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The Observatory #3: Hot takes and cool tools for building community remotely

As community leaders grapple with the fallout from cancelled events worldwide, tons of folks have shared in-depth guides and tutorials for ways to move events online.

Below, we've pulled together a few shorter readsโ€”call them hot takes and cool toolsโ€”that bring a unique perspective to the conversation and hopefully inspire some creativity and energy for your own communities.

๐ŸŽ๏ธ On the move

But first, our regular round-up of comings and goings in the DevRel and Community space. Have a tip for us? Drop a note to

The ๐Ÿ”ฅ takes and โ„๏ธ tools

Have you tried AuxParty? It's a super fun social listening room where you can enjoy music live-curated by others, or step up to the DJ booth yourself.

๐Ÿ‘Œ Try spinning-up a room and asking community members to take turns DJing throughout the workday.

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Speaking of jams, TIL how to add a little ambiance to status meetings:

I for one am looking forward to surprising, even delighting, our community members with unexpected background music on future calls.

The biggest question now will be how to pair Zoom background music with the perfect Zoom background image. To spruce up your space, check out this Zoom background gallery from Unsplash ๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ

While we're at it, I'd like to give Josh a shoutout for always staying way ahead of the curve, and using Zoom backgrounds well before they were cool:

On a more serious note, as more events move online, though, organizers need to stay vigilant against bad actors. As we've seen, lots of folks are hosting large Zoom events without realizing these potential risks, so here's a ๐Ÿงต about how to configure Zoom for community safety:

Finally, everyone's trying to figure out how online events can create the impact of their offline counterparts. For many, the answer seems to be something like, "The same great content, now online!"

But David Spinks challenges community leaders to reimagine events for our new online reality:

I hope you've enjoyed these tips and takes. If you've come across something interesting or useful we should share, please post in the comments.

๐Ÿ“ Measure your community with this Orbit Model Airtable template

Orbit Model Template

Measuring community ROI has always been a crucial topic among DevRel and community practitioners, but with the specter of tightening budgets on the horizon, the best teams will find ways to clearly demonstrate their impact.

That's why we made this detailed Airtable template to help communities measure their impact, communicate their value, and focus on what's working for their communities.

Read the blog post and download the template ๐Ÿš€

What tips or resources have we left out?

Share your own advice for building remote community in the comments below, and please reach out to us at if we can be helpful in any way ๐Ÿ’œ

๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ Previous editions

Don't miss the next edition of The Observatory ๐Ÿ”ญ

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