If you have a few hours to kill, go to MyMadisonDay.com and relive last Friday, Sept. 21, #MyMadisonDay. If you don't have the time right now, read the concise compilation that is our cover story for this week.
Stu Levitan gets credit for the original idea to catalogue the activities that go on in our town during a typical day. The Isthmus staff took the idea and ran with it, along the way enlisting friends, family, a UW class and a wide range of the Isthmus-reading public to chronicle said place over said time period (6 a.m., Sept. 21, to 6 a.m., Sept. 22).
In all, the enthusiastic documenters rang up 452 posts, 304 tweets, many pictures, a number of videos and one banjo tune, using a variety of means including Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and other social media. All this was curated by Jason Joyce and Kristian Knutsen of the Isthmus digital department, manning #MyMadisonDay central for the duration.
The compilation is a great demonstration of the variety of activity that percolates during a typical day, from marching band practice to yoga class, from doughnut snagging to dining on the Sabbath. Views from inside the symphony and from atop a parking ramp are available. There's just a lot going on here.
My compliments to the staff for organizing this living portrait of a city and on their diligence in carrying it out. I don't know that we'll be repeating it any time soon - it would seem it'd take a couple of decades for the idea to become fresh again - but I'm sure glad we did it this time.
Oh, and thanks to professor Lucas Graves' J335 class (Intermediate Reporting) for the dozen mini-features they provided to the project. It just goes to show that you don't have to leave your imagination behind to do significant journalism. We've been doing this for 37 years and can still come up with innovations.