On April 15th we publicly launched the new Canvas Community, after months of hard work selecting a platform, doing integrations, custom work and building out an initial platform. I remember being excited, tired, and a little scared. What if we put all this effort and social capital into building a new place for Canvas users to find resources and connect with each other and then nobody wanted to come participate?
So where are we a month into this experiment? Data tells us that roughly four to five times as many people are logging in and interacting in the new platform than did in the old forums. But I think a better measure, from my perspective as someone who spent a lot of time in the old community and now is in the new community daily, is that
I can see more people interacting with each other. I see a lot more conversations spinning off and going in directions that I don’t think they would have within the constraints of the old platform. In that sense we are definitely seeing the potential
come to fruition.
There have been challenges and surprises too. While it brings many new features, tools and opportunities, the new community is very different from the old and for a few has been a bit overwhelming. Some people had trouble getting logged in initially. The emphasis on searching versus browsing a taxonomy of links has not been to everyone’s preference, which is why we have decided to still provide, for now, the Canvas Guides in their previous format at guides.instructure.com.
One of the (pleasant) surprises for me has been the speed and degree to which many Canvas employees have embraced the new platform. Customer success managers are finding and following their clients. Engineers are interacting with developers. Product Managers are closely following conversations about features and product direction.
One month in, I think Canvas users have just scratched the surface, potential-wise, of the new platform. As people continue to join groups, share resources, and provide input I cannot predict where we will be in six months to a year, and I find that an exciting place to be.