Thursday, June 16, 2011

Crowdsourcing

Chris O Davies
Guest Blogger: Chris O Davies

Prior to Jeff's departure to London for a brief but well deserved vacation, he asked if I would be interested in writing a blog for CloudSpokes focusing on how the crowd can be utilized in unique in various ways using TeachMeSalesforce as an example.

The massive growth of Cloud Computing is undeniable and Salesforce.com has clearly been the leader in this paradigm shift. One of the interesting things about Salesforce's success is that it's partially driven and extended by a very large, loyal, and vocal community base. This community of power users, sysadmins, and developers have all individually helped drive the changes that have evolved Salesforce since it's initial launch, and have banded together on Twitter and other social platforms to help each other defeat challenges and grow in their respective knowledge.

However, this community information is largely disconnected and unavailable for a new user to find; the answers to many common questions being scattered around a number of community blogs. TeachMeSalesforce was launched as a means to use the community to help correct a problem exacerbated by the fact that Salesforce has a massive and quite vocal community! Ironic, huh? And all it took was a simple launch on WordPress. TeachMeSalesforce has multiple editors in one space providing the pivotal information (best practices, sample code, and configuration tips) needed to be successful.

TeachMeSalesforce is an example of using crowdsourcing to tap into different skill sets in order to come up with many solutions for Force.com users, and the community is doing this by asking everyone in the community that is vocal about Salesforce to post their existing and new recipes on the site. It brings a huge advantage to users and developers. Users benefit from having different solutions in one location and an online library to visit each time they need to learn something new. Developers benefit by collaborating and learning from other contributors.

Crowdsourcing in this manner serves as a great way for everyone to learn from each others' skill sets and improve their skills to better assist clients in their future projects. Every participant walks out of this type of crowdsourcing event better than before. Much like how TeachMeSalesforce strengthens the community involved, I am certain that every CloudSpokes participant learns from each challenge they embark upon.

From experience I know there are so many users and developers out there who have solved the same problems over and over again. TeachMeSalesforce asks: why not share these types of solutions with the community in a single, easy-to-find location? Hopefully, combining what you have learned on TeachMeSalesforce you can sign up to CloudSpokes and start completing challenges that can help you win some valuable prizes. A win-win of sorts for everyone involved.

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