RebelMouse

RebelMouse launched in private beta last week

News outlets including Reuters, NBC and the Huffington Post are among some of the first to set up "social front pages" on RebelMouse, a new publishing platform which brings together and displays content shared by a user on social media networks.

The project, which launched in private beta last week, acts as a platform to curate the social media activity of a user on Twitter and Facebook, and also enables the user to post additional blog posts and content.

For news outlets this integrated social news approach provides a place for its audience to see the content being shared across social networks, and to then easily click through to read more.

The team behind the project includes Paul Berry, former chief technology officer for the Huffington Post.

Speaking to Journalism.co.uk Berry said RebelMouse was prompted by the growing take-up of social media and some users' frustrations with their own websites.

"They aren't wrong in having the feeling of needing them. Twitter and Facebook are amazing platforms that are worth all the work that is put on them.

"But RebelMouse's place is to put it together in one place. Blogging platforms were hacked to try to help do this but it’s hard, confusing, costly and you don't even get what you wanted out of it.

"RebelMouse makes it insanely easy to have a great site that puts together all your social activity.

"If you’re great at Twitter or Facebook and in social, it shows that off to its fullest. If you’re learning, it helps teach you how and why it’s worth it to get good at it.

"Explicitly we want you to be better on Facebook and Twitter by being on RebelMouse, and we're connecting other social services like Instagram and Google+.

"So what I have now is the kernel of the idea becoming its first sort of seedling form of life."

Eventually the idea is that the platform will not just show the user’s own social activity, but also that of their network. So for journalists it will offer the ability to create a page about your activity as a source for readers and a separate page showing the activity in your networks as a source for you.

"The consumption piece where you start reading the incoming activity and stories on your stream that you haven't published isn't ready yet," Berry added. "We're weeks away and I feel we have enough that you can begin to imagine the full experience right away."

RebelMouse is also a publishing platform, with the ability for users to add a story, video, slideshow or image, to the collection of social content automatically shared.

The content presented on a user's RebelMouse page can be re-arranged, removed or edited. There will also be the ability to view analytics for each piece of content as well.

Users can also use a bookmarklet to curate content on the go as they browse the web.

Berry told Journalism.co.uk that he is passionate about “building tools that help people tell stories”, and as a result loves "that journalists would be one of the first to truly embrace and shape and use it".

Looking ahead Berry said there is plenty of growth potential for the platform.

"It will grow when we power domains and tap into the right multi-site creation and management tools and embed tools to embed pages and stories.

"And it will grow when we add navigation to these pages for specific issues/stories etc."

Currently interested users can submit their details to a waiting list, but Berry added that the platform will be opened up more widely "in the coming days and weeks".

A basic account is free but the site does outline costs for having personal or company domains.

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