On Wednesday, April 18, 2012, the University of Wisconsin-Madison began a unique experiment. Staff decided to capture a day in the life of campus through tweets, text, video, photos, and submissions from the community. University Communications invited everyone on campus, as well as alumni and friends around the world, to share their thoughts about what makes UW-Madison such a special place.
Participants were encouraged to tweet what they were doing using the hashtag #uwrightnow. Submissions were reviewed by University Communications staff and over 1,000 stories were featured on an ever-evolving and interactive Web site. Over 14,000 people visited the site on April 18th and throughout the course of the day submissions were received from all fifty states and sixty-six countries.
College Library, as the 24-hour library on campus, was identified by UC staff as a key place to highlight for the project. Just after midnight on April 18th, a video crew arrived to document students in the library. Indeed, several submissions featured people and places in College Library in the middle of the night. Marshiella Pandji was able to submit two of her photos – one of Chuck cleaning the carpets and another of the sun rising over Lake Mendota – in the early hours of the morning. Selected tweets included information about laptop check-out in the CMC, photos of the Students Services Area, and even a reference question received at the Information Desk. College Library staff were delighted to have so many aspects of the library experience featured on #UWRightNow.
Of course, not every submission was selected. Some of the items that College Library tweeted that day that were not featured include:
- Math instruction in the College WisCEL center. Great new flexible learning space in use #UWRightNow (photo)
- Library Research Award winners at the Undergraduate Symposium, with Kelli Keclik of College library. #UWRightNow (photo)
- DesignLab consultations available in the computer lab. Like the Writing Center, but for media projects! #UWRightNow (photo)
- WisCEL Center offers instructional space by day and study space by night. Heavily used tonight! #UWRightNow (photo)
In June 2012, the Web site Mashable featured #UWRightNow in an article “3 User-Generated Campaigns That Got it Right” by Carolyn Baumgarten, a community manager for the marketing agency Socialogic. She noted that this type of campaign is novel, inexpensive, and very effective at increasing social engagement. To fully experience this project, go to #UWRightNow.