Interactive website, launched fall 2014
Our objectives were to inspire qualified prospective students to apply and inform and engage alumni in new ways with new media. Although students blog about their experiences, departments publish research and award news, professors tweet, and alumni connect, no one channel gives you the full MIT experience. MIT Connect strives to do that: you are given a multimedia, dynamic site that makes you feel like you’re right there on campus, seeing news, events, thoughts, and scenes as they happen in real life. People go to MIT Connect to figure out what’s really going on at MIT.
The website incorporates movement and feels dynamic. For example, the home page features a video header to give the visitor the sense that he or she is right there at MIT. In fact, people have asked if the video header is a live webcam attached to the top of a building. One Facebook commenter asked,“Are those real-time images of people walking?”
The social stream is another feature of the site that gives you the feeling that you’re peeking in on MIT in real time. The site is built in Drupal, allowing the creation of custom modules, such as the social stream on the home page. To give you that “as it’s happening” feeling, the social stream pulls the latest social content from around MIT, including tweets, Instagram photos, blog posts, and more. A prospective student can quickly feel the atmosphere and culture of MIT with content not just from top-level accounts, but from departments and programs all over campus.
“There are a million different things going on at MIT every day, and the Institute is using slick design and every imaginable social channel to put on a MAXIMUM display.”
— Nidhi Subbaraman, “MIT’s new social hub is the best-designed university portal ever,” BetaBoston.com (September 2014)
Comments from peers via email:
“I spend most of my days speaking with marketers about social content creation, but rarely do I come across something as interesting as MIT Connect […] What you are doing at MIT has really caught my eye and I would love to speak with you about how you are creating all that content.”
“I want to replicate at [our university] this awesome MIT Connect platform.”