The O-H-I-O link on Ohio State’s home page has 4,373 photos of Buckeyes worldwide performing the signature cheer, and that number increases every day.
There are so many photos, in fact, that when Ted Hattemer, the director of new media for University Communications, tried to pull them all up on his screen, his computer froze.
“I’m never going to click on ‘view all’ again,” he said.
He said the Web site, which is in its third year, was started because the university received so many e-mails from Buckeye fans around the world. It wasn’t until they received a picture of OSU student
Nicholas Pavlik, who was deployed in Afghanistan, that they realized the project could be something special.
“That’s when we thought there’s more here that we could do with it,” he said.
The site now receives pictures of the cheer performed at weddings, family vacations, from students studying abroad or those just around the OSU campus.
The photos “come in all hours of the day from all corners of the world,” Hattemer said.
He wouldn’t expect anything else.
“Ohio State has a lot of pride,” he said. “No other school has [a cheer] like it.”
Since the Web site started tracking views in June 2008, it has received 6,960 picture views and about 1.5 million hits.
“But that could be your grandma clicking on your picture 12 times in a row,” Hattemer said.
He said every photograph typically gets about 12 views. Photos that are out of the ordinary can receive 1,000 views or more.
Hattemer said he receives help monitoring the pictures from three other staff members and two interns. Other than that, he said the Web site pretty much runs itself.
“We just check the resolution and make sure they entered the right keywords for the picture, then just click enter,” Hattemer said.
The Web site will soon offer a free iPhone application that will make uploading pictures even easier. The application will allow users to access their iPhone camera and upload an O-H-I-O picture directly
to the Web site.
“We want to automate it as much as we can and make it convenient,” he said.
Michael Simmons, a 2009 graduate of OSU, submitted a picture to the Web site featuring himself and friends in the Ecuadorian Andes at the Incan ruins during a trip for Habitat for Humanity.
“We decided to do the O-H-I-O because we were all Ohio State students, and we all had, and still have, lots of pride in our school,”
Simmons decided to upload the picture to the Web site because pictures he added in the past were used for an OSU commercial, which aired nationally during OSU football games.
“To be honest I decided to add the picture to the Web site mostly because I had been on the commercial before so I thought that maybe I could get on another one,” Simmons said.
Hattemer said that in addition to the pictures being used on the OSU commercial, he often supplies OSU faculty with the images to be shown at conferences.
“It captures people’s attention in an interesting way,” Hattemer said.
Timothy Mazik, a student in finance, took an O-H-I-O picture while on Contingency Operating Base Speicher in Tikrit, Iraq. His photo is one of 98 military photos on the Web site.
“We took the photo because it was something we all wanted to do,” Mazik said. “We were sitting around one day and thought it would be a good idea, as we are all huge Ohio State fans.”
Mazik said he heard about the site through his father.
“Him and his buddies took an O-H-I-O photo in Sedona, Arizona, on a trip to the national championship game in Phoenix,” he said. “He encouraged me to upload it to the site.”
Because Hattemer monitors the Web site, he sees just about all the pictures that are uploaded. He might have a couple of favorites, but he is especially partial to one.
“I’m in there somewhere,” he said. “So that’s probably my favorite.”
Visit the Web site at osu.edu/O-H-I-O.