Every day, you host events, post questions on community forums, and interact with your community members in person and online. Every member action—from a like on a LinkedIn post to a comment in a Reddit thread—shows your engagement, or as we at Orbit call it—love—for the community.
In the Orbit Model, we define love as the measure of the member's level of involvement in the community. Someone with a high love score is highly active. They play key roles in the community as contributors, moderators, and organizers.
Members have different degrees of love for each of the communities they participate in, so love is measured on a community-by-community basis. I might have high love for the running club I help organize, but relatively low love for my neighborhood association where I usually skip the meetings.
So how do we measure love?
Love is a combination of presence and commitment. Presence is a measure of a member's pattern of activity as a function of the frequency and recency of activities. Commitment is a measure of a member's depth of involvement and level of leadership.
Activities measure community presence. In the Orbit Model, a member's love is inferred by the frequency and recency of the activities they've completed. In other words, for each member, you want to understand how much they've contributed, how often they contribute, and when each contribution happened.
Activities are defined as “any actions that a member does in your community.” Some common types of activities are:
Of course this only touches the surface of the types of activities that exist, but the key take away is that there is some level of community action taken by the member.
Not familiar with Love, Reach, and Gravity? Learn more about how we built Orbit by exploring the Orbit Model.
Recording activities impacts how accurately your community is represented within Orbit. But be warned - not all activities are created equal. Different actions carry different weight. For each member, you want to understand what they've contributed and the relative importance of each contribution. It’s critical to get this weighting right because it will impact the love score and Orbit level that is attributed to each member.
Orbit uses a scale of 0.5 - 10 to weight activities. The lowest effort activities are a 0.5—consider for example, liking a tweet from the community’s account. The heaviest weighted activities are those that require significant investment—someone coordinating an event might be ranked as a 10. To help inspire you, we’ve created a list of activities and how we rank them at Orbit below. However, you know your community best, so you should rank your activities based on what you see driving the most community impact.
Please note: Activity weights are on a linear scale. So from the list above, “coordinating an event” is considered 20 times more impactful than liking a community post on LinkedIn, for example.
Now that you understand the importance of recording and weighing activities, you’ll want to make sure to capture as many community activities as possible. There are several ways you can import activities, but it will make your life much easier if you automate activity logging as much as possible.
The fastest and easiest way to record activities is via an Orbit integration. Orbit offers several integrations in-app including Twitter, GitHub, LinkedIn, Discord, Slack, YouTube and more.
Discover all of Orbit’s out-of-the-box integrations.
When you integrate with a platform or service, Orbit will tell you what activities it will automatically record and how much history it will import into your workspace. For example, the Twitter Mentions integration will import the following activities:
If Orbit doesn’t offer an integration out of the box you can build your own automatic integrations with Zapier using the Orbit API. We even have templates for importing activities from some of your favorite productivity tools like Calendly, Luma, Twilio and Survey Monkey.
View the guide for importing activities using Zapier
Some activities are impossible to capture via integrations and zaps—the casual conversations you have with community members in real life or people who volunteer for your community event. You can record these activities using our free Google sheets template and upload them in bulk to Orbit.
Learn more in the Knowledge Base CSV Import for Members and Activities
You can record an activity manually, for the one-off scenarios that aren’t worth your time putting into a CSV file. Just select the member profile of the person you want to import and click Add Activity. Orbit will automatically prompt you to fill in the activity.
Check out the Orbit Tip and Knowledge Base article to learn more.
Once you’ve imported an activity using any of the four methods highlighted above, you can keep track of your list of activities using Activity Types.
Click on Settings from the left hand menu and select Activity Types from the work place settings.
If you want to manually add a new activity, just click Add activity type in the upper right hand corner of the page and follow the prompts.
💡Tip: You can create new activity types when importing activities via CSV or Zapier.
Sometimes you change your mind and that’s okay! You might find that some activities might have greater or lower impact in your community and you can change the weighting to reflect that. Select the activity you want change, click on the ellipsis in the Actions column and then click edit activity type.
You cannot remove all activities from Activity Types. You can only remove activities that were manually added by selecting the ellipsis in the Actions column and then clicking edit activity type. To remove an automatic integration, disconnect the integration (or Zap) entirely in the Settings.
Once you build a library of activities, you’ll start to get a more holistic view of your community. The Activities tab is helpful for viewing activities to answer the quick questions you may have.
For example, let’s say you’re trying to create an FAQ for new members and you want to see the types of questions your newest members tend to ask. If Discord is the main way you connect with your community, then you would go to the activities tab, select the member tag new user and then under activity type select Discord message, Discord message reply, and Discord thread reply and voilà, you’ve got your new user questions as your main source for your FAQ.
Activities are one of the most important foundational pieces of how Orbit works and impacts how you measure and grow your community. It’s the basis of everything we do - from determining Orbit level to building out reports. If you have questions about Activities and how to capture and weight them, join our community on Twitter, LinkedIn, GitHub, Discord, and YouTube to learn more and join our community events to learn more.
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