HighEdWeb Assocation
The Annual Conference for Higher Education Web Professionals, Austin, Texas, October 23-26, 2011

Session Details

Cornell's Digital Well: A social networking repository for marketing information

APS8 Applications and Standards Track

Hill Country C & D


This talk will present the Digital Well web tool, discuss some key decisions which were made in it's design and creation, and outline how other Universities can leverage Cornell's investment. Target audience: Software Development Staff, Web professionals, marketing staff. [This is a non-technical IT presentation. I was the technical lead on the development project]. The dissemination, storage and easy access of accurate, up-to-date marketing information is an important part of coordinating a consistent university wide message on a wide variety of topics. Keeping track of all marketing materials is difficult, especially when they are generated across colleges and departments and not in one central place. Some problems include: - Marketing staff often need to search in multiple archives for video, copy and images. - The provenance and usage permissions of assets are not always clear. - It is usually impossible to tell which images have been used in other publications/websites. - Marketing staff have to track down captions and other metadata, which are not always stored with the data. - There is no community, and no way to quickly spread new materials and messages. The reaction time of marketing is dramatically slowed down. Cornell University solved this problem with a Digital Well: A repository which provides access to over 220,000 photos, videos, press releases, newspaper articles and other materials. A single location to access all marketing information dramatically empowers marketing staff, reduces the time to create materials, and enables the correct messages to be quickly spread across all campus stakeholders. The repository also has a number of other advanced features, such as an adaptive ranking algorithm, the ability to "follow" departments and individuals, the ability to associate different types of content to facilitate browsing, and features to enable easy sharing.