Yes, that is a reference to Extreme Makeover, Home Edition.

Yes, I was a teenager in the early aughts.

And yes, I’ve been fortunate beyond measure to embark on some brilliant collaborations recently. My heart is so full of collaborative energy that I wanted to sit down and write about it.


A few weeks ago, I partnered with Ann Blake Photography for a mini branding session! This gave me a chance to think about images that show me working (which basically amounts to thinking hard and typing on a computer) and convey my aspirations of warmth, approachability, knowing my shit, being fun/goofy/weird.

Mission accomplished?!

YouTube mail merge video extravaganza

I have a whopping 11 videos on my YouTube channel that now covers 3 different products (Conga Composer, Apsona, and Xappex).

Just in the nick of time, the wonderful Shelley Bolt volunteered her expertise to redesign the thumbnails for my YouTube videos, helping people find them and take them more seriously in the search feed.

I’ve never been so proud of the graphics that accompany the technical stuff I’m working on!

Speaking of videos…

I’ve been recording videos on Sunday/Monday to celebrate what I call #MailMergeMonday (lol). These vids have generated a bunch of awesome comments/feedback/ideas/”what about?”s… from people who I don’t know intimately (I hesitate to call them “strangers”).

In the most recent trajectory…

  • I recorded a video about how to use Salesforce and Apsona to export Attendance Sheets from Program Management Module
  • Someone commented asking about how to upload the Attendance results back into the system… so I created a new video on how to do that with a different app (Xappex)
  • Then, someone else wrote that their org didn’t have the data that I referenced in my video and I realized that I had a misunderstanding of the data model (oops! I was wrong!)
  • I collaborated with a new interlocutor who knows the data model better than I do, to help me understand what I was missing
  • So that yielded another NEW video with a fix and new ideas about how to handle attendance data.

I’m learning that I need to work on being emotionally … unattached … (is that even possible) with the videos I make. Videos are much more difficult to revise than blog posts. It’s an all or nothing deal. If there’s something wrong with a video, I need to take it down. I made that difficult decision this week, not to be dramatic, but it really took a lot of thought and humility to do it!

That being said, I’m totally captivated by being in a dialogue with the community about data management and data merging and I think video is the best medium to do it. It’s quite a dream come true! I’m learning how to be responsive to feedback which has helped the project grow SO MUCH and has introduced me to awesome people. I couldn’t be more delighted!

Here’s the latest installment:

FlowFest v2

About a month ago, I was introduced to community leaders who are planning the second iteration of a competitive automation-building event in the Salesforce world. They needed a method for generating data for all of the competitors to quickly import into their Dev Orgs and came to the Data Generation Toolkit team.

This led to some rapid delegation and innovation to produce Snowfakery files that meet the objectives of the competition AND add a new export option from Snowfakery to be compatible with a snippet of code that will read the file. I am SO proud of the way the Data Gen community rose to the challenge and created a new solution. This now opens some SUPER exciting new paths to explore for uploading datasets in a less intimidating way.

A new (to me) Slack community for freelancers and solo-preneurs

A new friend invited me to join a Slack where there is daily discussion about technical challenges, networking, community building, pricing, etc. It’s a space I’ve been craving but at the same time, I didn’t know I needed it! Yaaaaay new friends!

Exploring how to engage with code

My friend and mentor, David, wrote an exceptional article about the risks of admins copying code and introducing bugs into their Salesforce org. While I take zero credit for the brilliant technical- and thought-leadership presented in the article and on social media, in some ways I feel that this is an outgrowth of conversations we’ve been having for many months – intermittently, over twitter DM, whenever we have time or a burning thought! Watching this play out on LinkedIn and then providing an antidote to potential vitriol with thoughtful, clarifying, compassionate next steps. MMMMMM chef’s kiss!

The Sam and Emily lovefest continues

(despite the face I am making in this frame). We’re still making weekly-ish videos where we talk about our biggest doubts and contradictions! And having fun!

Ugh, now I am feeling a twinge insecure for typing out a litany of random stuff I am working on when really the point is that I am feeling creatively nurtured and expansive and excited for what comes next.

How are your collabs going? Which of these project sound exciting to you? Do you… want to collaborate… with me?! I’d love to hear from you!

3 thoughts on “[roundup] extreme collaboration, tdaa edition

  1. I love the LinkedIn post you referenced from your mentor. It can be so powerful to call out a problem and then invite people to learn in community with each other rather than thinking that you need to be the person who solves the problem or says the smart thing. I am totally taking this approach moving forward as a way to be in thought partnership with others. Thanks for mentioning that!

    1. Thank you Cher! I am going to share this comment directly with David. So glad to be in this work with you!

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