I received my welcome email from Erica Kuhl, Community and Social Media Manager at Salesforce, Thursday night this past week. It had been yet another whirlwind day starting at 5am talking with clients, working on projects and running my Salesforce consulting practice. I had started to settle in with the family that evening when I wandered back upstairs to get something, and being the work-compulsive guy that I am, I peeked into my inbox. Erica’s email sat there like a gift-wrapped box just waiting there for me to open it. I printed the email, read the first few lines and came down stairs and handed it to my wife and said "I might need to make a drink." She knew instantly what it was and what it meant, and gave me a big hug.
I was very taken back with the recognition – both honored and flattered. I also knew that it meant I was now carrying a torch for the Salesforce brand, which comes with responsibility and expected community leadership.
As I sat there at the kitchen table, it took a good half hour for it to sink in. Was I really "official?" Then I got a call from my good friend Deepa Patel with Halak Consulting, a Salesforce MVP herself, wishing me congratulations. She knew becoming a Salesforce MVP was a personal goal of mine since the program began and I’m sure I owe her gratitude for getting me considered. At that point it felt real and I ventured onto Twitter – the word was getting out and the "perma-grin" on my face lasted well into the night as congratulations were being circled about to the new MVPs. Needless to say, I didn’t get any more client work done that day!
What is the Salesforce Community? The first thing that comes to mind are a couple of personalities (and in no particular order).
Garry Polmateer @DarthGarry – I start with Garry because he makes me laugh with his zany Salesforce videos. When I think of a Salesforce Super Fan, I think of Garry.
Steve Molis @SteveMoForce – The only person on the Salesforce Answers forum that can answer 1,000 questions a month, month after month. He’s a machine. Think of the number of people he has helped over a year! I got to see him speak at Dreamforce this year and his online personality does not do him justice. He’s one of the most entertaining people I’ve ever met.
Mike Gerholdt @MikeGerholdt – Mike has created a personal brand around Salesforce with his site ButtonClickAdmin.com – a fabulous resource for aspiring Salesforce admins.
Matt Lamb @SFDCMatt – Matt is someone I got to know last year while working together on a Dallas User Group presentation. He’s a huge Answers contributor, frequent Dreamforce speaker, and all-around super nice guy.
Though I highlighted just a few individual MVPs, the community is actually a cast of thousands. It ranges from the highly visible Salesforce MVPs to the multitudes of people that attend monthly user group meetings and participate daily on social channels. The community provides help and guidance to other users just because they love Salesforce. Why would they do that? Altruism to be sure, but I suspect they received help along the way and remember how valuable that free assistance was to their little world when faced with a problem and needed support.
And now as part of the community, they are now returning the favor.