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Josh Dzielak πŸ”† for Orbit

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The Observatory #1: High Gravity

The Observatory is a newsletter about building high gravity developer communities. Some communities are better than others at attracting and retaining new members into their orbits. What's their secret? 🀫 That's what we're going to travel the galaxy to figure out, together! πŸ‘¨β€πŸš€πŸš€

I'm Josh, a developer advocate and the co-founder & CTO of Orbit. I will be your curator for this week's edition and hopefully others if this one goes okay.

The Observatory is published right here on DEV under the Orbit organization and on the #devrel and #community tags. The people and the conversations on DEV are the best. That's why we're here. Please liberally add your questions, feedback, and experiences below.

Are we ready? Then please let me welcome you to the first issue πŸŽ‰ 1️⃣

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Spotlight: The Hero's Journey

I met GitLab evangelist John Coghlan in January and had the pleasure of learning about the GitLab Heroes program. Unfortunately I don't qualify in any way, but at least I know I don't: the requirements AND the rewards are clearly spelled out on their website.

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This is awesome because it tells community members exactly what is expected and what is rewarded, offering a progression that lets more people participate earlier. The message is clear and transparent, building trust with members that contribution is a good use of their time.

Showing the love on Valentine's Day

On February 14 LaunchDarkly launched a new product & SDK documentation site. Why did a docs update make the cut for a newsletter about building community? Because the content is open source and PRs are encouraged, creating an low-friction pathway for members to make a contribution and community managers to show them some love.

While we're talking about LaunchDarkly, we have to say congrats to Jessica West for joining to head up their DevRel team! 🍾πŸ₯‚πŸŽ‰

Send more swag in less time

This article shows you how to set up an automated swag info collecting process with Slack and Airtable. It all starts with starring a Slack message from a helpful developer ⭐

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Got your builder hat on? πŸ‘·β€β™‚οΈ Here's another workflow post about how to get a notification when someone stars your GitHub repository.


Q: What is a high gravity community?

A: One with a strong attractive force due to the substantial love and reach of its members. Check out the Orbit Model GitHub repository to learn more.

Q: Josh, does my high gravity community need a theme song?

A: Yes, it does. An excellent choice would be Reach for the Stars by legendary English pop group S Club 7. There are many interpretations of this rather extraordinary music video, though you'll have to choose your own.

Don't miss the next edition of The Observatory πŸ”­

Subscribe here to get an email for each new edition.

Follow Orbit on DEV to see all of our posts.


What was your favorite part of today's newsletter? What should we write about in the future?

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Top comments (3)

malgamves profile image
Daniel Madalitso Phiri

Q1: Where can I ask questions?

Q2: How do you feel about Buzz Lightyear?

Great idea with the newsletter here btw!

dzello profile image
Josh Dzielak πŸ”†

Thanks Daniel! πŸ˜ƒ

A1: You can ask questions right down here. In future editions we'll try to surface some of the most interesting conversations.

A2: I think that Buzz Lightyear needs to make a newsletter cameo in a future, given his extensive career as a space ranger πŸ‘¨β€πŸš€

malgamves profile image
Daniel Madalitso Phiri

Great! I'll be sure to put a few down on the next one. Can't wait to see his cameo btw