Google and he has been responsible for the launch of the company’s developer resource website, redesigned the Google Profile, and also was the person behind the new designs for the Google +1 button and brand badges.

If Messina’s name sounds familiar, it should, as he’s the inventor of the hashtag, which has really become quite popular on all the major social networks, including Facebook and Google+. Among his many accomplishments is his dedication towards open source and open standards. He also did his part in creating the BarCamp, Spread Firefox, and coworking movements around the world.

In joining NeonMob, Messina will add his expertise in design and strategic insights into helping build a service that specializes in enabling users to purchase, trade, and sell digital collectibles with each other. It describes itself as thus:

NeonMob is a platform and community for discovering and collecting awesome, original, limited-edition, digital art. For those who grew up collecting comic books, cards, stamps, coins or other collectible paraphernalia, the concept of collecting online doesn’t stretch the imagination. The difference is, NeonMob is online, which makes finding fellow collectors and trading partners much easier – and on NeonMob, anybody can create stuff for others to collect!

In looking at the company’s website, it shows that Messina has been an advisor to the startup, along with Mindflash.com’s VP of Engineering Cameron Gray, and the founder of Dragoneer Investment Group Marc Stad.

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