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Navigating Community Growth: A Recap of Nexus 2022

June 8, 2022
Katie Reese
Senior Community Program Manager
Navigating Community Growth: A Recap of Nexus 2022
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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Last week, the Orbit community tuned in for our first-ever user conference, Nexus. With product announcements, discussions with community thought leaders, hands-on product training, and workshops, it was a chance to connect, learn, and navigate community growth, together.

We’re so happy to have convened the most passionate and knowledgeable community builders to learn from and inspire each other. But don't worry if you missed a talk you were hoping to see. Here's a recap of all you need to know:

⚛️ Orbit Model updates

Starting out as a whiteboard drawing in 2014, the Orbit Model continues to evolve. Fast-forward to 2022, it is now used by hundreds of companies, and thousands of people have read the model and experienced it inside the Orbit platform.

The Orbit platform itself is used by over 6,000 organizations and manages the events of more than 30M members. This rich dataset enables us to better understand the realities of how many communities form, grow, and change over time. Better yet, we’ve also gained hundreds of real-world insights from carefully listening to our customers and community members.

Putting these insights into practice, we're proud to announce the next evolution of the Orbit Model, with an updated website complete with new definitions, explanations, calculations, and examples.

There are three main changes to the Orbit Model:

Calculating Gravity

Gravity is now something we can calculate. It’s a measure of how members are increasing or decreasing their engagement in aggregate spanning each level of the community. It takes into account the frequency and weight of individual community member activities. Gravity is important because it helps us see if our community is getting stronger, and if our community programs are working. Gravity also serves as the foundation of sustainable growth - a high-gravity community is able to receive and activate new members. Learn more about Gravity.

Orbit Level Steps

Orbit levels are the way we group members by their level of engagement or love. This hasn’t changed, but we’ve made orbit levels more powerful by introducing steps. Each orbit level has 3 steps that group members who are new, comfortable, and regulars at that level. This gives us a more precise view than before, with 12 total levels instead of 4, so we can better understand where a member is along their journey and offer them the right opportunities to learn and engage. Learn more about Orbit Levels.

Measuring Impact

The third model update is impact. Gravity, love, orbit levels, and reach are all about building the community itself, whereas impact is what happens because the community exists. For product communities, we've laid out a set of flywheels that describe and measure how community can impact sales, marketing, hiring, and success. Each of these flows represents a valuable piece of the overall ROI of community - learn more.

Together these three updates, and many more that you’ll see as you browse the site, bring the Orbit Model further toward action, not just description.

Take a look at the Orbit Model site and give us your feedback

🆕 Orbit product announcements

Since Orbit became generally available a year ago, we’ve come a long way in making the community growth platform an easier, more integrated, and collaborative space for you and your organization.

But community teams still face many challenges. From difficulties in consistently engaging members to quantifying the value of the community, and staying on top of all the largely manual tasks community managers need to do. 

That’s why we’re excited to share updates across five key areas that will make it easier to automate repeatable tasks, prioritize key actions, and measure the impact of your community.

Integrations to connect all the places community happens

We’re investing in integrations, to bring all your fragmented platforms together. We have new (and improved) out-of-the-box connections to Bevy, inSided, LinkedIn, Reddit, YouTube, and Enabling you to build rich member profiles, interact with community members, and create more engaging content and events.

Notifications to take action and stay on top of member needs

Notifications in Orbit take away the prioritization guesswork from member engagement activities. You can now get notified when:

    - the first employee from a large organization joins your workspace

    - A certain number of employees join from a single organization.

    - A member has been inactive for two weeks.

Automations so you can spend more time with your community

Save time, improve accuracy and collect better community data. Use keywords from activities to tag members and segment your community. For example, if a customer uses words like “impactful,” or “powerful” you can automatically tag members with 'Customer Reference' to follow up on later to get a customer interview. Learn more.

Reports quantifying the impact of your community activities

Get a pulse of the health of your community at a glance with new out-of-the-box reports for Gravity and Growth. The growth report tells you about new members, returning members, and members who've drifted away. It also breaks things down by each of your community platforms, Slack, Discord, Discourse, GitHub, and more. The gravity report gives you a look at how fast member engagement is changing in your community. This looks at the composition of members by Orbit levels and how they’re changing over time.

Orbit app for Stripe

We’ve been working with Stripe to launch an Orbit app in the new Stripe App Marketplace. The Orbit app for Stripe integrates community member insights directly into your Stripe dashboard. So you, your Support, and Sales teams can get the context you need about each person and their community interactions from within Stripe itself. Learn more.

⏺️ Talk and Panel Recordings Now Available

We had a stellar lineup of speakers for the event, bringing together diverse perspectives on the challenges and opportunities facing community teams today. All of the sessions were recorded and the talks and panels are now available to watch on-demand in our Nexus video collection. Workshops will be added soon, too.

The learning doesn't have to stop here. Register for our upcoming Webinar 'Take the leap into Community: What you can learn from community to become a better marketer,' which will be available on-demand from June 22nd.

From measuring and reporting community value to building engaging community experiences, there was something for every community manager, developer advocate, product manager, marketer, and executive at Nexus this year. We hope you had the chance to connect with fellow community builders and learn new tactics and strategies to help you navigate community growth. See you again next year!

💫  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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