This is a post I made to the Dreamforce 10 Ideas Community as a paper. I would love your vote!
Many of you have experienced the impact of the Salesforce Community personally with other users coming to your aid in times of need when that Custom Summary Formula just doesn’t do what you wanted it to do, or you have had a brain fart and are not quite sure where that place was that allowed you to change the name of a standard field.
Whatever it might be you have logged your issue with Salesforce Support and are awaiting an answer and just wanted to see whether some kind Pliny the Elder loving Community User could answer it before Support got back to you. You have posted your plea and within minutes you have had a reply and and you have escaped the wrath of your boss as your new wow report has finally been completed.
I for one have sat that same side of every Answer hungry Salesforce User and marveled at the collective experience of you all. I also sit on the other side of being a Community Contributor with the desire to give back to those who have given to me. It is a feel good place to be in that position when you feel you have helped out someone else either because you know the answer or you are just challenged enough to search for the answer yourself and create that formula or workflow rule to see whether there is a viable solution that can turn the corner in your project and make you a better SalesforceUser.
I have come to experience another reason that keeps me coming back and jumping in to the fray and trying to provide order out of your Answers chaos, and that is that it has brought enormous value to my own company. My executive team are so aware of the value of my contribution to the Salesforce Community because of what it has meant to the driving value of our own Salesforce org in our companies business automation. Where once we were under appreciating the value of what Salesforce could do for our company we are now whistling the Salesforce tune and dancing in the light of its automation power (ok I got a little carried away!).
Unfortunately I don’t have any metrics to give you but the experience I have gained as a Salesforce Community contributor has been the catalyst in many of the projects undertaken in our company to drive better business success. Daily I come away from my time spent answering posts with a new snippet of knowledge that I have been able to weave into the fabric of our Salesforce usage.
Now is there a best practice in this story I am not sure, maybe so. If the better practice is to help out others so that you in turn maybe helped out I reckon that is a good thing for your company too.