Be Sure to Bookmark: MondoTimes.com

“Always be a helpful source to someone; There’s no time like the present.” – J. E. Durst

Courtesy of MondoTimes.com

International classrooms, now more than ever rely on connectivity and networking to help supplement classroom materials, reading lists, and the overall student experience. Hotels often offer a ‘Concierge Service’ that’s available any time, day, night, 24 hours to anticipate their guests’ slightest need. The communications directory MondoTimes.com offers a similar idea.  It’s a terrific, FREE online resource that profiles 213+ countries and features 33,000+ media outlets.  Bottom line: it’s essentially a media specific, global Yellow Pages.

Similar to HelpAReporter.com or BulldogReporter.com, this site offers links to a country’s main media sources, publication information, and shows current circulation numbers.  Admittedly, the web design fails to appear aesthetically pleasing; it’s ad-a-palooza to the left and right sidebars. Moreover, even though MondoTimes offers free membership to the general site, the actual ‘Media List’ builder determines a fee then charges users to review specific contact details.

If you’re trying to keep costs down, just spend a few extra minutes creating a title list, then review the publication’s actual site to find the right reporter. WARNING: Reporters change contact information frequently so use LinkedIn to check things.

Courtesy of Facebook.com/MondoTimes

Other places to connect with this Boulder, Colorado company include their Facebook, Twitter, & LinkedIn pages; it’s overall Grade earns B+ / A-.
Pros: Helpful information, all in one place, strong Facebook presence, easy to navigate, clear categories and tags.
Cons: Messy layout, poor Twitter following, Freemium model beyond Title index.

Courtesy of MondoTimes.com

If you’ve worked with MondoTimes.com before or a similar tool that connects journalisitic / communications resources to the classroom, feel free to share your feedback thoughts below. I’m always keen to learn about new technology that helps develop international classrooms and education. Happy Friday friends, enjoy the weekend! — A.Montgomery ; @acmontgomery

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Would You Ditch that Make-Up Mirror for the ‘Beauty Mirror’ App? I Would.

For this week’s blog post I wanted to make an honest confession: I am so glad that for the FIRST TIME in my weekly writing, I did not have a story planted in my brain, ready to roll… I’m completely abandoned all Type A inclinations!

Instead of sitting down at my laptop to write my weekly blog post with story notes, thoughts and musings neatly outlined I struggled with a bit of writer’s block after surviving what I loving call on Twitter #thegreatbigmoveof2010 – My Brain was trying to say it needed a spa weekend.

So imagine my surprise when I ran across an article featured in North Texas Kids monthly magazine (I swear I was searching for business leads, not filling in the crossword puzzle…) and when turning the page an article headline and the answer to my writer’s block slapped me square in the face: ‘New iPhone App Inspires Tween Girls to be Positive!’ – Hallelujah!

Although the interview article was on the shorter/plainer side (maybe 300 words, and that’s a high ball guess), I was inspired to feature a story on the iPhone App Beautiful Mirror because I believe its implications carry far beyond the borders of newsprint in the October issue of North Texas Kids Monthly…

The Concept: Beauty Mirror is an application available on the iPhone/iDevice which essentially serves as a ‘Magic Mirror’ reminder about how awesome you (a woman) are and encourages ladies of all ages to disregard those negative nagging thoughts and replace them with positive, proactive perspective.  In short, think of it as a portable Magic Mirror like in Shrek or Snow White crossed with Richard Simmons—

The Creators:  What do you get when you add technology smarts, outgoing personalities, and roots based in California and Toronto?  Isabel Rasmussen and Lauren Wood, the 2 super cool, super incredible creators of the Beauty Mirror application who want to positively shape the way tween and teenage girls look at themselves, that’s who.

Applying it to #EMAC6300… While I do not own an iPhone/iDevice I see this emerging technology as one of the most impressive ways app/computer programmers are leveraging their ability to manipulate technology for good instead of not so good.

Remember when we talked about the screen society in class the other week?  We circled around what we were doing in a world of screens of all shapes and sizes including TVs, Desktops, iPads, Cell Phones,  iPhones, iPods, etc.  In it’s own way I think a mirror is a sort of ‘screen’.  An interesting question came up about how society as opposed to removing screens instead was figuring out ways to adapt and incorporate them more into daily life.  I have to admit that I wouldn’t be terribly annoyed if I had a screen in my life which reminded me on a daily basis that Beauty first begins on the Inside.  Now that’s the power of emerging media.

What Do You See When You Visit http://Paper.Li/?

The other day I got a email from my boss, the Subject Line read as follows, ‘This Is Cool…’ – the email itself was fairly simple, and contained a single URL Link: http://paper.li/ultranex. When I asked my boss about the email and what she wanted me to do with it, her reply was also simple, ‘What The Heck Is It? How Can We Use It?’ I get these types of questions A LOT at my job, so naturally I went straight into Investigative Reporter mode.

It turns out that my reporting journey would be more fruitful than normal. I attended a social media seminar over the weekend and came back to work on Monday quite pleased with my findings. The seminar had actually mentioned the mythical ‘Paper.Li’ and through a bit more research I discovered the following answers:

What The Heck Is It?
According to its website, Paper.Li is defined as a platform that organizes links shared on Twitter into an “easy-to-read,” “newspaper-style” format. Newspapers can be created for Twitter users, lists or hash tags (#tags).

Ok – Fair enough. I registered my own Twitter handle to see what came up and how my landing page would look like within the platform, and it was actually pretty cool how it formatted into different areas like Photos, Education, Video, and Media automatically. Check out my URL here: http://paper.li/acmontgomery

One other thing I also liked was when I searched for other ‘Paper.Li’ accounts, the search results pulled up how many articles were concentrated around that particular account. This was interesting information that my boss was curious to learn about as a daily metric.  I am now following the daily article listings for these Paper.Li accounts:

http://paper.li/SocialMediaDel ; 249 Articles, Sept. 14
http://paper.li/LinkedInQueen ; 281 Articles, Sept. 14
http://paper.li/ChrisBrogan ; 40 Articles, Sept. 14

But with all new media, its good practice to exercise caution and enter timidly. I pulled up different articles from Forbes, Mashable, and BusinessWeek which all commented fairly about the downfalls to Paper.Li: “It would be nice to have better customization options when it comes to what sections the links are placed in, or how they are ordered on the page.  It’s also unlikely that Paper.li is  to completely replace newspapers, especially because at least some links shared on Twitter refer to them.”

Even after looking at the Pros/Cons of Twitter’s newest Paper in Crime, my original questions still remained…. What Do I See when I visit http://Paper.Li/? – To me it’s pretty simple, I see yet another extension of powerful primary social media platform (in this case Twitter) working in tandem with developing 2nd party platforms to create a entire new ultimate platform.  I also see yet another reason why I will get made fun of for not having an iPad; surely my friends will say, “Amanda, you love Paper.Li! Don’t you think it would be easier and more efficient to read that on an iPad instead of your old school laptop?” Maybe, but I am also still resorting to a Blackberry and I haven’t cracked for an iPhone 4 yet. The daily Twitter/Paper.Li feed is great…

I want to revisit this question when its developed into a second generation in about 8 months-

AM