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The Fluid, Creative Agency Inside of RebelMouse

A lot of people know RebelMouse from when we went viral in 2012 as a social aggregation tool — later dubbed "social media's front page." Those who stuck around with us got to later know us as a social-forward CMS. This is still true, but RebelMouse has since evolved into an enterprise-level publishing solution that — just like we always have — adapts to the current digital landscape. So while we were born in the age of social, we've kept up with every peak and valley the industry has traversed since the birth and boom of digital.


What a lot of people may not know yet is that every media property we work with doesn't just get to use our platform. Our clients get a global creative agency made up of content optimizers, social strategists, and audience builders. We continuously analyze all of our clients' data and performance so we can help guide your strategy toward a path of growth and revenue. RebelMouse is not simply lean tech, but also a full-service creative agency. Here's a little bit about how we got here, and more information about the services we offer.

Box-Free Beginnings

Growing up, my dad started a software company, which gave me the chance to learn how to write code from a very young age. I loved it immediately. The act of creating! A lot of people think of coding as a math or science, but I have always seen it as an artistic language. From the moment I touched code, it was an act of expression for me. My first program was a "Choose Your Own Adventure" experience. It was truly an act of writing and a different way of telling a story.

What I realized quickly as I began my career in my late teens and early 20s, was that people wanted to put me in a box and label me as merely "a developer." I wanted much more than to write code and be told what tech should do. By this point, I had already worked on viral projects (Dog Island is particularly fun) and built a real e-commerce business for Palo Alto Software.

I have always been able to see the big picture, which is much larger than simply the coding side of tech. It's why I decided to make RebelMouse a well-rounded product and not just a software offering. Our clients don't only sign up for a publishing platform, but also a real service that propels their properties to success on site, social, and search.

Finding the Dream Team

As I looked at the potential opportunities for who I wanted to work with, the way Jonah Peretti and Ken Lerer (co-founders with Arianna Huffington at The Huffington Post) approached tech was exactly me. When I became CTO of The Huffington Post, I had both design and product teams reporting to me, and I was responsible for overall traffic. I worked every day with an amazing editing team so that we could collaborate on how to build a massive and loyal audience together. It was far beyond the confinements of a developer-only box.

At RebelMouse, I've been able to put together a team of people who are like me. Most of the team, regardless of each individual's position and title, is technical. Developers manage accounts directly, working not only on product, but strategy, audience growth, and revenue, too. It's possible because, like me, they don't self-identify as developers in their heart of hearts. The net result is an amazing team of people who have fallen in love with particular aspects of the media and content business. And those aspects can be anything — from how to get the most out of Instant Articles to what's possible with Google AMP to growth hacking Instagram to wiring your site for maximum monetization.

Reaching Rebellious Heights

Today, RebelMouse is a fully remote powerhouse. I closed our SoHo office in New York City because I believe so strongly in distributed teams. We have no bar for geography when we look for talent on the team, but we have a super-high bar for talent. Having an office confused our culture, and accidentally excluded our brilliant people who weren't there to hop into a meeting room day to day. Now we're closer and more connected than ever, and we stay linked together across 26 countries. We're fluid between roles and time zones, and we work with clients who are meshed together with their teams, too.

We utilize a very unique approach in our mission, and it works for the awesome brands we work with, such as United Airlines, BlackRock, PAPER Magazine, and many more. We're inspired by intuition and gut, but we get to check everything against data, and are able to see what is working across a huge set of categories and verticals.

Below are just some of the specific services we offer at RebelMouse. If you're interested in creating something viral and awesome together, then email us at creative@rebelmouse.com.

Site Design: We've finally entered an industry shift where site design truly matters again. Users are exasperated with the platforms and more willing to spend time on site, which is good news for publishers. Whether your content calls for a minimalist structure like Axios, a more artistic aesthetic like PAPERMag.com, or a subscription-based experience, we'll create a look that's easy to use for your content creators while still being a key driver of user loyalty.

Social Growth: A lot of businesses still worry that organic growth on the platforms is dead. While the oversaturation of content has created a lot of noise in recent years, it's also created what we call a universe of creators. As a result, we've developed proprietary technology that leverages this universe to identify influencers across platforms right from within our Entry Editor. We work closely with you through these tools to amplify your message with every publish.

Monetization: RebelMouse is invested in a lean tech model that opens up new revenue streams for you to see impactful return on your content. We make sure your brand is optimizing the right ad networks and has a premium sales pitch so you can reach your true revenue potential. We help you through time-tested best practices that have delivered again and again.

Custom Web Design: We built RebelMouse to be as flexible and fluid as we are. That means if we believe in the idea you have or the new feature you want to build, we can not only build it, but make the idea even better through implementation.

Our unique journey over the years has enabled our clients to both experience amazing statistics that crush industry standards, and reap next-level growth at a time when a lot of publishers are worried about making ends meet.

We're here to help you and your brand prosper, no matter the state of the social ecosystem. Even if you aren't currently able to switch to our CMS, you can still take advantage of any of our strategy services. Drop us a line to schedule a quick chat. We guarantee we'll be able to add value within the first fifteen minutes.

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Meet RebelMouse

Build on a better platform that supports far-reaching content distribution, impactful conversion, and unparalleled loyalty.

The world's largest companies trust us to power their global, multiplatform content experience. As a platform, we're now one of the largest in the world, reaching 50+ million people every month. As a creative agency, we build mass pop culture hits that grow organically to become household names — Axios and The Dodo, for example.

We work strategically with United Airlines and many other brands to establish the new media roadmap for their future and implement it. RebelMouse was founded by the CTO who built The Huffington Post. The founding vision and mission is still the same today: to be the right new media platform for both media companies and brands. It's working exceedingly well, and we're delivering some staggering results for our clients.

Read our latest deck here!

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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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Custom HTML Class Names for Rows and Columns

Assign attributes to your site's rows and columns

You can now add custom HTML class names to rows and columns in RebelMouse's Layout & Design tool. HTML classes can be used for many things, particularly to style elements within a wrapper that has a certain set of CSS properties, or to trigger JavaScript.

This feature eliminates the need to use a separate Element Wrapper to add a class to a set of elements, because the row or column itself can call that specific ID you would typically assign to the Element Wrapper. This creates cleaner, more efficient code in our Layout & Design tool.

You can find the HTML Class within the Properties card of your row or column:

You can also highlight more than one row or column at a time to assign it to the same HTML Class.

This is how it looks in Document Object Model (DOM):

For a refresher on all of the elements available in our Layout & Design tool, click here. If you have any questions about this feature, email support@rebelmouse.com or talk with your account manager today.

How to Create Author Badges

Customize every author profile for a personalized approach

The digital publishing ecosystem is a universe of creators. At RebelMouse, we've created a collaborative publishing experience that allows creators, editors, and influencers to work together in a community-style, customizable workflow.

We recently updated our community features with Author Badges, a feature that gives authors on your site a unique image to compliment their avatar. For example, if an author tends to write about "Trending" topics, you could assign a "Trending" badge to them.

To add an Author Badge from our Badges Dashboard, first navigate to /core/r_dashboard/badges on your site. From there, click the blue ⨁ icon in the bottom right-hand corner to create a new Author Badge.

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What You Need to Know About Facebook News

The social platform's dedicated news tab is now being offered to select publishers

It's estimated that 43% of American adults get their news on Facebook. With an upcoming U.S. presidential election in 2020, the massive social platform has an opportunity to mend fences with its reputation after 2016's fake news fallout and corresponding Cambridge Analytica scandal. In October 2019, Facebook announced the launch of Facebook News, a dedicated tab for news on the platform that aims to give users more control over the news they read.

Facebook News launched to only about 200,000 U.S. users, with articles from local publications in major cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Houston. Roughly 200 publishers are working with Facebook on the initial rollout. The feature is still being tested and is currently only available on mobile.

According to an announcement from Facebook on the feature, users can expect to find a wide range of content on Facebook News, including:

  • Today's Stories chosen by a team of journalists to catch you up on the news throughout the day.
  • Personalization based on the news you read, share, and follow, so you can find new interests and topics, and so Facebook News is fresh and interesting every time you open it.
  • Topic sections to dive deeper into business, entertainment, health, science & tech, and sports.
  • Your Subscriptions, a section for people who have linked their paid news subscriptions to their Facebook account.
  • Controls to hide articles, topics, and publishers you don't want to see.

Some of the articles served to users on Facebook will be curated by humans, but the feed will mostly be organized through an algorithm that should become more personalized based on each reader's behavior.

Currently there are several hoops to jump through to become a Facebook News publisher. Pages must serve a large audience, follow Facebook's integrity standards, and be registered in the platform's News Page Index to be considered.

Click here to begin the registration process for your Page to become part of Facebook News.

At RebelMouse, we're dedicated to sustainable growth across the entire digital publishing ecosystem. We power sites with a rich user experience, but also enable our publishers to create content that easily travels across platforms, including Facebook. We're closely monitoring this newest feature from Facebook, particularly the screening process for publishers to be accepted into the program. If you have any questions about Facebook News and its current rollout, please email support@rebelmouse.com or talk to your account manager today.

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How to Add + Style Horizontal Rules

Organize your text with horizontal rules

Horizontal rules help editorial teams build content that is both visually appealing and structurally solid as they break up articles into clear and understandable sections that audiences can easily identify.

Horizontal rules are easy to add and style using our Entry Editor and our Layout & Design tool. From Entry Editor, simply click the Horizontal Rule icon in the toolbar and a horizontal demarcation will be placed within your text.

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Inside Our Fastly Recovery Plan

How we offer reliable site security

The purpose of our disaster recovery plan is to prevent downtimes with Amazon Web Service (AWS) that directly affect site reliability. We pride ourselves on our ability to reliably keep traffic flowing to our client's sites, even in the event of a disruption.

We partner with Fastly — our CDN provider — for our failover plan, which is based on rerouting traffic directly to our servers in case of an outage.

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