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How Can We Do It Better?

Essay by

As we’re beginning to shape the language and vision for the new Center for Theater Commons at Emerson College, we’re thinking a lot about what we do and how we deliver it. Every platform we’ve built in the last two years, you’ve built right along with us. HowlRound is a crowdsourced journal that represents the views and opinions of its readership. #NEWPLAY TV and the New Play Map are open source technologies whose content is shaped entirely by those who desire and choose to access them.

Recently we were contacted by a much larger operation to see if our HowlRound bloggers would be willing to cross post their articles, and would we contact our bloggers on their behalf. Except we don’t have bloggers. We have an audience and our authors on the site come from our audience.  We don’t handpick the people we think have something to say, but rather trust if someone reaches out to us in our field, then they probably did so because they have something worth saying.

We are only as good as the sum total of the ideas that come from our community.

We make every effort to aggregate and publish knowledge worth sharing. Critical to our process is feedback from the people who co-create our knowledge platforms with us. We are only as good as the sum total of the ideas that come from our community.

Yesterday we updated our HowlRound website. In a few weeks you’ll see a similar facelift and many other user improvements to the New Play Map. We gather feedback through Twitter, Facebook, emails to the editor, and regular user feedback at for HowlRound and the New Play Map. This update to the journal and the changes to the New Play Map are a direct result of your feedback—your desire for easier readability, more satisfying and clearer navigation, and better functionality. We’re certain that these improvements didn’t get everything right. We’re counting on you to continue to give us feedback and you can bet that we won’t only listen but we’ll continue to ask you and ourselves: how can we do it better?

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