Tuesday June 21, 2011

Just Like Being Here

The redesigned UDQuickly blog adds social media, visual pop to an insider's window into the University of Dayton community.

Views of campus as Superman might see it, an up-close look at hiring a new basketball coach, a prospective student tip-toeing through the rain on a campus tour — short of being on campus, there's no better look at the daily life of the University of Dayton community than UDQuickly, the University's alumni blog at http://www.udayton.edu/udquickly.

"UDQuickly allows far-flung alumni to feel more connected to their alma mater," said Michelle Tedford, director of communications, who led the redesign. "We wanted to give the more than 100,000 living alumni a way to feel that connection on a daily basis.

"For Dayton-area alumni and the campus community — faculty, staff and students — we offer a broad view of the activities and people at the University of Dayton. And the nature of the blog format and frequent updates let us have a little fun, too, as we communicate what's it's like to be a part of the University of Dayton community."

The redesign better showcases video and photography and adds social media capabilities to make it easier for alumni and others to share comments, linkages and memories.

Launched in 2005, UDQuickly underwent its first significant upgrade in June, moving to a Wordpress platform with the help of Creative Fuse, a Dayton-based development company. The redesign introduces functionality most blog readers take for granted, including the ability to tweet stories, post them on Facebook or share them through more than 350 other social media services.

The redesign also boosts the site's colorful, interactive visuals, with a scrolling slideshow of campus snapshots, lightbox photo galleries, video features and a live feed of the alumni magazine's Twitter account.

One recent tweet from the magazine staff: "Proofing a lovely classnote, '81 grad: 'A part of my soul will always ... sit on a bench in KU Plaza in springtime contemplating life.'

It's also a new home for the University's award-winning alumni publications, including University of Dayton Magazine and the magazines Dayton Lawyer, Dayton Engineer, Dayton Business Leader and Dayton Educator, which serve alumni of the University's professional schools.

Since its inception, UDQuickly has averaged more than 5,000 monthly pageviews from around the world. The most popular content includes campus snapshots and "My Old House," which highlights the University's beloved student neighborhood. The redesign gives these most-viewed features more prominence, including an index of streets around campus with featured houses so alumni can search and find photos and stories on their "old house" today.

For interviews, contact Michelle Tedford at tedford@udayton.edu and 937-229-3298.