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As we shared earlier in the year, we've been interviewing candidates to fill two open positions on our GeoNet Community team and I'm excited to announce that Michelle Mathias  has joined Esri as the new GeoNet Community Manager. Michelle has launched, managed and grown collaborative communities for organizations, most recently for a pharmaceutical company. She also brings to Esri a diverse background in communications, IT and project management.


Over the coming weeks, Michelle will be onboarding as she becomes more familiar with our GeoNet Community and her new role. We're super excited to have her on the team here at Esri and I invite you to join with us in giving her a warm GeoNet welcome! 


Note: In case you're wondering...

  • During this initial onboarding phase, you can still continue to direct any moderation or GeoNet questions to me, Chris. And then overtime we'll let you know when those duties have been transition to Michelle. 
  • We are still actively recruiting for the second role on the GeoNet team: Community Content Manager. And we'll keep you updated on that hiring progress as well. 

I wanted to share an important update about the GeoNet Community team.  After a stellar 3+ years of managing, moderating and serving the Esri Community on GeoNetTimothy Hales  is transitioning out of the Community Manager role and moving on to a new role at Esri 


We're going to miss Timothy and we greatly appreciate his dedication to fostering community, collaboration and deeper relationships between our customers, distributors, partners and staff. A farewell note from Timothy is below and I invite you to join me in giving him a big GeoNet shout-out and wishing him well in the comments below.  


A few logistical details 

  • Friday, June 2 was Timothy's final day as Community Manager and I will be managing the core Community Manager duties until we have filled this open position.  
  • We have been actively recruiting for this open Community Manager position as well as a new Community Content Manager role on our team and we hope to have them filled as soon as possible.  
  • Please direct any community questions and requests to me or the email address.  



Farewell note from Timothy:  

It has been a crazy few years managing the GeoNet community. I didn't quite know what all I was taking on, but I was excited about the opportunity. Building, launching, and managing a community takes a lot of work. I have an enormous amount of appreciation for community managers and those that contribute behind the scenes.  


We took our technical forums and migrated it to a broader community. This transition brought many challenges because change is difficult. We dealt with broken functionality, and worked to contribute to the improvement of future releases.  


Even through all these challenges I have remained focused on providing a place where questions could be asked, answers could be provided, content could be shared, and the customer's voice could be heard. I have been able to work with some of the greatest GIS users in the world. I have learned about your projects ranging from K-12 Education to App Development. I have even enjoyed meeting many of you in person and putting a face to a username.  


In my time working with the community I have seen it grow to over 227,000 registered users. You have contributed over 66,000 pieces of content and have built hundreds of collaborative spaces and groups. Your interest in finding answers, learning new technologies, and helping others compile nearly 275,000 content views a day. 


I am thankful for each customer, Esri colleague, moderator, and MVP. You have contributed great content and built strong collaborative partnerships. You have provided a welcoming environment for others to ask questions. You have helped solve countless problems across the ArcGIS platform. You are the ones that make up this community. 


Where do I go from here you might ask?  I will be joining the Esri Training Services team as an Education Specialist. There I will be authoring web based and instructor lead course while carrying out my passion for GIS and helping others become more proficient using the technology. 


Thank you for being a part of the greatest GIS community on the web! It's been an incredible journey! 


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!