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February Product Updates from Orbit

February 23, 2022
Gareth Wilson
Director, Brand & Content
February Product Updates from Orbit
Welcome to The Observatory, the community newsletter from Orbit.

Each week we go down rabbit holes so you don't have to. We share tactics, trends and valuable resources we've observed in the world of community building.

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Making more time for human connection

Building community is all about connecting at a human level to forge relationships. However, much of the work that a community team needs to do ends up taking them away from that. These are activities like cleaning or entering data, pulling lists, and running reports. But Orbit is here to help you get that time back. One such task that’s common among product communities, in particular, is identifying the organizations where members work. Thankfully, in December, we released the beta of our support for Organizations, and today we’re excited to announce that this is now available to everyone.

🏢 Know when key Organizations join your community

We’ve made organizations a first-class object in Orbit. So you can see when folks from interesting organizations join and engage in your community. This makes it easier to do things like spot prospects, new partners, or potential case studies.

Here’s how it works:

The organization table lists all the active organizations in your community. You can see the name, website, member count, employee count, and the date the organization became active within your community. From there, you can click through to each organization’s profile page and see rich information, like the community members from the organization and their most recent activities.

⚙️ Organizations API

Another way Orbit is helping you get more of that vital relationship-building time is with our new Organizations API. The Organizations API enables you to grab organization data to use it in your scripts, reporting, or export it to other systems. The API matches the read-only organizations functionality found in the Orbit application. So you can:
- List all Organizations in a Workspace
- Get an Organization by ID
- List all the Members of an Organization
- List all the Activities performed by Members of an Organization

🕓  Team member time zones

This one might not make more time for you, but it makes working with time a lot easier. Say bye-bye to UTC and hello to local time zones—now all of the dates and times you see around the Orbit app are shown in the local time zone of the team member viewing it. So you can be sure of the exact time an activity took place or when a member was active without having to do any quick time-zone math. You’re welcome! 😅

Share the impact of your efforts

Another critical part of the job for community teams is sharing the impact of your efforts. That’s why there are extensive community intelligence capabilities in Orbit with reporting and dashboards. We’ve recently shipped some improvements to make creating that exact report you need possible.

🧵 Support for Discord Threads

We’re happy to say that we now support Discord Threads, enabling you to understand the full extent of conversations happening within your Discord servers.

As part of rolling this out, a historical import has been performed on all workspaces currently using the Discord integration to backfill as much data from previous threads as possible. As a result, your metrics from earlier months may have changed, and you’ll now see higher counts for Discord messages and active members than before. That’s because you can now see and report on the complete picture of Discord engagement.

🔎 New location filter and report fields

We’ve added new locations filter and report fields. So, if you find yourself wanting to invite all your community members to a meetup in, say, New York. Or maybe you want to know how fast your community is growing in India. Well, that’s now much easier to do in Orbit. You can specify city, country, and/or region to get super geo-specific about the activity or members you need.

🔖 Activity Properties for filtering and reports

We’ve also added filtering and report fields for activity properties. Activity properties enable you to tag an activity with additional context using key-value pairs that you can filter or group by. All our Plug & Play integrations create default Activity Properties. For example, our Discord integration adds activity properties for category, channel, and server. These properties enable you to get specific with your reporting on activity within each platform. You can also create Activity Properties via our API and custom integrations too. This opens up the possibility to group your activities by billing plan within your product, which newsletter triggered an action, or any other property you can think of.

🧮 Add multiple GitHub organizations

Finally, adding multiple GitHub Organizations to your Orbit workspace is now much more straightforward. If you have one organization already connected and you would like to add another, here are the steps you need to follow:

1. Ensure you are logged into a GitHub account with admin access to the Organization you want to add.
2. Head to your workspace Settings
3. Click on Integrations
4. Select GitHub from the list of Plug & Play integrations

After completing the above steps, you will be taken to a GitHub splash screen to select the Organization you would like to add. The new Organization will be added to Orbit alongside any others you have added previously.

💁🏻 Getting help

All of these updates are available now in the app. If you need help, then the Orbit team is here for you. Please take a look at our knowledge base, or drop us a line to get answers to any questions you may have.

To stay up-to-date on future product improvements, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our newsletter at the bottom of the page👇.

💫  Orbit is Hiring Engineers in US/EMEA

Orbit helps grow and measure thousands of communities like Kubernetes and CircleCI. We're a remote-first company with a product-driven, empathetic engineering team that enjoys the occasional space pun! Check out our careers page for open opportunities.

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