Interactive Annual 15:
Sprint: Plug into Now
An ingenious idea. By combining dozens of tiny singular widgets, it gives people the feeling that they can see what is happening right now on the entire Internet. Jay Zasa
This inventive and clever widget aggregator gives people the sense that they're tapped into the collective consciousness of the moment. Amber Bezahler
Designed to be enough of a spectacle to gain momentum virally, no advertising drove to this carefully-curated dashboard of live feeds, cams, counters and animating facts. All on a single page, it streams live and was targeted at everyone who uses the Internet. Promoting Sprints Mobile Broadband Cardthe card that provides high-speed Internetits the worlds largest widget. Users can add themselves to the site via Webcam, play a Pong-like game in real-time and compare the buzz of any two things on the Internet right now. Visitors can also download the entire site as a mini widget for use on the desktop or social-networking page.
- • Everything is a live feed, live cam or animating real-time fact that the team worked long and hard to get permission to use.
- • Flash 9 AS3 was used on the front-endwhich is where most of the work took placeand the backend was done with PHP.
- • The site took about three months to complete.
Comments by Mandy Dietz and Aaron Dietz
The idea of a Web site thats just teeming with live information excited us, and then seeing it come to life was a real joy. You know youre onto something cool when, during the creation, coworkers come in and say, Ooh, whats that? Not all projects go that way. Often as advertisers we try to boil down our ideas to something simple. In this case it was just the opposite, and thats what made it fun.
The response online was overwhelming-the site was mentioned in over 100,000 blogs, including some of our personal favorites, like Boing Boing and the Wall Street Journal. It even made its way into New York Magazines approval matrix, on the brilliant side, right next to Spider-Man.
Since launch, weve had over 500,000 visitors to the site, with an average time spent of 5 minutes (for a single-page site!). Over 25,000 people have visited the product page and over 15,000 people have downloaded the mini widget. There have been over 130,000 postings across blogs, with over 15 million estimated total reach from those blogs and currently over 2,600 users have bookmarked the widget on sites like Delicious. After experiencing the site, thousands of people immediately clicked through to get the card.
Theres a loader and main SWF that control the whole application, an intro SWF and also an SWF for each little widget. A couple of SML files define all of the widgets generically, for instance how wide and tall they each are, their names and whether or not they have a feed as well as the actual layout of the widgets (in the small downloadable versions, this layout is randomized).
If a widget has a feed, it gets a server-side script file of the same name. Results of any particular feed are cached on the server and after a certain amount of time the server hits the feed again. The truly great thing about the site is that its completely self-sufficientit updates its own content.
Aaron Dietz, art director
Mandy Dietz, writer
Christian Haas, creative director
Rich Silverstein, executive creative director
Tena Goy/Margaret McLaughlin, producers
Derek Richmond, executive producer
Mike Kellogg, FaceFaceFace, project design and development
Goodby, Silverstein & Partners (San Francisco, CA), ad agency