The primary challenges of independent journalists is to create enough fresh content and to be seen on the right social media platforms that their audiences continually get value and stay engaged. But there are only so many hours in the work day.
Thankfully the digital world that is leveling blows against traditional journalism is also creating tools that can help journalists to meet the needs of their audiences without imploding personally under the slavish adherence to an editorial calendar. Enter RebelMouse.
The Visual Appeal
I first heard about RebelMouse on a Poynter Institute tutorial with Niketa Patel, the platform’s Director of Content. Patel explained that RebelMouse takes the content that a person produces on Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram and aggregates it to its proprietary site. RebelMouse’s visual design is customizable and sophisticated, more so than the typical one man show on the web can create.
Filling in the Gaps
What is easier to do: write a blog or compose a Tweet? On days when journalists are digging up sources and designing infographics and find themselves in between publications, the audience doesn’t quit looking for content and value. By posting a couple pictures on Pinterest, a retweeted Tweet, and a LinkedIn status update, the appearance on RebelMouse is that content is staying fresh and the flow of valuable content is unfettered.
How the Big Boys Use RebelMouse
The following news agencies use RebelMouse as a tool for generating UGC (user generated content).
* RebelMouse blog
* Fast Company’s Innovation Series
* NBC’s #DreamDay coverage
* Al Jazeera America’s Syria live blog
* SFGate’s How SF sees SF
* The Wall Street Journal’s Fashion Week coverage
* The Guardian’s Emmy roundup
* Ann Curry: Reporting our World
* GNC’s RebelMouse footer
* Million Cameras
* Flash Memes
* Puppies on the Vine
* Secret IPO
The ability to curate by pulling UGC from hashtags and Twitter feeds belongs to the paid version of the platform, so it is not feasible for the independent journalist on a shoestring budget. Knowing how the platform can be leveraged for unique UGC curated events, however, is worth keeping in mind. The free version, though, offers an elegant solution for pulling social media posts into one online site. Again, this creates a more visually sophisticated presentation than periodic blogging and a Twitter feed can create.
The Two Options
The following tutorial shows how to set up an account on RebelMouse; considerations to take when deciding which social media platforms to link to; and how to add RebelMouse to your site using embed code.
An additional benefit: RebelMouse sends me emails with share codes of my content that I could forward to lists or publish to other social profiles.
RebelMouse is free, fairly self-explanatory, and useful for culling the content individuals post across the web and putting it in one visually pleasing venue. It can be embedded directly into a personally hosted website or act as a stand alone website. Give a try and see how you like it. I would love to hear your feedback!