Earth Hour started in 2007 as a Sydney based campaign to raise awareness of reducing energy consumption by asking people to turn off their lights for 1 hour. By 2008 Earth Hour was attracting a global following and was a turning point for the campaign. At 8pm on the 29 March 2008, millions of people participated in different cities around the world.

Working with Leo Burnett, we created the site using Ruby on Rails, with Radiant for content management. We created a process that pulled in user content each night from Flickr and Youtube, to form a “quilt” of images on the home page about Earth Hour.

We built a 3d visualisation of where people signed up from, so people "could see participation around the world. When a user encourages a friend to also join, they form part of a 3d “tree of friends”.

The site was extremely popular, with over 4 million unique visitors a day.

We’re particular proud of this project because of:

  • Inspiring design and visualization of the world-wide community
  • The distributed authoring of news feeds for each of the participating cities, as well as live updates during Earth Hour
  • Integration with Facebook which at the time, was new
  • Managing enormous load – at it’s peak the site carried 4.2 million unique visitors a day during the event.