The Casting of Pods: WizardCast

wizardcastlogo-smallpngBACK, we are!

And boy are we coming back with a BANG. Well, at the very least, we are coming back audibly. Literally.

I am teaming up with the illustrious SalesforceWizard (aka Brian Kwong) to bring you WizardCast, a new Salesforce podcast. Yes, I know. Another Salesforce podcast. No, hang on, this one is DIFFERENT. Really, I promise. Mainly because we refuse to take ourselves seriously. At ALL.

The goal is to do weekly shows, life notwithstanding, so take a listen here to get a feel for what the show will be like, and watch for more casting of pods soon.

On other fronts, there are more blog posts currently being written and more opportunities for learning on the horizon. Be on the watch for more coming!

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For the KIDS

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Alright, Community. We’re winding down from Dreamforce, an exhausting event, to say the least. There’s a lot to do and a lot to absorb at Dreamforce, but one of the themes that appears again and again at every Dreamforce is one of philanthropy. Marc Benioff is well-known for his 1-1-1 business model, in which businesses commit to devoting 1% of their time, money, and product to charities in need.

In the spirit of that mindset, I’d like to ask you, my fellow Salesforce community members, a favor. This year, I am working with the Extra-Life charity, a group that works to provide funds for the Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, specifically for children whose families cannot afford the medical treatment they need to live without pain or even survive. Our major event is this Saturday, and I am helping to raise money for this incredibly worthy cause.

There are not many things that are as life-changing as meeting the 10-year-old boy whose life you helped to save by raising money to pay for his surgery, hearing his words of gratitude, and receiving the deeply-heartfelt hug of a young life given hope.

Please, if you can help any amount at all, please consider donating to this cause before Saturday. You can do so by clicking here or on the banner image above, which will take you to a secure donation page. The entire donation will go to children in need. You can visit Extra-Life.org for any validation you may need, and of course, it’s tax-deductible.

The New Way to Socialize at Dreamforce 2014

Influenza. Enterovirus. Ebola.

Ok, come back, it’s alright. Just reading the names won’t make you sick, alright?

It’s no secret that 2014 has been a bit of a banner year for infectious disease. And, not to scare anybody, but a LOT of us are about to all gather in a location with 150,000 other people from around the world, all at the same time. I don’t know about you, but that gives me just a liiiiittle pause.

But there is a solution! And it is a good one. Recently, the Harvard Medical School published its findings on the nature of hand-to-hand communications, and the likelihood of transmission of diseases in its different forms. The short version: fist bumps are a safer and cleaner alternative to handshakes.

That’s right, you read correctly. Harvard has officially stated that we should all be fist bumping.

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Absurd as it sounds, there is a very strong logic to it. When we shake hands, anything that is in our palms or on our fingers is instantly transferred to the receiving hand, and vice versa. The slight amount of moisture we always have on our hands practically ensures that the transfer occurs, too. There’s no “10-second rule” either; those bugs move instantly as they are practically shoved into waiting hands.

With the fist bump, however, the likelihood of transfer is much lower, because the contact is not so wide-spread, there is less moisture and pressure being applied, and because of the drastically-reduced amount of microorganisms on the outside of our fingers.

So I propose this, fellow Dreamforce attendees: the (un)official greeting of Dreamforce 2014 should be the Fist Bump.

Now I know what you’re thinking. “But Mark, that’s so unprofessional!” Ah, my friends, “professional” is what you make it. “Professional” is basically another way of saying “extremely polite”, and what could be more polite than not passing on the DreamPox?

No no, hear me out! We can make the Fist Bump professional, right? Let’s set some guidelines, ok? Nothing says “professional” like rules and guidelines, am I right?

The Professional Bump is straight-trajectory, no-frills, and quick contact.

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However, do not “explode” afterwards. This is tacky, and is therefore right out.

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Unless you’re doing it with a bald eagle.

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Maintain low velocity when jewelry is present. It is not professional to cause contusions.

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The “guided strike” is inadvisable, as it defeats the purpose and further invades personal space.

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Bumping in gloves is acceptable, so as to not facilitate the awkward pause of waiting for removal of said glove.

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Welp, here you have it, folks. If that doesn’t convince everyone to be slow-punchin’ at DF14, I don’t know what will. Just don’t be offended if I keep a bottle of Purell handy, ok? Love you.

The First Not-Really-Annual-We-Just-Do-This-When-We-Feel-Like-It Community Flow Hackathon!

2012.05.04-HackathonOn the 25th of June in the year of our lord 2014, it was hereby decreed that there would be a great ‘Thon of Hacking, dedicated to the communication of ideas and knowledge of The Great Flow. Over the following 7 days, many heroes from across the land ventured forth to slay the Dragon of Communal Ignorance, valiantly submitting their contributions and felling the great beast. When the dust cleared on the 2nd of July, there were only victors.

Hang on, I think my nerd is showing. Can you tell I run Dungeons & Dragons games in my spare time?

If you have any interest in Flow, I highly advise heading to the Success Community page for the #Sp14FlowHackathon topic, where you can see the collective hackathon in its entirety. It was started in the group “Official: Salesforce Workflow Automation“, and there truly were some amazing ideas. I’ll be dedicating an entire blog post to my submission next week, but at the moment I want to highlight some of the other submissions here.

(The following “awards” are mine and mine alone, and I do not represent Salesforce or any other company or individual.)

Best Use of New Features Award – Reassign Records when the Owner becomes Inactive

Jen Nelson brings the awesome with a Flow that uses Flow Triggers, Fast Lookups and Loops seamlessly. What’s more, it’s incredibly useful to ANY admin and operates quietly, predictably, and seamlessly. It’s the sort of automation that throws off new admins in the org; it’s so clean that it fools them into thinking it’s part of core Salesforce functionality, not realizing something else enabled it. Hey Jen, be sure you train any new admin you work with that this is flow! Otherwise he’s going to get that question wrong on his 201 Certification test!

Most Work Saved Award – Assign and Maintain Due Dates for all Tasks in a Campaign

Jen Dunn not only wins the award for Most Work Saved, but also for Most Patient Users! Whoever had the job of manually assigning and updating up to 35 tasks had a crap job, and Jen made it a whole lot easier! I just hope you didn’t put someone out of a job! This is a prime example of the power of Flow: taking a massive, repetitive task and reducing it to a few clicks. Bravo.

Wildest Idea Award – Clone Chatter Group with Members

Rakesh “The Flow Machine” Gupta makes us all ask ourselves the deep philosophical question: “Will I ever have to clone a Chatter Group? And if so, what am I going to do about all those Members?” That’s heavy, man. So hardcore. If nothing else, I love Flows like this because they make admins stop and say “Wait, Flow can do THAT? If it can do that, I wonder what else it’s capable of.” Nothing better illustrates the breadth of awesome that Flow can accomplish.

These are just some of the Flows that were shown. Go and take a look at the rest!