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All Places > GeoNet Resource Hub > Blog > 2017 > January

Hi everyone – 2016 was an exciting year for building community on GeoNet. During the summer, we introduced and experimented with many exciting elements including User Conference live blogging, in-person events, group collaboration and weekly discussion content. We learned from those experiments and then spent time listening and gathering feedback from Esri customers and staff on what was and wasn’t working.


Then, in the Fall, we created a strategy and roadmap to evolve GeoNet, make improvements, build on success and further integrate the community into the flow of business at Esri. So, as we continue to grow GeoNet for you, the Esri community, here’s a few strategy highlights of what we’ve been working on, what we’ve learned, why we’re celebrating and what’s coming in 2017.


GeoNet Mission and The Community  Guiding Principles

In October, we published the GeoNet mission and Guiding Principles “Be Helpful. Be Human. Be Smart.”  These were crafted to further create a sense of community and purpose, and to help guide new and seasoned members to get the most out of your GeoNet experience. You’ll see these Guiding Principles used more as we continue to highlight the significance and impact of your contributions.


Newly updated GeoNet Help group

We renamed the Community Help group to the GeoNet Help group.  Due to the old name, there was confusion about the group’s purpose leading many members to post Esri platform questions in the group instead of GeoNet Community questions. So we collaborated with our MVP and Champion members and arrived at the new group name. 


Over the next few months we’ll continue to remind and move any incorrect posts into the correct and relevant product discussion groups.  We’ve begun to streamline the GeoNet Help group experience and content. And throughout 2017, we’ll continue to update the GeoNet 101, onboarding and MVP/Champion materials.


Ten Questions for Esri: You pick the topic

During 2016 we evolved the Ten Questions for Esri video series so we could have a more personal and interactive conversation with you and our subject matter guests. We’re planning this year’s episodes and we want your ideas, so post your Ten Question topic ideas here.


New group strategy process and templates

Groups are a core element of the GeoNet experience and through feedback and testing we created a new series of group templates designed to drive engagement around the most common GeoNet uses such as idea sharing, content and collaboration and Q&A/support.  


To create consistency across all groups, the templates will feature a similar layout and a left-hand column with admin and general GeoNet 101 information. Overtime all GeoNet groups will eventually have this standard left-hand column.


These templates are the result of work we've been doing to develop a streamlined GeoNet group strategy process, which involves creating a group strategy before launching a group. This will help make sure the group is successful, and valuable by aligning the group template with the goals of the group.  I've worked closely with the Esri staff who oversee the groups below and we plan into evolve and introduce this strategy process to the broader community in 2017. 


You can see the new templates on the Survey123, Navigator for ArcGIS, GeoNet Help, ArcGIS Python API and What’s New In ArcGIS groups.


Thank you: We passed the 200,000 member milestone!

We wanted to take a moment to celebrate with you because, earlier this month, we surpassed 200,000 registered members. This is great news because it shows that the community continues to grow. And because of your dedication and contributions, more of the Esri user community is getting connected and finding value in GeoNet.


In addition to registered members, we also track the number of active members (those who contribute at least once a month). This helps us measure activity and engagement and make sure all members are finding value as you progress successfully through your GeoNet community journey.


We currently have more than 17,000 monthly active members which is great because that’s essentially the same number of people who attend our annual User Conference, so right now we are having a UC on GeoNet every month!


An important part of our success in 2016 came from the contributions of our GeoNet MVP and Champions, and we're honored to recognize both the top Esri user members and staff members for their contributions. 


What’s coming in 2017?

 Lastly, we wanted to share a quick look at what’s coming and what we’re working on as 2017 unfolds.

  • Dedicated event spaces on GeoNet for connecting and collaborating before, during and after FedGIS, DevSummit and User Conference events.
  • Ongoing improvements to GeoNet user experience and integrations with other platforms.
  • New member onboarding materials in the GeoNet 101 group.
  • New interactive content experiences in the GeoNet Lounge building on Ten Questions and the weekly discussions.


Last year was an inspiring time of growth and experimentation, and we’re looking forward to another great year of learning and building partnerships with you. As always, if you have any suggestions and feedback for us, post it below.  Thanks for sharing and being a part of our community journey on GeoNet!