MIT’s new social hub is the best-designed university portal ever


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.

A terrifyingly comprehensive and darned good-looking new hub, MIT Connect, catalogues each and every social media post associated with any of the university’s sprawling departments.

“It’s trying to give you a feeling like you’re right there on campus,” Stephanie Leishman, social media strategist at MIT, said. The goal is to connect with alums and prospective students.

The genius stroke is, all the streams meet in one place.

On its home page, the redesigned MIT Connect offers a tiled snapshot of everything that’s going on from every corner of the university. It’s a remarkably well designed showcase, designed to let prospective students become even better connected with the institute than ever before.

It’s also a directory, Leishman explains, built with a robust search function that includes topics and keywords. “You can search any topic and results may come up that aren’t included in the department name but are included as what they do,” she said.

There, you can follow the robots of the CSAIL labs on Twitter, or maybe the chemical engineers on Tumblr. Seven MIT properties, including the Media Lab, have Pinterest accounts. Heck, you can follow all 97 departments on 14 different social channels. But that may be a bit much.

Nidhi Subbaraman writes about science and research. Email her at [email protected]
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