Good examples of organizational web presence?
April 3, 2007 7:03 PM   Subscribe

What are some good examples of an offline organization (business, university, nonprofit, etc) that has built itself an established dynamic web presence?

Asking for two friends!

The context: there is a university website which could use a redesign. Currently, it is (and has been) an excellent PR piece -- pictures from campus, similar text to the mailed literature, blurbs about various faculty and students. More recent updates to the site have added limited "dynamic" content: a blog from an admission officer, a blog from students, and so on. However, this has basically made it a dynamic brochure -- it doesn't really capture what all actually goes on at the school in a genuine way.

My friends are trying to demonstrate to the PR people at the school what a real dynamic web presence looks like, but most of the examples we're familiar with are new media sites. Can you suggest any sites they could show university PR people to demonstrate what's possible? Examples of non-web organizations that have built a really good web presence would be ideal. We'd also appreciate any pointers to particular aspects you think work well.

posted by olinerd to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This may be too obvious ... but what about MIT.
posted by jayder at 7:15 PM on April 3, 2007

Oh, and to point you to an element that works well, I really like the way MIT frequently changes its main page graphic. Here's a gallery of past designs.

And they've built a world-class web presence through their Open Courseware program that makes their course materials available, for free, on the web.
posted by jayder at 7:18 PM on April 3, 2007

Jayder beat me to it. There are more ways to add student content to a site than a blog. Just to expand on the MIT examples:
  • the admissions department has several student blogs (one in each class, maybe more)
  • the front page graphic changes almost daily to advertise events on campus - usually it's designed by a student for their extracurricular or research group
  • there are several ways to put class-related info online - from code-your-own to CMSs (unfortunately, the latter aren't viewable if you're not with the university)
  • an events calendar that covers a huge number of events - I think it's at, but it's definitely a link on the homepage

posted by spaceman_spiff at 7:49 PM on April 3, 2007

Facebook started as a school project at Harvard.
posted by xammerboy at 11:23 PM on April 3, 2007

Girls Preparatory School, the sister school of the high school I went to, has a web site that might be what you're looking for:

Lots of video, easy navigation, etc. I haven't browsed around enough to see if there's student-content like blogs or anything there, not sure if that's specifically what you're looking for or not.
posted by ElfWord at 7:55 AM on April 4, 2007

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