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Exclusive networking platform launches

Lundus, an online professional networking platform developed for and by Mundus Journalism alumni, is now available to use.

2017.02.15 | Hannah Spyksma

So, we know how strong our global Mundus community is. And we know how much journalists love networking. With this in mind, we thought it was about time we channel our amazing community and harness its networking powers through the development of a specific, tailored platform where Mundusians could connect, collaborate and share skills - somewhere that isn't facebook. 

And what a better way to push a platform like this into being than through a focused and talented alumnus. Fred Bonatto conceived the idea for Lundus, put a case forward for it, and then set to developing the software. We think its great - and have supported him all the way. After several months of development and testing, we're now we're pleased to invite our students, staff and alumni to connect via Lundus. 

Lundus was born from the necessity of establishing a consolidated, innovative and forward thinking space capable of harnessing the full impact and reach that 10 years-worth (and growing) of the Mundus Journalism alumni experience has had in journalism, from academia to news-reporting and beyond. - Fred Bonatto

If you are a student, alumni or staff member of Mundus Journalism, you should have received an email by now, inviting you to fill out a profile and start networking. So go sign up - make use of this free tool!

For a bit more background, we asked Fred a few questions about Lundus, it's purpose and how he reckons it could best be used: 

Mundus: So what exactly is Lundus?

Fred: At this stage Lundus functions as a comprehensive alumni and staff directory. You can find an alumnus according to cohort years, specialism university, name, nationality, location, or any number of other variables within workfields, for example.

How has the platform been developed?

The platform was build by myself with existing open source technology and customization.

Why this approach to networking?

Time, resource constraints and the ability to build something powerful with a structured approach which allows for future service additions without necessitating major downtime or re-works

What makes the Mundus Journalism network unique? 

With 92 nationalities and over 650 alumni who have undergone the same programme (which itself is already quite unique), it's not hard to see the value of having a way of facilitating contact between the family. The standardization of data sets necessary for the creation of accounts also gives the programme more powerful data visualization opportunities.

And what do you hope Lundus will achieve?

By consolidating our alumni base, we are now able to take the platform further. As it stands, it functions as a powerful directory of over 700 highly specialized, niche users. Given the nature of collaborations between alumni in the past, it's hoped that this platform will continue to facilitate new interactions - especially across different cohort years.

Best functions of the site?

The ability to filter by such specific data. For example, you can find an academic living in China, or a photographer who speaks dutch and is based in Belgium. It's a lot easier now to find a very specific type of alumni and message them directly, where in the past you would have to reach out to existing networks and hope that they might know someone who graduated 6 years ago and is currently working in television - for example - and might not be spending time on Facebook.

Tips for new users?

Log in and update your profiles. It's important because it's the only way that other alumni can find you. We created accounts by using our e-mail archive, but these e-mails may have been changed or not checked regularly, so it's important you access those inboxes or let me know of the change (contact@lundus.net).

And finally... If you could dream up any journalistic/media collaboration through Lundus, regardless of finances, what would it be?

There is a lot that can be done here. A production fund with a proposal submission page within the platform could be something quite powerful - ie. Mundus reaches out to investment capital/media production companies and pitches the idea of a partnership for executing journalistic work in a topical current-news genre. Rather than putting out a blind public call, the organization can have direct access to this powerful network. This is still some time away, but it is something that has considerable potential in my view.

Congratulations Fred on the success of launching Lundus, and thank you for your vision and focus bringing this concept to life. To Mundusians: Go add to your profile, network, take advantage of this software and this unique, global network that you're part of!

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