Using Content Management Tools to Unleash Local Media

Rebelmouse, the creation of Paul Berry, ex-CTO of the Huffington Post, is a publishing platform that curates articles from the tweets, retweets and links from Twitter and Facebook accounts and displays them in the now popular Pinterest-tile format. The new platform validates how easy it is to leverage social media for publishing.

Berry explains: “Rebelmouse makes hyperlocal publishers hyper-efficient. Any local publisher can use Rebelmouse for the curation of local news just as we did at Huffington Post for specific cities like Los Angeles. We then layer on an algorithm that allows interesting and relevant content to rise to the top; this enhances editorial efficiency. Finally, Rebelmouse automates the display of news in a clean tile format. Future iterations of Rebelmouse will allow publishers to categorize content to create ‘newspaper sections.'” He says that the service isn’t only for larger media companies like NBC — in fact, a large part of the focus is on making it easy for locals to create their own community media resources.

Here’s a demonstration on how local publishers can aggregate best of breed local Twitter feeds and compile a newspaper in 5 minutes. On the Rebelmouse dashboard, simply add the Twitter feeds that link to relevant local content (here are five for San Francisco).

Rebelmouse captures the links from the designated Twitter feeds, applies an algorithm to identify good relevant content over banal tweets, and then instantaneously publishes a portfolio of local news.

Curation and publication tools are not limited to Rebelmouse; Twylah,, and Postano also facilitate social media sourced news publication. These tools will contribute to the development of networks of local publications where only one or a few existed in a city before. This unleashing of media moves citizen journalism into the realm of citizen publishing simply because the tools for content management have advanced to the plug and play level. The difference is, as Berry points out, efficiency; as little as ten years ago, it took hundreds of man hours to create an online newspaper from scratch.

Patrick Kitano is founding Principal of Brand into Media, a strategy group for social brand management solutions, and administrator of the Breaking News Network, a national hyperlocal network devoted to community service. He is the author of Media Transparent, and contributor to Social Media Today, Daily Deal Media, and The Customer Collective. He is reachable via Twitter @pkitano and email

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