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The Path to Distributed Publishing (Part 3)

This is the third part of a three-part series on the path to distributed publishing. ICYMI, here's a brief history of how we got here + distributed publishing's impact on websites + tech.

What Does It Mean for Editorial Teams?

Editorial teams are waking up post earthquake and realizing they have exactly the wrong ratio of writers to video editors. The key for writers and reporters is to shift. They learned to tell their story in slideshows and then adapted those into listicles. The best writers then realized readable video needs to be written and are now out there writing it.


Social teams are part of editorial, but the way they were formed is wrong in today's new paradigm. They were hired, trained, and grew up in a world where a slideshow was meant to drive traffic to a website.

One of the key ways to know that a social team is built for the previous paradigm is if growth and distribution are not a top priority. Usually, these types of teams have learned to keep trains on time with publishing cadence and without making terribly embarrassing mistakes (e.g., posting a happy GIF while a terrorist attack is happening, etc.).

The best way to know if you have the right social team is perhaps if they don't even exist. They are the editorial team now, and that means every writer and video editor on the team takes on social publishing and distribution as part of their core job. At HuffPost we didn't have an SEO team or an SEO expert, we expected every great writer and editor on the editorial team to understand SEO. This is what should be happening to smart editorial teams now for Social Media Optimization (SMO).

What Does It Mean for Institutions?

The Yahoo! and Google era was particularly good at making a few companies massively successful. It makes sense because the results for a category page, much like that for a search phrase, would be the same for everyone. So if you owned a top placement on a high traffic search result or category page, you got a fire hose of a funnel.

This isn't quite the same on Facebook, and particularly not when you see how it's playing out over time. If terrorists attack Paris, 500 million people might become aware within an hour or two of the news. But instead of choosing a small set of 10 results for their users, Facebook will have thousands, or tens of thousands, of answers for its users about what happened.

What this implies for great media institutions is not particularly sunny. The ease of publishing coupled with the personalization of social at scale often gets the world right to the source of the news direct, or has thousands of rewrites of a single story within minutes of a major news event.

It looks as though Google Rank may have been quite a bit more powerful than Facebook's EdgeRank — the number of fans a media company has may be very limited in its ability to keep a company alive in this new paradigm.

Small start-up media companies that don't carry the burden of old websites, and are learning to tell stories native to each platform, have the chance to become very significant very quickly. The Dodo, a property that we are proud to say is powered by RebelMouse, became the fifth largest publisher on Facebook this year. Their rise was shockingly fast. NowThis, which had several pivots before finding its flow, is over one billion monthly video views now.

Now that we know a bit of the history of how we got to this point, I'm sure the first question on everyone's mind is: "What do I need to do to be successful in this new paradigm?"

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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