About my blog Jesus Bouzada Unfiltered

This is the story of how my blog came about

Sep 16 9 minute read
About my blog Jesus Bouzada Unfiltered

Welcome to my blog, which I named Jesus Bouzada Unfiltered. The name made sense since I will open up and share my ideas about product and technology. Without further ado, let me tell you how I built this blog.

A blog is a product, so to understand how Jesus Bouzada Unfiltered reached this point, we need first to answer the following question: how do products come to life? For products to exist, a product team navigates a number of phases to answer different questions. Come with me into this journey to learn how I, the blog's product team, navigated these phases to build Jesus Bouzada Unfiltered.

What problem am I trying to solve? And, more importantly... why?

Here is the thing (i.e., the what), the product community doesn't know me. I love product, I belong to the product community. There is a gap there that needs to be bridged.

You may think, "OK, I get it, nobody knows you. Why should we?" I have a lengthy career in product development. I've worked internationally driving complex products from ideation to launch for the lead company in energy software. And, beyond what my resume says, I am relentlessly curious, always learning, and passionate about solving people's problems. So, I believe I have something interesting to tell you. Not convinced yet? Read my blogs and prove me wrong .

How am I solving this problem?

There are many ways I could have solved this problem. The options include attend to networking events, increase social media presence, give talks, teach, and blogging to name a few. There was another option, to write and share my ideas. I chose to take this route to begin with, I thought: "I will start from here and see how it goes." In other words, build and iterate.

First at work, and later in class, I have found that writing helps me a lot to focus. For example, I write meeting minutes to stay alert and keep meetings on track. And let me tell you, I do it pretty well. So, writing blog posts was a natural thing to start with for me.

Once the why, the how, and the what were defined (check out literature about the golden circle model), I could set the product goal (i.e., vision), written of course: "The goal of this blog is to share my ideas about product and disciplines related to product development (i.e., leadership), so that these ideas inspire product community members." From then on, everything done around the blog would have to honor its vision, so the vision provides a guiding compass for the product.

Golden Circle Model
Golden Circle Model

Building the solution

The first step to build the solution was to create a placeholder announcing that "the blog is here." I wanted the placeholder to be simple, and yet to provide a sense of the blog design. For inspiration, I searched cool bootstrap blog design templates. I found a few interesting sites including Colorlib and Free Frontend. The latter gave me the final idea, which I got from the Responsive Blog Card Slider. Too much information? Ok, let's move on.

Jesus Bouzada Unfiltered placeholder
Jesus Bouzada Unfiltered placeholder

The placeholder was in place, for how long though? I needed to move fast to keep the momentum, I've seen blog placeholders that stay there for years. Let's step back for a moment, what about planning? The main two components of the plan were the MVP (i.e., minimum viable product) and the roadmap. In other words, what by when.

Feedback from users is the cornerstone of any MVP. In this case, the user persona is a member of the product community (i.e., a product enthusiast). I ran my blog idea by a few close ones. Based on their feedback, I created the feature list of the MVP:

  • The landing page has a cool heading and shows a list of posts
  • Each item on the list is visual and provides a hint about the post
  • The actual post is easy to read
  • Reading time
  • Readers can comment and react to the post
  • Post can be shared in social networks

I planned to hold the launch until all features were finished for this first iteration. While not ideal, I planned to finish it fairly quickly, so it shouldn't be a problem.

With the placeholder, I had come to a few steps forward in the design. However, I did continue researching to finalize the design. A few of my preferred sites provided me a good source for inspiration. These sites included Medium, Inc Magazine, and Forbes. I build on my initial sketch which I had drawn on my small whiteboard.

Jesus Bouzada Unfiltered design sketch
Jesus Bouzada Unfiltered design sketch

In terms of the technology, I continued using the tech stack I chose for my personal web (more about that in a later post). I did use a third-party component to enable comments and reactions to post. I found a couple of options: Disqus and Discourse. While the later offered more flexibility, I opted for the former because it was quicker to implement (and I wanted to launch ASAP).

With the help of Trello, I made sure my WiP was down to one task. Every time I finished a feature, I tested it in my staging area (i.e.: local database). Once all features were done (note: my definition of done is pretty basic for now, just intuition ), the blog was (finally) ready to ship.

Shipping the solution

Shipping my blog is (I hadn't done at the time I wrote this) fairly straight forward. All it takes is committing the last few tweaks to git, push to heroku, and create the post with my database app.

Learning

This stage is critical, and I can only succeed with your help. I assume not many visitors will reach this point, so thanks! Now, shipping the MVP was just the beginning. I have some ideas on how to improve my blog, but I really, really need your help. Some of these ideas include allowing visitors to filter by topic (i.e., hashtag), showing the number of views, providing a subscription option, and providing the option to save for reading later.

Please, leave comments and reactions here, share this post on your social networks, or send me a message. Any feedback you can give me will be of tremendous value for this blog (and me) to get better.

Thanks, and see you again in my next post (coming soon!).

product, sideProject, blog
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