RebelMouse is a visual publishing platform that aggregates a user’s Facebook and Twitter streams to create a personal hub page. Meet Paul Berry, its founder, in this exclusive interview.
Cendrine Marrouat: Hello Paul, thank you for answering my questions. As a starter, would you tell us a little about you and why you decided to create RebelMouse?
Paul Berry: I was CTO of HuffingtonPost where I ran product, design, engineering and infrastructure. It became clear to me that too many people were struggling to create and maintain a website that was social and beautiful. It was costing them so much money and the results were very bad.
All the experience the team and I have had has led perfectly to being able to solve this big problem in a really great way.
CM: How long did it take you to create RebelMouse? What was its most challenging aspect?
PB: We have a long, long way to go still to match the vision and dream. But I am very excited about where we are now and the reactions we are getting. I left HuffingtonPost/AOL on February 15th but some code had started in December.
CM: What makes RebelMouse different from platforms like Twylah or About.me?
PB: About.me is a very static single page, so the comparison is weak except that RebelMouse is a beautiful place to show the world who you are and what you think about. Twylah is a beautiful product and company I respect a lot.
RebelMouse has the advantage of all the insights and lessons learned from having built HuffPost and figured out meaningful partnerships with Twitter, facebook etc.
CM: Who is the average user of the platform?
PB: I believe anyone who uses Facebook and Twitter is going to be delighted by RebelMouse. The first users will be the more influential people on the Internet who understand publishing and social.
CM: Since its public launch in June, RebelMouse has garnered more than 12,000 signups. According to you, what are the reasons for such success?
PB: We’re at 20,000 sign ups now :) I think we have something that really delights people and surprises them, there’s a magical feeling seeing what was a relatively dry stream of text turn into this visual social site.
CM: What is next for you and RebelMouse? Do you have any plans to integrate with other social networks like Google+ or YouTube?
PB: Absolutely – Instagram, Google+, Gmail, Tumblr, RSS in general. But also we’re going to help people find the content and people they want to publish/curate and follow.
CM: Where can people find more information on RebelMouse?
PB: We are using RebelMouse for ourselves to keep people updated so you can follow us at www.rebelmouse.com/rebelmouse
CM: Any last words?
PB: We are in the very early days of RebelMouse so I can’t emphasize enough how much we love getting people’s feedback, fielding questions and having others be a part of the collaborative process of iterating and evolving through the product. So come join us, and let us know your thoughts!