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How 7x7 Went From Beloved Print Magazine To Modern Digital Publisher

A swift upgrade.

The Vision

As the #1 lifestyle site in the major tech market of San Francisco, 7x7 was on a mission to bring a super-modern, tech-driven editorial experience to audiences, no matter where they are.

The Problem

Having a publishing platform that was built in the Internet Stone Age. What was considered cutting-edge in 2006 just didn't cut it anymore. The out-dated, glitchy CMS was difficult for editors to use and clunky for audiences to read through, making it a constant effort to provide up-to-the-minute Bay Area stories and happenings.

What Happened: Rebel Runner

In June 2016, 7x7 introduced the new and vastly improved site on with Rebel Runner, which provided them with a highly-optimized and super-intuitive platform.

Here's what 7x7 expressed to their readers when they launched the new site:

"Not only is our new site prettier to look at (bigger pictures! working slideshows!), it is also better organized (now by Bay Area region to help you find things to do based on where you really live, work, and play); loaded with nifty features (polls! videos! gifs!); optimized for reading on your desktop, smartphone, and tablet; and designed for easy sharing of the stories and photos you like via your chosen social networks."

7x7 (homepage) on the old platform
7x7 (homepage) on RebelMouse

7x7 (article page) on RebelMouse

Key Takeaway: Monetization Gets An Upgrade, Too!

While enhancing the editorial experience was a priority, 7x7's monetization process also needed an upgrade. As a premier editorial site with 7M monthly impressions and growing, 7x7 can command top advertising dollars.

With the Rebel Runner platform, not only has ad targeting and placement become much more flexible and easy to implement, but the improved native content offering continues to make it a must-buy for Fortune 500 advertisers like Google, Audi, Chase and Macy's.

To summarize, upgrade.


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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