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Building the Biggest New Media Properties of Our Times

RebelMouse has a unique and ever-growing advantage through the mix of technology we've built, the amount of sites we power, and the relationships we have with our clients. We built off the founding team's knowledge — from their experience of building HuffPost — to create something truly exciting. Two of the most exciting new media breakout hits — The Dodo and Axios — were built by RebelMouse when they were just ideas. The Dodo now has their claim to fame with one of the most popular videos on Facebook ever, and every month brings in billions of Facebook views. Axios, launched only in January of this year, has become a traffic monster — racking up 80M+ page views a month. Now we've taken on Odyssey Online, and have grown it by 4M new users in the first 45 days alone.

We're not just a technology company, and we're not just a design agency either. We don't only do strategy work by offering advice. We build alongside you — the concepts, ideas, and cultures that can break out to be huge media hits.


It's hard to survive the complex world of media in 2017. Between juggling Facebook's constant algorithm updates, the fake news epidemic, and the competition for ad dollars, success doesn't come easy.

The media world is ever-evolving, but one thing is abundantly clear: Facebook and Google, the almighty duopoly, have a firm grip on digital ad revenue. While successful media companies and brands struggle to meet revenue goals, the platforms are reaching new heights. As the state of digital media continues to puzzle publishers in 2017, it can be hard to strategize with all the changes and updates these mega platforms throw our way.

We often see media companies frantically trying to adopt a new strategy to monetize without knowing how to successfully execute. Case in point: The great pivot to video, which was really more like a pivot to ad-backed digital media, caused editorial teams to take drastic measures prematurely.

Some media properties are seeing reach and traffic plummet, while others — like Axios — continue to flourish. But it's not luck. Axios and other powerful new media darlings understand that to be successful, you have to adapt and find a strategy that works in the age of social. This means creating a platform that will propel you into the future, and having a partner that can help navigate the acceleration of history.

RebelMouse is that platform and partner.

Our centralized, social CMS was born in the age of social. We're constantly updating, iterating, and helping properties grow at mind-boggling rates. We're experts in content and distribution, and can help you create a sustainable business built with social growth and loyal, lasting communities.

It's how we built the biggest pop culture hits of our time. You can see this clearly with The Dodo, Axios, and the continual growth of Odyssey Online.

Building Massive, Unprecedented Reach: The Dodo

The Dodo revolutionized (and even normalized) the way we share and obsess over animals. You're guaranteed to find a much-needed dose of cuteness scrolling through your Facebook News Feed at any given hour.

And even though tons of media properties look to drive our emotions with animals, few have had the outstanding success that The Dodo has.

Founder Izzie Lerer wanted to create a participatory community platform around animals, so she needed a platform that would make amplifying the social-sharing experience easy to do. RebelMouse provided the foundation for this success.

The Dodo continues to crush it on Facebook with billions of views and shares per month.

Building Loyalty at Scale: How Axios Built on RebelMouse

The Axios founding team had a vision for building a next-generation media site that would not only win in the world of social, but also build real loyalty and a subscriber base.

With some of the best writers in the world, Axios knew that, to be successful, they would need to provide next-generation authoring tools as well as a next-generation front-end experience for their readers. Axios was able to work with RebelMouse to build exactly to the vision the founders had when they set off on their journey.

Axios grew rapidly, skyrocketing to 40M+ page views per month just three months after launch. They're also seeing a bounce rate under 15%.

Odyssey Online Transforms Their Technology for Their Next Wave of Growth

Our powerful, data-driven solution, strategy-level consultation, and personal relationships are bringing in game-changing results. After re-platforming with RebelMouse, Odyssey is seeing serious stats.

Within the first month, Odyssey's new users have increased by over 25% — adding nearly two million new users in total. And their story continues to get stronger.

Add your name to the list of influential new media properties — like The Dodo, Axios, and Odyssey — and join RebelMouse. Even if you can't re-platform today, you can take advantage of strategy services from our experts to help guide you toward a path of growth and revenue.

Publishers No Longer Have to Submit Their Site to Google News

Google's Publisher Center creates new opportunities for audience growth

Just before the start of the next decade, Google announced an important change to its Google News offering with the launch of Google Publisher Center. The new interface merges Google News Producer and Google News Publisher into one to streamline the partnership process for publishers.

Overall, the change should make it easier for publishers to manage their Google News settings, including updating themes, directing URLs to section pages, and configuring user permissions. Read the full list of features here.

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How to Find Work-Life Balance as a Remote Employee

Tips from our CEO on making the most of an office-free lifestyle

Working from home is becoming increasingly popular, with an estimated 66% of companies now allowing remote work and 16% operating completely office-free. RebelMouse is one of those fully remote companies, and over the years we've mastered how to stay close to each other despite being spread across more than a dozen countries. We believe working remotely is good for both our personal lives and our productivity. Read more about this here.

Still, working free from the shackles of an office environment doesn't mean every day is a dance party in your pajamas from 9 to 5. Working from home comes with its own set of challenges just like any other job.

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Inside RebelMouse’s Quality Assurance Operations

How We've Perfected Stress-Free Publishing

At RebelMouse, we like to refer to our enterprise publishing platform as "lean tech." Most publishers have a natural inclination to start doubling down on teams of developers who try to build unique experiences to help stand out above the noise. But they should actually be doing the opposite: Lean tech is the preferred way to cut through content saturation. By allowing RebelMouse to obsess over your product, content producers, editors, managers, and everyone in between can focus on creating quality content and taking advantage of opportunities to leverage distributive publishing strategies that create real revenue growth.

One of the major reasons we're able to maintain a lean tech environment is thanks to our approach to quality assurance (QA). We make updates to our platform daily to ensure our clients always have access to the most robust, high-performing, and secure version of our platform. Behind the scenes, this means having a solid QA structure that's efficient, creates less bugs, and catches the ones that do pop up before they go live. It's a system of checks and balances that's hard and costly to replicate on a custom CMS. Here's a glimpse into how it works.

Our Tech Stack Toolbox

  • Cucumber
  • Java
  • Junit
  • Maven
  • Selenium WebDriver
  • TeamCity
  • Zalenium (Selenium Grid)

Our Checks and Balances Workflow

Automated Regression Testing Cycle

The Lifecycle of a Product Update

When an update is first made to RebelMouse, TeamCity immediately triggers the start of automated tests to review integrity.

TeamCity Build

TeamCity Agent

The tests run in parallel on TeamCity's Build Agent. Next, Zalenium creates docker containers with browsers that matches the count of parallel threads. An Allure report is then generated from the test results, which shows the state of the application after the update.

Allure Report Pass

If a test doesn't complete successfully, the testing framework receives a video with a failed test and attaches it to the Allure report.

Allure Report Issue

Based on the report analysis, a QA specialist will create a "bug" ticket in our product management software to address the issue if needed. Then, information about the bug is immediately sent to the project manager and we begin the process of correcting the problem.

The media powerhouses we power can publish with confidence knowing that any product issues that arise are met with a tried-and-true process to fix the problem with little-to-no disturbance to their workflow. If you have any questions about this process, please email support@rebelmouse.com.

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