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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!

Keep reading...

How to Add an Authors Element to Search

If you have a community of creators contributing to your site, it can be helpful for users to search for articles by a particular author. By default, if a user searches for the name "Rachel Williams," the results will pull up stories about Rachel Williams instead of the author profile of Rachel Williams. There's an easy way to change this behavior in our Layout & Design tool. Here's how.

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New: Seamless Site Design With Global Styles

Keep your site's aesthetic consistent with one-click Global Styles

Site design should be seamless, which is why we obsess over creating a CMS experience that's intuitive and user-friendly. At RebelMouse, we believe that a site's look and feel should be part of the everyday workflow, and it should never distract developers or site contributors from their daily tasks.

This is why we've recently rolled out Global Styles in our Layout & Design tool. Users now have the ability to override styles by creating their own preferences in Global Settings that can then be applied to other pages en masse.

Users can create custom styles for any element, and then use those styles in other layouts by selecting them from a drop-down menu in one streamlined motion:

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How to Add YouTube Feeds via RSS

Easily add videos to your articles on RebelMouse

Since YouTube is one of the most popular social networks around, it's likely you'll want to add a YouTube channel's feed to your site at some point. Additionally, you may want to add a YouTube playlist to your site. Both options are possible on RebelMouse thanks to RSS Feeds. Here's how it works.

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Update: “Show Less” Function Removed From Layout & Design Tool

This new change helps improve the infinite scroll experience

As a RebelMouse client, you're likely familiar with our Social UX for Media layout, which includes an infinite scroll design that allows users to expand and collapse articles as they consume content.

To improve this experience, we've removed the "Show Less" function, which previously collapsed lead media, post, and/or post content elements in our Layout & Design tool. Now, if you uncheck Show Full Post Body, the "Show More" function will be enabled and the "Show Less" function will no longer be available.

Keep reading...

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RebelMouse CEO: Reimagining Diversity “Starts in the Office”

Why women, minorities, and the LGBTQ+ community will restructure workplace norms

Entering a new decade means a new opportunity to change how we approach diversity. In a joint interview alongside Leanne Pittsford of Lesbians Who Tech, RebelMouse founder and CEO Andrea Breanna said that the only way to fight patriarchal dominance is to encourage and nurture more women, minorities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community in the workplace, particularly in tech.

Over half of RebelMouse's employees are women or identify as LGBTQ. Read our full diversity and inclusion report here.

Check out the full video below.

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Mailchimp Free Users: You May Need to Upgrade Under New Pricing Plan

Features previously available in Mailchimp's Free plan have changed

Mailchimp has recently updated their pricing structure, and template customization features that were originally supported in the Free plan have been moved to the Standard plan.

The change means that any Free users will need to upgrade to the Standard plan that currently costs $14.99 per month. Beyond template customization, the following RebelMouse features will also no longer be available if you're using their Free plan:

  • Sending emails using Discovery
  • The ability to send daily and weekly newsletters
  • Turning a post into a newsletter using Entry Editor

While it may be an inconvenience to upgrade your Mailchimp account to a paid plan, consider this a small investment in a strategy with winning potential. Think of a newsletter as an extension of your site's content that puts the experience back in the hands of your readers. After all, users prefer to read and consume content on their own time in familiar interfaces, like Gmail. Click here to learn more about crafting an effective email strategy.

If you have any questions about Mailchimp's new changes and how they will work with RebelMouse's integration, email support@rebelmouse.com or contact your account manager today.

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How to Make Your Top Menu Disappear on Scroll

Create an un-sticky Top Bar using Layout & Design tool

Depending on how you structure your content, it can be helpful to have your site's header and menu bar disappear as readers scroll. We call this un-sticky Top Bar behavior. Here's an example of what this looks like:

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Boost Your Performance With RebelMouse’s New AMP-Rendering Engine

Using React + Node, AMP-powered sites provide a next-level user experience

RebelMouse is proud to announce a new rendering engine driven by Google's lightning-fast AMP format. In our relentless pursuit of world-class site performance, our team of developers put together a faster experience for our clients that includes a more cohesive codebase, quicker development output, and increased reliability and overall performance.

To do this, we used React and Node — JavaScript languages that appeal to a broad pool of developers. The same code can run on both servers and browsers, and allows us to leverage modern front end optimization tools.

Here's a quick rundown of what React, AMP, and Node are, and how RebelMouse has used them to create an AMP-focused front end experience that's fit for the next decade of publishing.

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