Stephen Simpson

Canvas as TV Drama

Blog Post created by Stephen Simpson on Apr 19, 2017

For whatever reason, I view the underlying tension in this thread (Idea System Broken?) as similar to that of a great TV series.

 

Here's a great one, by the way, that you may have missed (and that I miss):

Please bear with me . . .

 

Every great series has a show-runner who is typically the creative force behind the show's core narrative. Sometimes this is a pair of brilliant and visionary types who then put their trust in (and participate along with) a crack team of writers and production-types that craft each episode so that it accurately conveys the show-runner's vision, style, and moves the narrative forward.

 

Lots of shows that have original source material (or that grow very popular) receive a tremendous amount of feedback (and pressure) from fans who, once invested in the plot and characters of the series, increasingly feel they should have a voice or influence in the narrative.

 

Some show-runners embrace what's called 'fan-service' and increasingly devote screen-time to things that are likely to 'please' the show's core audience like Easter eggs and guest appearances. Other show-runners view fan-service with disgust and, seeing themselves as independent auteurs, sometimes insert plot twists, deaths of beloved characters, etc. for no other reason than to spite the die-hard fans. Which approach produces the most compelling drama, on-screen? Is there a middle-ground in which fan-service is present but never compromises the show-runner's overall vision?

 

Obviously, Canvas is not a TV series.

 

Instructure is a corporation with a vision & mission predicated on making teaching and learning awesome. In its wisdom, it recognizes that, while it has significant expertise in these areas, it is of tremendous value to listen and respond to its customers who can frequently provide insights that enhance its core product (and in so doing, increase its bottom line). And boy do those customers have a lot of opinions! 

 

Personally, I hope that Instructure will continue with the balancing act it maintains in regard to blazing its own product-development trail in pursuit of its vision while still allowing for (and often responding to) user input via forums like the Canvas Studio. My recent experience at Project Khaki certainly confirmed my optimism that the company not only values user input but is willing to invest resources in pursuing those projects specifically-requested by its users and that are very much informed by the many relevant and specific feature requests & ideas that currently exist in the Community.

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