Tuesday 9th October, 2012
8:30am to 9:15am
More than 1.4 million hours have passed since the University of Wisconsin-Madison was founded in 1848, and on Wednesday, April 18, we used 24 of them to tell our story.
From midnight to midnight that day, University Communications and Marketing organized and executed a groundbreaking multimedia project that showcased a 360-degree view of the UW-Madison community.
#UWRightNow, http://uwrightnow.wisc.edu, creatively presented a blended mix of staff reporting, photography and video, combined with crowd-sourced tweets from the highly engaged UW community that included students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and other friends of the university.
The Pinterest-meets-Tetris look and feel of the site resulted from creative work of University Communications and Marketing Web staff using masonry.desandro.com built on top of WordPress.
We were awed by the overwhelmingly joyful response from those both in Madison and around the world. There was a clear and powerful sense of pride emanating from our global Badger community.
In essence, UW-Madison created a digital time capsule that advances the existing idea of the 24-hour photo project to its next logical level. Beyond the actual final product, #UWRightNow resulted in numerous internal and external successes for University Communications and Marketing in the areas of social media, web, marketing, and news and editorial coverage.
The project created a genuine viral buzz in the campus community and will be used in the future for admissions, marketing, alumni and other advancement purposes. It was successful across multiple levels, and it cost little above and beyond the use of existing staff time.
Among the 1,018 amazing contributions we posted to the website in those 24 hours were a photo of the aurora australis sent by UW-Madison researchers at the South Pole, a story about a classics course that’s been taught here for generations, reports from alumni around the world about how they’re using their degrees, and an interview with comedian Nick Offerman, who performed on campus that evening.
In the end, the level of engagement far exceeded the expectations of organizers.
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