Pioneers of Digital Archive

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!

SearchLove San Diego – At Last I get to Speak at a Distilled Event!

I’ve only just got back from a family holiday in San Diego, but I’m jolly pleased to be going back in a couple of weeks to speak at SearchLove.

Watching Will and the team’s events with envy from afar for all these years, I pitched to talk about Pioneers of Digital at their California conference and they said yes!!

Not only am I speaking but I’m kicking the whole thing off, so no pressure!


Paradise Point

Not sure about the venue though. It describes itself as a private island paradise, so who’d want to spend a couple of days and nights there huh? I mean really!

Luckily I have friends like Kate Morris, Rand Fishkin, Ian Lurie and Joanna Lord to keep me sane while I endure Paradise Point at SearchLove San Diego! Winking smile

I’m seriously grateful to the team for having me talk on the same agenda as these guys. Seriously.

And I look forward to blogging and twittering all about it during the event so you can hear all the digital marketing goodness they will have to share.

If you’re interested in coming along and joining us, here’s the line up and register here.

CEOs and Social Media, SearchFest, Covario and Book Launch

Well that was one of my resolutions blown out of the water wasn’t it?!

I promised myself that I’d be way more scheduled in writing blog posts and getting them up and out, but a month since my last post here is not what I was aiming for, so here’s a quick run down of what’s been going on in my world.

The business is going well. I’ve just written a post on CEOs and social media personal branding. Read it and tell me if you agree (or not) that there’s an opportunity there. Just after Christmas I presented a strategy to a major brand and they loved it. Can’t say who, but it gave them and their PR teams a lot to think about and execute on. I’m really chuffed it seemed to work for them.


Pool at Parker Hotel in Palm Springs

Last week I was in Palm Springs for Covario’s InflectionPoint conference with Dixon Jones and Majestic SEO. It was a fantastic trip (nice to get some sun) and I learned a lot from the brands that were there and the Covario guys who were not in the least bit salesy with their information and case studies. This year is all about “content marketing” was the take away. Mobile is already here and if you’re not playing in that end of the pool, you might end up in a spot of bother, especially if the recession loosens its grip and budgets get more fluid.

Top notch job there from Covario and their CEO Russ Mann.


Paul Springer, Carolyn Everson, Moi & Andrew Sampson

The book launch in London at JWT a few weeks ago went really well. Carolyn Everson from Facebook was there, as was Stephen Fry’s biz partner Andrew Sampson who has done a great deal behind the scenes to help Stephen and his digital presence.

There must have been about 70 people show up and have a little drinky to celebrate Pioneers. Really happy with the turn out and the feedback (especially from students) as to what people thought about the book.

Got some special news to announce in the coming weeks about all that soon as well!

Now I have a few client deadlines out the way, I’ll be concentrating on my presentation next week at SearchFest in Portland.

I’m talking with the simply marvelous Joanna Lord from SEOmoz on Digital Evangelism.

Should be a good sesh. I have the utmost respect for Joanna and her work.

So that’s it in a nutshell.

Maggie remains delightful so I’ll signoff with a recent photo of her posing for the camera and saying CHEEZE!!!!


Have a great rest of your week!

Amazon Reviews, New Pioneers and IAB UK

It’s been another very busy week for Delightful Communications. I’ve signed another client up for some social/digital strategy work and training, and delivered a personal branding audit for a major CEO.


The new Pioneers we’ve added are John Winsor from Victors & Spoils (now part of the Havas Group), Angel Chen from WPP’s OgilvyOne, the fabulous Carolyn Everson formerly from MTV and Microsoft and now the head of global marketing solutions at Facebook and Jess Greenwood the former Contagious Magazine writer who is now at R/GA.Book reviews on Amazon US and Amazon UK have been astounding. I think we’ve had about 16 now and nearly all have been 5 Star.

We’ve sold out on the US site and our publishers are upping the ante to make sure people don’t have to wait to get their hands on a copy.

That, plus the launch in London next week should see some additional exposure. I spoke at the Microsoft Trends Council last week, and I have had a number of queries about other speaking opportunities that you can see (if they come off) when I update my professional speaker page.


Stephen Fry on the cover of our Facebook Page

Lastly, we have started a 4 part series of articles for the IAB in the UK starting with this: What content providers can learn from Stephen Fry. They’ve kindly let us talk about some of the Pioneers and the lessons learned and are conducting a Twitter competition along with it too!

Can’t wait to get to England next week to see family, for the book launch and to see clients.

If you’ve not got your copy of the book you can get it here, and if you have it please, please jot down a review on Amazon for us as they all help!

London in 2 Weeks & Maggie’s Moves

Just 2 weeks until our book launch reception in London. Thrilled JWT have agreed to host it. I remember reading up on their graduate training scheme way back in 1994 and not having a clue where to start filling out the application form.

How things change with the passage of time and a little experience?!


I’m looking forward to spending time with friends and family, as well as shoehorning in a few pints of 6X and other English bitters that I miss quite a bit.

More 5 star reviews keep coming in for the book on Amazon (links here) and we’ve published some more excerpts on Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land, Gurbaksh Chahal from RadiumOne, Jaron Lanier from Microsoft who is the “Father of Virtual Reality” and Vanessa Fox, formerly from Google, she set up their webmaster tools community and now runs her own consultancy and marketing intelligence software called Nine By Blue from offices in Seattle.


Yesterday I spoke about the book at the Microsoft Trends Council in Redmond. A few senior folks showed up to hear me talk about the lessons learned from the book. Feedback was great. I think they find it valuable to hear what others are saying and doing in digital-land, and I think the historical nature of the book lends itself very well to understanding what might work for businesses in the future.

One potential other lesson they raised was practice. The notion that many of the Pioneers have honed their technical and business expertise over many years through experience. More on that on the Delightful Communications Blog by the end of the week.

Lastly, here’s a “cute” video we shot of Maggie just before Christmas of her dance moves:

Enjoy and you’ll here more from me next week!

Book Update, Happy New Year and Fitbit

We’re already four days into 2013, I’ve just done a five mile run on the shores of Lake Washington and I’m writing this before delving back into some fascinating client work.


The book is going well and we have started releasing excerpts from each of the Pioneers so you can get a flavour of what their chapter is about.

Here are the first four: Thomas Gensemer from Blue State Digital, June Cohen from TED, Denzyl Feigelson from AWAL and Avinash Kaushik from Google.

We’ll update you next week with another four and so on. We hope they spur you on to buy the book and share it with friends and family. Winking smile

I’ll be travelling with my family to the UK in a couple of weeks as we have our official “Pioneers of Digital” book launch at JWT’s offices in Knightsbridge, plus I have some client meetings.

The other thing is, I have bought a Fitbit pedometer and think it is simply awesome!


The idea is it tracks your steps and keeps you motivated once it’s synced with your computer or iPhone (which I don’t have ;-() It’s all part of my plan to lose 30lbs in the next 6 months. 30lbs sounds a lot but I want a big goal to aim for.

Pretty much my whole US family is travelling to Phoenix for the 1/2 marathon at the start of March so I’m using that as a goal for fitness and weightloss (and so I don’t have to drag quite so much weight around with me).

Check out the site and see all their different options. I’ve had it since Christmas and it literally doesn’t leave my side!

Happy New Year. Thanks for all the support in 2012. Here’s to a cracking 2013!

Book Reviews and Articles for Pioneers of Digital

It’s been quite a year! Getting laid off, starting my own business and publishing a book that has got great reviews!


The book has been going well according to our publishers and we’re very pleased with all the coverage we have got.

Check this lot out:

USA Today – “Pioneers of Digital makes for compelling reading about fascinating innovators. Their curiosity, passion, drive and enthusiasm for using technology in creative ways to help people connect and interact is both contagious and inspirational.” – 2012 The First Digital Election

The Huffington Post – Pioneers of Digital: June Cohen and How TED Talks Reached You via Online Video

Publishers Weekly – “If you embrace new media and the spell it has cast over advertising and the world in general, this may be your lucky day. Readers will feel like kids in a digital candy shop.”

ForeWord Reviews – “Springer and Carson have done a commendable job of collecting diverse examples representing a wide array of fascinating applications while drawing general conclusions about digital innovation. “Our aim with this book is to inspire,” write the authors. Most readers will find Pioneers of Digital does exactly that.

BlogBusinessWorld – “This book will guide you on a digital voyage around the world, across platforms, and many disciplines as you learn from the successes of the true pioneers of digital.”

TopRankBlog – Pioneers of Digital: How Vanessa Fox Helped Google and SEOs Realize They Were a Perfect Match

SmallBizTrends – “Readers interested in social media or seeking interesting business people for professional inspiration will be more that satisfied. Ultimately read Pioneers of Digital to know what it takes to truly stand out in your field.

Techipedia – Pioneers of Digital: How to be Part of the Next Generation of Internet Entrepreneurs

Contagious Magazine – “The book provides an interesting series of anecdotes focusing on excellent work and success stories along with the lessons that can be learned to have an impact on the digital industry and the wider world.”

If you have read our book, we’d love you to add your thoughts to the other reviews on Amazon US and Amazon UK.

Thanks so much to everyone for your support this year.

Here’s to a fantastic 2013 for everyone!

Seattle Interactive Conference–Speaking on Pioneers of Digital #sic2012

After nineteen months of living in this town I’ve finally bagged a speaking slot at a Seattle event next week…..


The Seattle Interactive Conference is a fabulous couple of days full of insight and cutting edge discussion and I’m thrilled to be talking about Pioneers of Digital on Tuesday 30th at 10.10am in Room 205.

Here’s the blurb:

Tales of the Unexpected from Pioneers of Digital

By 2016 there will be six billion mobile devices, two billion PCs and nearly a billion tablets in the world. As internet consumption keeps growing and the web becomes more crowded, brands will need to stand out and be brilliant like never before.

Taking us on a whirlwind journey showcasing campaigns and Pioneers of Digital from all over the globe, Mel Carson – founder of Delightful Communications & former Microsoft Digital Evangelist – will demonstrate how these examples have stood out and been successful by adapting quickly to new technology and consumer trends.

My talk on the book at the Online Marketing Summit earlier this week went very well. I was slightly disappointed at the lack of real-time tweets until someone pointed out that they were all actually listening to the stories I was telling, so that was nice to hear!

“Captivating” seems to be a word people are using most to describe the content and that’s exactly what Paul Springer and I set out to create!

I hope to see you in person next week at #sic2012, if not you can buy the book and leave a comment on the blog as to what you think and who we should include in the sequel!

Thanks to Morgan Bradley at BPR for helping me get the slot at the Seattle Interactive Conference too.

That Howie has some rock stars working for him you know!

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

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