October 7-10, 2012, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Session Details

#uwrightnow: Integrating your social, web, editorial and marketing networks

#MCS7 Marketing, Content, and Social Strategy Track

102 A & B, Frontier Airlines Center


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.


John Lucas
Social Media Manager, University of Wisconsin-Madison

John Lucas, (@jplucas55 and @uwmadison), coordinates institutional social media at UW-Madison from the office of University Communications and Marketing. In addition to managing accounts of nearly 200,000 followers, he leads #UWSocial community. His other roles at UW-Madison include emergency and internal communications, along with student life publicity and media relations. Prior to moving to Wisconsin in 2001, Lucas worked in daily newspapers, including the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn. John has presented at various conferences and meetings on the university's social media efforts.

Nick Weaver
Director of Web Services, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Nick Weaver (@nickweaver) is Director of Web Services in the office of University Communications and Marketing at UW-Madison. He oversees the development and execution of the university's online communication strategy across the web, email and mobile. Nick has full responsibility for the design (look/feel) and functionality of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s primary Web presence, www.wisc.edu, and the numerous high level administrative sites that fall under that umbrella, including sites for the Office of the Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor for University Relations, State Relations, Community Relations, Visitor and Information Programs, and the Provost’s Office. He serves as a key daily decision-maker on the news/editorial content of multiple institutional and high-visibility websites, including the institutional home page, the university’s news site, events calendar, and Facebook and Twitter postings. He frequently presents at meetings on UW's web and mobile initiatives.