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How to get the most out of your first workspace

May 3, 2022
Nick Johnson
Product Marketing Manager
How to get the most out of your first workspace
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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Welcome new Orbit users! Congratulations on taking the next step to growing your community. If you want to learn how to quickly set up your workspace, this article is for you. Here, we’ll help you build and navigate your first workspace and share some helpful insights and tips for getting the most out of it.

What is a workspace?

You can think of your workspace as the home space where you will manage, derive insights and share information about your community.

If you manage multiple communities—for example, a developer community at work and a community for amateur filmmakers in your free time—you will want to create two separate workspaces.

However if both communities are related or tangential—say you manage a community forum for developers and a separate, but related community for product managers, you will most likely want to create a single workspace as some developers may also work as product managers. This will also help you manage dashboards and prevent you from duplicating work. Instead, you use tags to segment your community members once you have your workspace set up (see Use member tags to segment your community).

Understand your community vision

Before building out your workspace, make sure to clearly define community goals and direction. While clarity of vision comes over time, it’s important to commit to a direction and work toward that vision, even temporarily, as your community grows and evolves.

If you start building a community without a clear direction in mind, you risk growing a fractured community with different purposes and goals. Having a community vision empowers you to herd your community in a single, unified direction.

If you’re looking for tools to define your vision, check out our blog on the Community Discovery Framework.
The Community Discovery Framework

Now you have a community vision, it’s time to build out your first workspace. If you’re logging into Orbit for the first time, you’ll be prompted to create your own workspace. If you’ve already logged into Orbit, hit the dropdown to the left of your profile name and click Create a workspace.

Integrate with your community

Next, you’ll want to integrate your exiting community platforms into Orbit. Orbit has two types of integrations. Plug & Play Integrations and custom integrations.

Plug & Play Integrations

Plug and play integrations connect to your favorite platforms out of the box like Twitter, Slack, GitHub, Discord, and more. These integrations require minimum technical proficiency and make it easy to integrate with these accounts with login information and a few prompts. Discover all of Orbit’s Plug & Play Integrations here.

Build custom low-code integrations with n8n and Zapier

For all other integrations, you can create custom integrations using Zapier to connect to platforms like Calendly, Google Apps, Instagram, Asana, Mailchimp, and more. For these integrations you’ll need to set up a custom Zap between your platform of choice and Orbit. You just fill in a few fields like activity weighting for specific actions and voila, you’ve got a custom, low-code integration! Learn how to set up your first integration here.

Merge Members

Once you’ve integrated with your members’ favorite platforms, Orbit automatically creates unified member profiles and starts consolidating emails, handles, and usernames. Sometimes there may be duplicate names or similar usernames with different profile names. Orbit intelligently identifies these differences and will have you review them using a simple user interface.

Just go to the Members tab and click Review Merge Suggestions. Orbit provides a side-by-side view so you can compare information username and email information in each profile. You can then select one of three actions:

  • Not a duplicate: Two member profiles do not belong to the same person.
  • Merge: Two members profiles belong to the same person.
  • Snooze: You’re not sure and do not wish to see this merge suggestion for the next 30 days.
  • Next: Clicking Next will take you to the next merge suggestion.

For example, let’s say you have a member named “Bill Smith” but his full name is “William A. Smith.” On some accounts he goes by the name “Bill” and others “William.” Orbit will see these two profiles share an email or Twitter handle and have you manually verify that both profiles are the same person.

Learn more about member settings here.

Review Member Merge Suggestions

Use member tags to segment your community

People build relationships with one another through actions. However, not every community member participates or engages with other community members in the same way — and that’s okay! As community builders, it’s important for us to embrace diversity within communities and make sure that we’re serving these different needs.

When the world of community is overwhelming — member tags help us break it down to a manageable level. If a community is built by doing, member tags can tell a story about the ways we participate within the community.

To add a tag, go to a member’s profile, scroll down to the Tags section, click Add tag (or type ‘t’ on your keyboard as a shortcut!). You will then see a dropdown of all the tags in your workspace. Start typing to quickly find the tag you want. Don't see your tag in the dropdown? Just finish typing the name of your tag and press 'Enter' on your keyboard - you've just added a new tag to your workspace.

As a community builder, you likely have a few processes that you repeat time and time again. These are prime for tags. For example:

  • Welcoming new members
  • Sending a sequence of emails
  • Community event management
  • Checking in on specific community channels

Gaining insight and identifying patterns based on different segments allows you to have a better understanding of what’s happening within your community overall.

Set filters and build dashboards

Once you’ve integrated and merged members from across community platforms and added tags for important activities, you can start diving into community insights. We recommend reviewing the community goals and vision you built before you created your workspace and the Orbit Model to better understand the metrics you’ll want to track.

Ask yourself about the information you want to understand, such as:

  • What interesting activities can we identify?
  • Who needs help?
  • Who can offer help?
  • What information can we report back on?

You can filter based on member activity types, member tags, Orbit level, location, organization title, time period or more to dive deeper to extract the insights you need to prioritize your daily activities.

Once you have your filters set up with the metrics and filters set to the view you care most about, let’s make it easy to find and share those views with others.

Create a saved view

Once you have your filters set up with the metrics and filters set to the view you care most about, let’s make it easy to find and share those views with others.

You may find yourself using the same filters over and over again. To save time and potential mistakes, you can create a saved view of your filters. Simply select your filters, press save, and you have yourself a new saved view. You can also share saved views with your teammates so everyone's on the same page. Just select your saved view from the dropdown and share the URL with your teammates.

You can find all your saved views in the drop-down next to the filters.

Need help?

Building your first workspace is exciting! If you need a little extra help, like understanding how to best build your community from scratch, don't hesitate to  ask your question in our community Discord, join a community event, or just drop us a line.

We also have tons of great resources and content. Check out our knowledge base, blog, and community pages for more helpful content.

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