Photos Archive

Announcing the Birth of Elizabeth Josephine Carson

Our beautiful daughter – Elizabeth Josephine – was born today – 13th March 2014 – in Seattle, weighing in at 8 lbs and 8 oz.


Ashley was totally amazing and Elizabeth is now feeding delightfully and about to have a long nap!


We can’t wait for baby Elizabeth to meet her thrilled big sister Maggie!

Now for some sleep……..

Digital Marketing Conferences are a Lot Like London Buses

I remember my first post on the Microsoft adCenter Blog (now Bing Ads) was similarly titled to the above. I’d just got back from about three conferences in a week that had crept up on me after a drought of face-to-face contact with people in the industry.

Well, 7 years on and this summer has been pretty bonkers in that regard.

First there was the BrightEdge #Share13 event in August during which I spoke about loving links beyond SEO on behalf of Majestic, who I have had the pleasure of being their US Brand Ambassador for over a year now.

Mel Carson #SearchLove

On Stage at Distilled’s #SearchLove Conference

Then it was off to San Diego for #SearchLove organized by those lovely guys from Distilled. There, I was asked to speak about the book and kicked off proceedings by Celebrating the People Behind the Pixels. It was one of those conferences where your brain bleeds with the influx of new and scintillating information. Thanks to them for the invite. I’ve only just recovered!

Finally it was back to San Francisco for SES and a solo session on The Marriage of PR and Social Media, which went well enough for me to hopefully get asked back in the new year for their New York event.

Next week I’ll be in New York for SMX East and then Vegas for Pubcon, so you can imagine how the missus feels about it!

During the BrightEdge event, I was interviewed by the fabulous Murray Newlands from Search Engine Journal which you can view above. I was talking about how you can use Majestic link data to discover influencers for PR outreach, especially as it’s so easy to see competitor link information.

I’ll also be spending 3 weeks with the family in the UK during November for meetings and a couple speaking gigs, so will be getting a few pints of real ale and pork pies in to satisfy my cravings!

If you’re in London in November, let me know as I hope to meet up with some old faces while I’m there!

Nokia Lumia 920 Review – Solid Camera & Fab Business Phone

It’s been a little over a week since I picked up the new Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone from AT&T and I’ve been putting it through its paces. Whenever I get it out people ask me what I think, so I’ve consolidated those thoughts in this post that I hope you find useful when thinking about buying one.


The major selling point for the Lumia 920 is the camera. I was given the Lumia 900 when I worked at Microsoft so I could evangelise about it and I found the camera to be lacking.

18 months ago I’d  picked up the original Samsung Focus and the camera was faultless. It did me proud through the birth (not the ACTUAL birth) of my daughter and her first year on the planet. When I got the Lumia 900, it took so long to take the picture the adorable thing Maggie was doing was over and she’d invariably left the room!

I can happily report that the Lumia 920 has got its camera act together and it takes good photos. I have a Panasonic Lumix G2 with pancake lens that takes amazing photos. So it should, it’s an expensive camera. The 920 is a phone with a camera, so don’t expect Leica quality.

Let me take you through a few photos I’ve taken. The coffee cup above was the first photo I took and it’s not bad. Notice the slight blurring of the background. Nice!

Vanessa Fox on Creating Google Webmaster Tools

This article has been reposted from the Pioneers of Digital Blog

Anyone who has used Google has been exposed to the groundbreaking work started by Vanessa Fox in 2005.

That’s a lot of people.


The 7th in our Pioneers of Digital series we’re blogging before the book launches in the UK and the US, is now founder of Nine By Blue, a Seattle-based marketing intelligence firm and author of Marketing in the Age of Google.

During her time at Google she took on a project that was described by her boss at the time as, “an experiment that will either fail miserably, or succeed beyond our wildest dreams, in making the web better for webmasters and users alike.”

It succeeded. And you can read in the book all about the way Vanessa, who was working out of their tiny Kirkland office at the time, persuaded engineers at Google’s Mountain View HQ, and the industry as a whole to help her create one of the most visited intelligence tools and community on the web.

Pioneers of Digital launches on October 3rd – pre-order your copy now by visiting Buy Pioneers of Digital Book and check back soon for the next ‘reveal’.


Mel & Paul

PS: If you liked this snippet from the book, please share it with your friends and followers using the buttons below and help us spread the word!

Zhang Minhui from China’s Sohu on Advertising to Half a Billion Users

This article has been re-posted from the Pioneers of Digital Blog.

Zhang-Minhui-sohu-Pioneers-Of-Digital in China has the largest combined search, social and entertainment portals in the world. With over 505 million internet users – more than the entire population of the USA – Sohu contains many of the world’s most populated sites.

Zhang Minhui managed Sohu’s brand advertising and commercial content across its digital platforms during the key years of growth from 2002-2010, which makes him one of the most influential pioneers of digital.

Minhui negotiated how marketing would work through search, social, gaming, mobile, news and interactive media. Where Sohu created the formats, Minhui made it commercial.

A chapter profiling Zhang and Sohu also traces the four key periods in China’s recent and groundbreaking digital history.

Pioneers of Digital launches in October – pre-order your copy now by visiting Buy Pioneers of Digital Book and check back soon for the next ‘reveal’.

PS: If you liked this snippet from the book, please share it with your friends and followers using the buttons below and help us spread the word!



Denzyl Feigelson – Apple iTunes Visionary & Artists Without a Label Founder

This post first appeared on the Pioneers of Digital Blog: Denzyl Feigelson – Apple iTunes Visionary & Artists Without a Label Founder


Number 4 in our series is Denzyl Feigelson, the iTunes Store music visionary who came up with the 99c download and devised a way for Artists Without A Label to drive their own careers .

In earlier careers, he helped African artists working with singer-songwriter Paul Simon to break the US and became the first online florist to make a fortune with endorsements from Quincy Jones and Oprah Winfrey. For Feigelson, his radical ideas for the music industry preceded technologies that allowed them to happen.

The story of how they came about owed much to timing, persistence and an amazing life journey.

Our chapter profiling Feigelson traces his rise from music graduate and producer working in South Africa during volatile times, through to quitting the music industry, buying a farm in Hawaii and, several eureka moments later, paving the way for acts such as the Klaxons and Arctic Monkeys to find their audiences online. 

Pioneers of Digital launches in October – pre-order your copy now by visiting Buy Pioneers of Digital Book and check back soon the next ‘reveal’.


Mel & Paul

P.S. Please help us generate awareness of the book by sharing this post using the buttons below!

Danny Sullivan – Helping Search Marketing Be "Legitimate and Valuable"

This feature on Danny Sullivan was cross-posted from the Pioneers Of Digital Blog


The third in our series of posts revealing our Pioneers of Digital is Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land.

A trail-blazer in the very important but often misunderstood (and underutilized) area of digital – Search Engine Marketing – Danny fell into journalism and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) through a burning passion to “understand things” by taking those things apart and reassembling them, helping anyone keen to learn from him understand the essence of whatever “it” was in a much more accessible way.

The chapter charts from 1996 the inception and success of his former brainchild Search Engine Watch, how he launched some of the best attended digital conferences in the world, what happened when he invited a representative from Yahoo! to attend the first one in 1999, what he does with his Lego, and his mantra for success in a fast-paced industry like online advertising and internet marketing.

The book launches soon, so pre-order your copy now by visiting this page: Buy Pioneers of Digital Book and check back soon for number four out of our twenty digital pioneers.


Mel & Paul

Jess Greenwood from R/GA on Creativity & "Being Interested"

Jess Greenwood

This article on Jess Greenwood has been x-posted from the Pioneers of Digital blog.

Last week we revealed Avinash Kaushik from Google as one of our Pioneers of Digital.

Today, we’re pleased to say Jess Greenwood, formerly from Contagious Magazine and now at R/GA, also agreed to be interviewed about her fantastic work at the London-based magazine and the growth of the publication and off-shoot divisions as “must go to” sources of industry creative inspiration and trends.

During a career that has had many twists and turns, Greenwood first became aware of the power of digital through a BBC comedy and the online community that grew up around it.

In her chapter, we’ll tell you what that show was, give you her sound advice for measuring the effectiveness of advertising online, and let you have some strong pointers as to what personal traits are needed to get into and survive in the industry.

To order the book visit this page Buy Pioneers of Digital Book and check back soon for insight into our next Pioneer!


Mel & Paul

Smart Offline Real Estate Marketing


In the US, most houses for sale will have some kind of collateral outside with the “For Sale” sign. It’s normally in a waterproof plastic box and is a two-sided piece of paper with photos and house details to give you a sense of what the house is like and who to contact if you want to get inside and have a look.

This house caught my eye though. The owner had been smart enough to laminate the reverse side of the bumph and staple it to the post.


The amount of times I’ve taken a piece of paper out and then discarded it (responsibly) because it didn’t fit the bill runs to many fingers and hands. With this simple step, the owner or relator enables the house-hunter to read the ALL the details without having to touch the box, waste any paper or potentially litter the streets of Seattle.

It was a really simple gesture that I’d never seen before and I felt compelled to share it!

Seen anything so geniusly simple recently you want to share it below?

Giddy On Up to Pioneertown Motel and Pappy and Harriets

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When my brother-in-law Josh suggested the whole family go to a place called Pioneertown for a few days, we weren’t too sure what we were letting ourselves in for.

By “we” I mean Ashley, Maggie and me, Josh and his wife Colleen and toddler Julia, their sister Aubrey and her husband Chason and the sisters’ parents Bob and Nancy.

Yes, in all TEN of us!!!

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We had a blast.

Pioneertown is in California, about 30 minutes from Palm Springs and near the Joshua Tree National Park. It was built in the 1940s to be a set for western films and TV shows.

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We were staying at the Pioneertown Motel who looked after us very well. Eccentric but clean rooms, they provided little kitchenettes, coffee and water even though we were only paying about $60 per night!

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The main drag was pretty empty when we got there. This saddle-maker was open at the weekend and there’s a really good pottery that sells some nice wares, but all in all it’s generally a tourist destination to visit for a few hours, or somewhere to use as a base to explore the park, which I’ll write about in another post.

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The highlight for me was the night we spent at the local BBQ restaurant which is in the town and only open a few nights a week. Pappy and Harriet’s does quite the most amazing food. The chef told us they get through over 500lbs of beef a week!

Josh and I cracked out our Outlier set and did 3 songs at the Monday night open mic spot which was great fun……..before we got stuck into the tequila and the rest is a bit of a blur!

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Being there in March was great as the days were very warm (75 degrees), but as soon as the sun went down it did get chilly.

Thanks from all of us to Josh for his enthusiasm in getting us all to go down there. Really recommend a few days at the motel, if only for the novelty value and a fantastic steak at Pappy and Harriet’s.

If Pioneertown doesn’t grab you, Joshua Tree National Park will, so check back in a few days to read about that!

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