If you are trying to find information about a particular topic, it has become a common practice to turn to Google for help. While the search giant does a pretty good job of providing content from around the web, it is not always organized and what you’re looking for. To make matters worse there are thousand terrible articles present consuming your time in finding the right information.
MentorMob comes to the rescue
MentorMob, the young startup based in Chicago is a free platform that allows users to organize the best content from the Internet in a step-by-step format and share it with those seeking information.
The site curates the best online content and organizes it into an easy to use playlists. Basically, you spend more time learning and less time searching.
The idea sounds similar to the one created by Wikipedia, but it is not. Wikipedia, with its crowd-sourced content doesn’t really encourage learners to truly evaluate information but MentorMob does.
MentorMob is for the individuals looking to learn a new skills like learning a new language, salsa dancing, poker, snowboarding, cooking, or gain knowledge/ information on topics ranging from Technology, Politics to Finance, Fitness and lots more; You can find all about it on this stunningly cool site in the form of organized web pages, videos, audios, images called Learning playlists. Getting access to MentorMob is like joining V.I.P. version of the Internet where you skip all the junk and get access to the best and the right content at the right time.
The Inspiring Conceptualization
About five years ago, the Chicago based Vince Leung, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at MentorMob and Kris Chinosorn, Co-founder and Chief Executive “Mobster” (as he fondly calls himself) started working on a social networking project they called Big Groups, and included a button called “Mentor Me”--that would connect the information seekers with those having it and they hit the nail there: “We realized early on, ‘There’s something here,’” Chinosorn told Fast Company. “Within a week and a half, we completely pivoted the company” and the result was MentorMob.com.The Founders have definitely got a winner here.
The Company got the required push after both the Chicagoans Vince and Kris came to the Valley and entered the Tech Bunch Disrupt competition in California.
The former invitation-only project which was conceptualized over a year ago attracted 1,000 registered users on its launch day itself. However the founders kept refining the site since then.
Today, MentorMob has been successful in creating this social movement where you can learn online from millions of people from anywhere in the world not confined by location.
Why is MentorMob unique
“Web 1.0 was about search engines containing poor content and dominated by Google, Web 2.0 is about Socialization, Youtube, blogging and user-generated content and Web 3.0 will be all about actual curation of all this information,” explains Vince.
MentorMob is different and offers unique service by providing in-depth learning on topics and not just throwing a link at you compared to the sites such as Delicious, About.com and Ehow that barely scratch the surface while providing information on a topic.
The site is focusing on user experience and wants it to keep it as simple and yet slick as possible. The Company also offers a widget feature where you can embed the Playlists you’ve created on MentorMob into your blog, website, or a LMS (learning management system). The site has also build MentorMob Pro accounts, which boast special analytics and privacy upgrades among other new features.
And the fact that the site has managed to create a successful community of people willing to spend time to teach others about topics is very impressive.
Creating a Playlist
Creating a Playlist is simple and easy process. Once you log-in you can not only create, edit and update Learning Playlists, but also save the progress, review playlists and message members and also share the Playlists with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking site.
Once you click on a playlist, the “steps” in the playlist are shown on the left, while the content is displayed on the right. The creators of the playlist can add notes and information to their heart’s content.
Each sub category of Playlists known as a Mob is maintained by volunteer editorsknown as Mentors and continually gets improved upon.
So it’s just a matter of grabbing the URLs of a web page, videos or pdfs and putting it in the right place in the Learning Playlist.
The cool thing is someone in Asia can be learning from Playlist that was created by folks from North America, Europe or Australia and this way MentorMob has reached millions across the globe. You would feel thankful in the end towards the users who created this step by step learning process and saved you the time that you would have taken to find all these material.
A ratings system on the site also allows users to gauge the playlist’s quality based on other user’s experiences.
MentorMob ensures that the Quality of Content is maintained
The site is a collaborative platform run by the community and the Company’s content managers ensure that the community doesn’t indulge in vandalism or that the playlists on the site are not duplicated and contain false information. “If someone tries to edit the playlist, the author is notified,” explains Vince.
Playlist editors also reduce the amount of misleading educational resources a search engine would present. If users wish they also have the option to “privatize” the Learning Playlists so only they can edit it.
MentorMob received the Illinois Technology Association 2011 CityLights Award, which is presented to businesses that support technological growth through collaboration for the state’s community, according to the ITA website.
Partnerships with Businesses and Teachers
The Company offers use of MentorMob for free, but it is advertisement supported. “We also have a second product generating revenue that is B2B,” says Vince. This Software as a Service (SaaS) model can be used as learning tool by organizations to train their employees.
“We collaborate with large corporations (in cloud) who have all this large amount of information available at all the different places. Using Mentormob, organizations can create playlists including videos, presentations, pdfs to train their employees or just to keep in touch with their franchises which are spread across the world. This saves a lot of their time too,” adds Vince.
The Company has also partnered with several educators and teachers recently from the “top 5 enrollment universities” who are keen on using MentorMob playlists into their curriculum. The students are encouraged to create Learning Playlists by researching themselves.
The Company doesn’t really indulge in promoting its site. It’s just word-of-mouth, education blogs and the readers of the blog that help spread the word about the site. Multiple different communities, universities, non-profits, corporations and various other groups have come together and gained from the site.
I would say MentorMob’s a very beautiful and novel concept that allows and inspires you to learn what you want to learn and teach anything you love online. You may not want to miss out on the opportunity to get your hands on the best content on the web and help out others or build friendships in the process.
“We’re in the process of building a prototype with never been seen before learning tools, so stay tuned for that,” concludes Vince.
For now, Check out the video here: