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Proposal: Salesforce

I noticed you guys are flying through this process so far. Does this proposal have "official" backing from Salesforce.com, or is it just an avid, enthusiastic group of users/developers/admins? This is such a great match for the Stack Exchange model that I wanted to make sure it gets top treatment.

Oh, let me back up a little...

Hi, my name is Laura, and I work for Stack Exchange!

If there is anything I can do (or anyone I can talk to) to make sure this site gets created soon, just let me know (laura AT stackexchange DOT com).

So: who do I talk to in order to help this awesome project keep swimming along?

  • Thanks for the compliments! Have just fired an email over :) – Matt Lacey May 30 '12 at 23:47
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    Could it please pretty please be a broader "CRM" one instead! There are lots and lots of other CRMs which would fit within this. – Matthew Galloway Jun 1 '12 at 17:54
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    I appreciate you making this sort of announcement public, but this sounds very unusual, especially given that Salesforce is a commercial entity. I appreciate wanting to see if Salesforce has any intent in backing it, but attempting to expedite the democratic Area 51 process seems really...bad, frankly. "We offer neither "white-label" services, nor the ability to bypass Area 51 to create sites through partnerships." – Ben Brocka Jun 3 '12 at 17:53
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    Kudos for opening a discussion so everyone can see. I'd say a company could easily have internal people participate (under the normal disclosure rules) but more importantly - announce and support this proposal in communications to salesforce customers and let them show up to help form the community. If one tenth of one percent of salesforce's companies had one person join and back, there would be 100+ new people committed to this proposal. – bmike Jun 3 '12 at 19:07
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    @BenBrocka Yes, it is unusual; we're experimenting. You've noticed that we at SE like to experiment, right? ;) Anyway, we're looking to do something with Salesforce similar to what we did with Canonical and Ask Ubuntu; Salesforce has a huge community of employees, developers, admins, and users, so this proposal would benefit greatly from official endorsement. We're looking to capitalize on the enthusiasm of current SE users committed to this proposal while simultaneously bringing in as much of the Salesforce community as possible. – Laura Jun 4 '12 at 14:51
  • Now that Salesforce Stack Exchange has been in Beta for over a year (and is growing at a healthy rate), could we have an update on where it stands for launching? – Matt K Oct 9 '13 at 16:00
  • @MatthewKeefe We don't have a set duration for betas; sites "graduate" (I think what you mean by launching - getting a custom site theme and whatnot) whenever the our community managers' periodic evaluations deem them ready and our designers have time to create the design. We are actually currently working directly with Salesforce on an initial design to propose to the community. Because we're working with SF, and we're also going to be rolling out a new network-wide top bar design that will impact future site designs, this process is moving slower than normal, but we're moving towards it. – Laura Oct 9 '13 at 16:35
  • I'm not going to venture a guess at a timeframe because I'm not closely involved in this project, but keep an eye out on Salesforce.SE's meta site for announcements from community managers or designers in the coming weeks and months. Until then, there is nothing functionally incomplete about our beta sites; the biggest change that comes with graduation is cosmetic (the custom theme). – Laura Oct 9 '13 at 16:37
  • That's great news! Thanks for the update. – Matt K Oct 9 '13 at 16:39
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I agree with BenBrocka here; if you want to engage in a special relationship with a company, then doing an end-run around Area 51 is not the way to do it. Do something like a specialized sub domain, a-la Facebook. Oh, wait...

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If the site cannot even get 100 experts to vouch for it how exactly is it going to work? From some undefined "cloud" of unseen millions who clamor for it? Sure sounds like a propaganda to me and I've heard a lot of it in real life.

I said it once, I'll say it again, lets not mix-up building a great community site with rewarding a great product with SE domain name. Bypassing are51 rules to cash in from SF (if that is the purpose of this "experiment") is just plain bad taste and undermines the whole community and causes undue schism between SO as dev center and future SF site.

If you like to "experiment with democracy", I have a simple solution for a quick (almost instant) launch. Since you work for SE you have sysadm access to SE databases, just create 62 fake expert users with 200 fake reputation and have them commit for the site and voila, the launch conditions are satisfied, ethics be damned. If you need some tips on how to make it look more legit I can offer some (for a fee of course) that I learned from real politicians.

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    Let's clear up your misconceptions. No one said there were "millions who clamor" for a Salesforce site. No one said that SE is "bypassing area51 rules to cash in" from Salesforce. We are not "experimenting with democracy". Our current Area51 process is broken. We're working on a major overhaul of the way sites get proposed and created, but it's a massive project that will take many more months to implement. In the meantime, this Salesforce proposal caught our eye. I think it is a great match for the Stack Exchange model; I could be wrong, but we won't know that until after it's launched. – Laura Jul 16 '12 at 14:05
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    This proposal is different from pretty much every proposal I've seen on Area51 in a couple ways. LaceySnr (founder of this proposal) has personally referred 65 of the 203 people currently committed. He has been great at evangelizing the SE model through his blog and social media presence. He helped get official Salesforce backing for the proposed site. Salesforce officially endorsed this proposal - a huge signal from them of trust in and support of the Salesforce community. And there is a big enough SFDC community for a large, robust portion of that community to thrive on Stack Exchange. – Laura Jul 16 '12 at 14:07
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    LaceySnr has worked extremely hard, the people he's brought in (as well as the other people committed) are enthusiastic about the proposal, and Salesforce.com is excited about it. We don't want this site to never happen because of us; Area 51 is broken, and we don't want that brokenness to break the momentum. SE is not making money on this deal, and we didn't choose this proposal as a random experiment in democracy. We chose it because we think it will work...and if it doesn't, we'll shut it down. You are entitled to your opinion, but please don't put words in my, or any other person's, mouth. – Laura Jul 16 '12 at 14:10
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    Who says that Area51 is broken? Do you even listen to yourself writing this? How is this different from Chavez saying that constitution is bad because he can't be a lifetime president? etc, etc. Owners of SE want to regain totalitarian control? thats just fine with me, its their investment, but please don't insult my intelligence by calling this a democratic community process and saying that current system is broken just because it impedes totalitarian actions. There is reason why at least 100 experts are needed for a site, alas all you get is a bunch of useless noob on noob action. – mmix Jul 17 '12 at 10:19
  • and re the "endorsement", please, that means absolutely nothing pass the pat on the shoulder that costs them nothing but a few words on the blog. If they have committed their employees from their support forum to SE to answer questions and participate in discussions, that would be a useful endorsement, the way it is now its just a cheap marketing gimmick that would do nothing to help the SE site flourish. And yet their blog makes no mention of such support, imagine that... – mmix Jul 17 '12 at 10:24
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    You're confusing "experts in the SE model" with "experts in the site's subject matter." Most of the sites that have failed on our network have been ones that have plenty of people familiar with SE's rules and system, but not enough people who are actual professionals or experts in the site's topic area. I'm not going to continue arguing with you; if you don't think a Salesforce Stack Exchange site is a good idea, don't use it. – Laura Jul 17 '12 at 14:16

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