Rebel Mouse Makes It Easier for Others to Understand You
Last week Paul Berry, former CTO of the Huffington Post, launched his new Rebel Mouse social aggregation service. My first reaction was, “Oh great! Just what I need, another social media service.” However, as I like to keep abreast on new technologies and platforms can change how we work and live, I thought I would check it out.
I was pleasantly surprised by what I found.
A Bit of an Epiphany
I wasn’t surprised by Rebel Mouse’s feature set (although it is quite rich: not only can you aggregate social streams, you can add posts, invite contributors, and analyze all of your traffic—giving you a new blogging and publication option beyond Tumbr, WordPress and SquareSpace). What I was surprised by was a more visceral reaction:
Rebel Mouse took my social media stream and made it much easier to grok.
One Dimension Is No Longer Enough
Twitter greatest strength, its simplicity, is also a weakness. Twitter’s one-dimensional, time-based streams tend to get overwhelmed by noise-of-the-day. Step back through someone’s Twitter stream and you will see clusters of Tweets about Yammer, then Tweets about the Facebook IPO, then Tweets about Instagram, etc. Even worse, the stream consists almost entirely of fonts of single size (only using color to differentiate hyperlinks).
Facebook’s Timelines improve on this by adding inline photos and videos, expanding upon the amount of text you have, etc. However, it is still a one-dimensional (time-based) stream. Tumblr is the same (albeit prettier).
These approaches present information in a way that requires a lot of conscious effort to consume. This was fine when social media services were small. However, it not scalable to size of social networks today.
Rebel Mouse: Moving Beyond One Dimension
Rebel Mouse, does not just aggregate your content; it presents it in way that makes it easy for others to subconsciously consume. This is not only achieved by its use of the Masonry layout (now better known as the “Pinterest-style UI”). Rebel Mouse adds some clever UI design elements that let you easily—in less than a second—visually grok the topic of the post, see what you added social content, and differentiate this from comments, shared source material, etc.:Continued on the next page