S2E7: Bilyana Freye on How Context Elevates Virtual Conversations and Orbiit’s Community Activation

Bilyana is the co-founder and CEO of Orbiit. Their service matches people within a network for 1-to-1 conversations on a specific topic. They help community managers systematically activate their communities through these types of conversations. The companies that use their service appreciate the value of increasing the interconnectivity within a network.

In this episode we talk about:

  • How our inboxes are flooded with ‘one directional’ content invitations
  • How community managers spend a lot of time curating content, but not connecting members to each other
  • Some of the unhelpful presumptions that community managers make about their members
  • What we think of in person vs virtual interactions and where zoom fatigue creeps in
  • How important context is to the quality of a conversation
  • Whether you should chaperone the first meeting for any introductions you make


  • Co-founding Hoppin, the company that pivoted to become Orbiit [2:35]
  • Never waste a good crisis [3:38]
  • Value of peer to peer mentorship [4:32]
  • Launching virtual coffee chats to discuss timely, relevant topics during COVID [6:34]
  • The contrast of one-directional vs. two-directional interactions [7:12]
  • Context missing from chat-roulette conversations [8:01]
  • The archetype of Orbiit’s user as ‘business adventurers’ [9:05]
  • What does an end-to-end experience feel like? [9:42]
  • Data and insights for the community manager [11:59]
  • Community managers and their communities that use the platform [13:02]
  • Assumptions community managers make about who this service is relevant for [14:48]
  • Challenges to activating a community [16:34]
  • The role that the topic plays in bringing people together for conversations [17:47]
  • How to balance the context and serendipity in conversation [18:45]
  • The power of a well-curated virtual relationship [20:26]
  • How impersonal, virtual group events feed Zoom fatigue [21:23]
  • Painting a picture of what the new normal might look like [23:04]
  • Where does activating the network fits in and challenges around prioritising it [24:11]
  • Data accuracy challenges for community managers [26:50]
  • How creating Orbiit has impacted how she introduces people in her network [27:55]
  • Life changing introductions book idea [29:16]
  • A pivitol introduction [29:35]


Connect to Bilyana Freye: LinkedIn | Twitter

Connect to Orbiit: website