Top of Mind

UW–Madison beats the competition when it comes to online buzz.

UW–Madison is the most-talked-about school online, and it’s not just because Bucky Badger performed 573 pushups in one football game to celebrate the team’s touchdowns. Photo: Jeff Miller

Everybody’s talking about Badgers.

UW–Madison ranked first among U.S. colleges and universities in a new study examining higher education “brand equity” on the Internet, beating some stiff competition.

What does that mean? The UW appeared more than any other institution in electronic media, on blogs, and on social-networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

The Global Language Monitor, an Austin, Texas-based media analytics company, used its mathematical model to rank three hundred colleges and universities. The University of Chicago, Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Columbia rounded out the top five.

And the online buzz had nothing to do with football; the study’s authors corrected results after first taking their measurements in the week leading up to the Badgers’ appearance in the Rose Bowl on January 1.

The UW no doubt generated online chatter when it garnered two other notable rankings earlier this year. It landed fourth on the U.S. News and World Report list of schools that produce the most Fortune 500 CEOs — coming in behind Harvard, Columbia, and the University of Pennsylvania. And business magazine Kiplinger’s Personal Finance rated the UW the ninth-best value among public universities, up from last year’s ranking at number fourteen.

Published in the Spring 2011 issue

Tags: Badger, scholarship, social media

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