Product
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7-min read
December 17, 2021

2021 in Review: A Message From our Founder and CEO

This time last year, things were pretty crazy for Commsor — our fledgling company was flying high after our $16 million Series A funding, and we were thrilled to be making some serious headway in our product with features like Member Audit and Segmentation.

Looking back, it’s mind-blowing to see how much we’ve grown in a few short months. We now have 44 people and 10 different nationalities on our team. And those features — while among the best-used in our product — are really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what the Community OS can do now. As for funding? Watch this space for news on that front...

Apart from getting to know some pretty wonderful new humans — both in the form of our talented new hires and the fantastic customers we've onboarded this year — 2021 has been packed full of highlights (and plenty of learnings) for me. Indulge me in a little reflecting...

Oh hey, Port and Meetsy

Our 2021 acquisitions added some powerful tools (and talent!) to the Commsor toolbox, in the form of Meetsy, Port, and one yet-to-be-announced addition.🤫

It’s been amazing to see how much they’ve changed the way our customers work! Here’s more about Meetsy (which you can use totally for free, if you haven't tried it yet) and Port, and the phenomenal value they’ve added to our company.

Integration station

Integrations were a huge focus for us in 2021, and they’ll continue to be so next year. In 2021, we launched integrations with Zapier, InSided, SwagUp, Vanilla, Circle, Zendesk, HubSpot, and Pipedrive, to name but a few, and there are plenty more built into our 2022 plan. We’re fully committed to our mission of integrating all the community tools you already use to help you measure and prove the value of your community, wherever it may live.

If you have any suggestions for the integrations you’d like to see in the Community OS, we’d love to hear from you.

Features in focus

We’ve launched some pretty cool new features this year, including Swag, which allows our community managers to send swag to their community members with just a few clicks; Automated Slack Welcome Messages, which save Community Managers time, while still giving them the freedom to personalize their messages to new members; User Permissions, which allow CMs to choose specific roles and permissions when adding teammates or community members to their Commsor account — the list goes on! (Incidentally, one of our engineers created this fun video to explain that last one — you can watch it here.)

We’ve got some even bigger features on our roadmap for 2022. Did someone say social listening, a brand new design, in-depth reporting, and robust saved search capabilities? 🤫  You’ll read about them all here first!

A sneak peek at what's to come next year...

The Community-Led Summit

Three days, 28 sessions, 30+ speakers, over 1,000 attendees — our Community team absolutely outdid themselves in our 2021 Community-Led Summit. I found all the talks incredibly insightful, so valuable in my own work and what we’re trying to create at Commsor. We’ve summarized some of the most powerful learnings from the summit in this blog post, and you’ll find recordings of every session on The Community Club’s YouTube channel.

(I highly recommend Will Cady’s Community, Catalyst, Culture: How Communities Today Predict Mainstream Media Tomorrow, and The Future of Community-Led Companies, a panel with Greg Isenberg, Alexis Ohanian, Lolita Taub, Elaine Zelby, and Mac Conwell.)

We’ve got big plans on this front for 2022 — as always, watch this space.

The Community-Led Survey

Speaking of Community-Led: have you taken our survey yet? We’re on a mission to assess the state of Community-Led companies all over the world, and we’d love it if you’d have your say.

We’ve had some fascinating results thus far, and some trends are already emerging:

⚡️ Small companies are including community as core to the business strategy from the get-go. 90% have a CM or are in the process of hiring their first, and 71% of them have a dedicated Community team that reports to the CEO.

💸 100% of pre-seed through Series A (and privately held orgs, like VC funds) say community is core to business strategy, while only 65% of Series C or IPO'd companies believe their orgs view community as core to business strategy.

🥳 50% of small orgs had no one on the Community team in 2020, and almost all of them are planning on hiring more Community pros in 2022. Larger orgs had established Community functions & hired for the team in 2021. 61% of them are planning on adding members in 2022.

That said, we'd still love to hear from you! The more responses we get, the more accurate the data. It should only take 5-10 min of your time, and we’ll be sharing the results widely early in the next year.

Take the Community-Led Survey

The scoop on C School

We knew a robust, hands-on community education program was a pretty great idea — but even we couldn’t have predicted the amazing success of C School this year. We kicked off our first small-group cohort in April 2021 and have hosted four more since then:

  • Coaching Track for current Community Managers looking to upskill
  • Career Track for new CMs and career starters/changers
  • A hybrid track that included a mix of both
  • Leadership Track for experienced CMs looking to develop team leadership skills

More than 50 super-talented students will have graduated from one of these courses by the end of next month. Many have already gone on to do some pretty cool things, like land their first community jobs, get promoted, or impress execs with overhauled community strategies. Several have even started their own communities from scratch!

Of course (I keep saying this, but it’s true!) we have big plans for C School for 2022 — including a regular schedule of our current tracks, plus a HUGE launch for those who prefer to learn async... 🤐

Our first Career Track (for aspiring CMs) and Coaching Track (for CMs with 1-3 years of experience) courses kick off in Jan, and applications are still open!

The commsaurs are (still!) on their way

Back in August, we announced our Commsaur NFT project, intending to make the artwork available within Q4 of this year.

We had a fantastic time learning about this rapidly evolving, ever-expanding space, and by the time our proposed launch date rolled around, we realized we wanted to take more time to develop a project that was truly Community-Led (you can read more about our Community-led NFT mission here).

The commsaurs are almost ready to surface...

Thankfully, the Commsaur community has been super understanding, and we’re so grateful for their continued support. That said, the commsaurs are still en route (even if their way has been a little more meandering than originally anticipated!). We can’t wait to share more on this project in the coming weeks.

Follow @commsaur or join our Discord to hear the latest news first.

The gift of community

So, with all that said: you, our customers and community, have all been such an integral part of our 2021 company journey and we wanted to find a special way to thank you for that.

Of course, because you’re community folk (the best kind), we thought you’d appreciate it if we paid that love forward to some people who could really use the incredible gift of community this year.

For every subscriber of this newsletter and our Community Club Weekly (that’s over 5,000 of you in total), we’ll be donating $1 to Love For Our Elders, in your name. Love For Our Elders is a nonprofit that facilitates letter-writing campaigns for elderly folks battling with loneliness, either because they have no family or are separated from theirs.

As I’m sure you can imagine, the festive season can be a particularly tough time for elders like these. The sense of community that comes with human connection is so important for our mental health and happiness, and we hope our donation (and the letters our big-hearted staffers are writing) will go some way towards providing that for this group.  

Since its inception in 2013, Love For Our Elders has delivered 250,000 letters of love to isolated elders in eleven countries, and counting. If you’d like to write your own letter too, thank you! Head over here. You can also nominate an elderly person you know who you think might be in need of a little extra love this festive season here.


Thank you again for all your support, feedback, and wisdom this year! We’re so looking forward to working with you again in 2022.

Happy holidays,

Mac

Mac Reddin
December 17, 2021

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