Think Like a Product Manager Too (Video)

Video of my 2014 Keynote Speech from this year’s Blogging While Brown is up. Check it out and let me know what you think. You can download the presentation here. Feel free to leave comments and spread the word.

2014 Blogging While Brown Technology Keynote Markus Robinson -Think Like a Product Manager Too

2014 Blogging While Brown Keynote

I was blessed with yet another opportunity to be the Technology Keynote Speaker at this year’s Blogging While Brown (2014). My presentation was entitled “Think Like a Product Manager Too”. To be completely honest, I had been racking my brain about this presentation for quite some time. It was not because I wasn’t confident speaking on technology, but instead, I’ve learned that the more products I build, the more I’ve realize that the technology is a whole lot less important than understanding your customer and your product.

Markus Robinson

Markus Robinson 2014 Keynote

The way I see it, it doesn’t really matter what language your application is written in, which CMS your blog is hosted on, or which technology stack you choose to run your services on, instead, your focus should be on making sure that your product has a market (product market fit), and that your audience/customers know, understand, and most importantly love your product. Ultimately, your customers don’t know and really don’t care about your technology.

So, with that said, I decided to shift the focus of this year’s presentation away from technology to discuss the techniques I’ve used to attract, and activate the right audience with just a little time and effort.

So, without further adieu,

Download the Slides

Download my 2014 Blogging While Brown Presentation


(Video) 2013 Blogging While Brown Keynote

You may recall I had the esteem pleasure of keynoting the 2013 Blogging While Brown. had amazing coverage of the event. Check out my keynote speech and the wrap up!



Blogging While Brown 2013 Recap

I was honored with the chance to keynote this year’s Blogging While Brown Conference this past Saturday (June 22nd). My presentation entitled “Data Driven Blogging: Treat your blog like a product”, (hopefully) inspired bloggers to stop focusing on gaining traffic, and start focusing on activating users.

For those who don’t know the background; my business partner and good friend Angela Benton and I keynoted the first ever Blogging While Brown Conference back in 2008 (which in internet years was 20+ years ago). Our presentation entitled:  “The Ultimate Blogging Experience”, highlighted the platforms, widgets/plugins, designs, layouts, and SEO tips to help enhance your blog. The timing of this presentaion was epic! In 2008, not a whole lot of bloggers were thinking along the lines of SEO, social networks, and design and layout. Fast forward to 2013, where plugins are plentiful, templates are easy to find, everyone’s writing about blogging tips, and everybody and their mommas (literally) have Twitter and Facebook accounts.

So, when Gina Mccauley, the founder of the Blogging While Brown Conference, asked me to speak on the technical components of blogging and social media, I got a little nervous. My concern, was that most bloggers either already knew, or could easily find the hottest technical tools for their CMS. I then thought that maybe I should just geek out, and discuss hosting providers, cloud services like AWS and Joyent, server technologies to increase speed like using Memcached, Redis, page caching and CDNs. But, then as I started outlining it, I almost put myself to sleep. Not to mention there’s a pretty good chance that quite a few bloggers are using shared blogging platforms like and Blogger to power their sites, and the last thing I wanted to do was leave anyone out of this presentation (after all I was the keynote).

So, it hit me, one of the biggest problems I see with bloggers is that there’s so much focus on traffic, and driving impressions for advertisers, that we’ve forgotten the real reason why advertisers started pursuing bloggers in the first place…. COMMUNITY. So, as I started researching tools and techniques, I figured why not equate the lessons I’ve learned building products, to blogging. I mean, after all blogs are products.

Without giving the whole presentation away, some of the key highlights are to focus on the AARRR Dave McClure’s Startup Metrics for Pirates:

  • Acquisition
  • Activation
  • Retention
  • Revenue (I eliminated the Revenue Part in my presentation.)
  • Referral

Like McClure, I asked bloggers to focus the lion’s share of their time Activating users. For those who didn’t see the presentation, and aren’t familiar, activation simply means getting users to “join” your site. “Joining” could be anything from adding their email address for your newsletters, liking your brand on Facebook, or following your brand on Twitter. I asked bloggers to use the analytics tools in this presentation to determine which activation route to go down. Example: if you’re “winning” (winning = activating more users) on Facebook, double down on Facebook. Same goes for Twitter. One of the most effective acquisition tools for me has been email (I call email the forgotten app).

The tools and techniques shared in the presentation focused largely on plugins and analytics like Mixpanel and Optimizely to help determine the activation route, and simple plugins that would entice users to activate.

Check out the full presentation below or on slide share.

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