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I hit a milestone today. A year ago, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis.

This is definitely a divergence from my normal blog post topics. However, I want to use my platform to raise awareness and share my perspective on this autoimmune disease. Please be warned, there are a lot of poop puns (😏)

Taylor Swift Poops, Too 👩🏻‍🎤

Ulcerative Colitis is an autoimmune disease and a disability recognized by the ADA. However, there’s a terrible stigma attached to this disease. Studies show that the stigma for UC is worse than genital herpes! Because of that, many people with UC suffer in silence. …

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December 22, 2014, exactly 6 years ago today, I wrote an email that would change my life forever. A few months later, it played a role in the most batshit crazy 18 days of my entire career.

It seems like yesterday and a hundred years ago all at the same time. I’ve shared some of this story in my blog before, but there’s a lot more to it, and it’s a story that I personally think deserves to be told. It might seem like some of this was luck, and maybe the timing of how some things worked out was…

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This is Part Four of a four part series:

When I look back at my close to five years at Salesforce (4 years and 8 months to be exact), I’m incredibly proud of the impact my work and leadership had on our community and our company. It’s easy to look back and focus on all of the things I wanted to do- but didn’t…

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Sharing Is Caring. Hearing Is Endearing. List-nin’ Is Better Than Whistlin’ 👂🏼 > 😗

I learn so much from the people I work with. I cannot stress enough how important it is for leaders to give teams a safe space to share their ideas. Even ideas that seem simple or crazy can have a huge impact. I still use one of those ideas to this day. It came from a brilliant member of my team when I was at Salesforce, Kendall Odom (links below).

Sometimes You Reach Into Your Pocket & It’s $20. Sometimes It’s A Melted Butterscotch Candy With A Hair Stuck To It 🍬

Being a community professional means you have some good days and some bad days. Some angry community members and some happy ones. Some entitled community members and some grateful ones…

A Surprise in Vienna 🇦🇹

Bundled from head to toe in our warmest gear my boyfriend (now husband) and I walked into Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. It was December 2013. I had just placed my headphones over my head for our self-guided tour when I felt my phone buzz. I was working at Atlassian, and even though I was on vacation, I was the worst about still checking email.

I opened my email and started to skim — “Community management conference…” “CMX…” “San Francisco…”

I sat down on a nearby bench and read the email three times.

“A conference just for… community managers? There are…

This is Part Three of a four part series:

Congratulations! You’ve just hired an amazing new member of your team! Now what?

Every company has their own unique onboarding process for new employees. If your company has a great onboarding process — awesome! However, community team roles have their own unique onboarding needs, so here are some tips for bringing on a new community team hire.

This Aint Your Typical Welcome Basket 🎁


🎶 I wanna, (ha) I wanna, (ha) I wanna, (ha) I wanna, (ha) I really, really, really wanna zigazig ah 🎶

That’s going to be stuck in your head alllll day now. You’re welcome.

I made a commitment this year to share my knowledge and spend time doing work that can contribute to elevating both community professionals and the community management industry as a whole. If you’re just tuning in to my blog for the first time, the most recognizable places I’ve built community are Atlassian and Salesforce. Currently, I’m head of community at Venafi. You can read more about…

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This is Part Two of a four part series:

I Don’t Mean To Brag But… 🙌🏻

I mentioned in my first post of this series that I am really good at hiring. Well, I am. The numbers speak for themselves. Out of the last ten people I’ve hired, eight were incredible additions to my teams. …

Image by Free To Use Sounds, provided by Unsplash

This is Part One of a four part series:

Headcount. Glorious, Beautiful Headcount. 👥

So many community professionals have felt the pain (and excitement!) of being a community team of one. When that special day comes, and you hear the words “You’re getting a headcount for the community team!” It just fills you with all of the warm fuzzies. You think about the long list of things you want to be able…

I was invited to do a Slack AMA with Community Chat. It was great to participate and a fun challenge to answer the rapid-fire questions as quickly and thoughtfully as possible. You can check out the transcript below.

You can also see this transcript and transcripts for Community Chat’s AMAs with other community professionals here.

Hi everyone, I’m Holly Firestone, Head of Community at Venafi. A little about my community background. I started in the Community Management profession 10 years ago at a nonprofit. I’ve built and run some of the largest B2B communities and community programs in the world…

Community Strategist. Currently: Head of Community at Venafi. Previously Salesforce & Atlassian. Challenge me to a pun-off. Twitter: @hollyfirestone

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