Social Media Archive

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!

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!

My 5 Start Up Tips for Any Small Business or Consultancy After 3 Months of Going Solo

Yesterday marked exactly 3 months since I kicked off my foray as a start-up by setting up my small business as a consultancy specialising in social media, digital PR and personal branding.

In those 3 months I have learned many things, so thought I could give a little back by jotting down 5 tips based on my experience.


Long and Winding Road

1 – Believe in Yourself

Sounds obvious right? But you need to have the courage of your convictions during the first three months because it isn’t going to be smooth sailing. You have to get your head around a ton of new stuff from accounting, to invoicing, to marketing, to sitting in a café on your own, to the highs of getting a proposal accepted, to the lows of not having phone calls or emails returned.

You shouldn’t be going solo unless you really think you can do it, and really thinking you can do it means you have to have done lots of research and have psyched yourself up into a frenzy of self-belief.

 2 – It’s OK If You Fail

Really it is. I had a lot of self-belief when I left Microsoft, but what has also kept me going is that friends and family have admired my courage and helped me understand that if I gave it my best shot, if I was truly prepared and gave it everything I had and it didn’t work out, then at least I could say I tried.

How many people do you know have started their own business even though they have had a slew of lucrative job offers waiting in the wings? I bet it’s not many. So to branching out on your own is a pretty unique escapade in the grand scheme of things, so if you fail, you fail, but people will think more of you for having given it your best try, and you will think more of yourself.

3 – Know Your Value

When you start your own business a curious thing happens. People get a whiff that you’re just starting out and try and get your services for free or at radically reduced fees “because you need the experience right?”

My advice is to stick to your guns and know your value. If you truly trust your experience and worth then charge accordingly and don’t do free stuff as it sends you on a spiral you’ll find it difficult to get out of.

I don’t charge by the hour. I charge by the project or on a retainer basis because if you charge by the hour, there are only so many hours in the week that you can bill for. You’re restricting your potential and your value to time.

With 12 years experience in digital marketing, companies are paying for that experience and my connections. That doesn’t translate into an hourly rate. It translates into a fee that adds that experience and value into that client’s company and people.

Know what you’re worth and know that you’ll respect yourself better if you turn down work because it cheapens your value.

4 – Keep It Small

After I left Microsoft, I must have asked 50 people for their opinion on what I was about to do. Many had small businesses, agencies or consultancies themselves and most of them them asked if I had grand plans for Delightful. When I said I did, I was repeatedly warned to keep it small. It might sound awesome to be heading up an agency of 25 people with hundreds of clients being billed tens of thousands of dollars a month, but how much of that money is actually going to go into your pocket? How many of those clients are you actually going to interface with? How much of your experience and value will actually be used on real work?

Chances are you’ll be the CEO and buried in payroll, tax disputes, legal wranglings, HR issues and marketing conundrums, instead of actually doing any of the work you love to do. Chances also are that, unless you plan on selling the business, you could earn as much, if not more by being a one man band with a couple of contractors on hand for busy periods.

Keeping it small reduces headaches I’m told and I’ve not had to reach for the professional Advil once in the last 90 days.

5 – Know Your Niche

When setting up your business really try and research your market to find a niche. I knew setting out that if my business specialised in something I could potentially charge more. It would be crystal clear exactly what I did and (sometimes more importantly) what I didn’t do, and it created talking points with potential clients that built trust because I was demonstrating I understood their business problems and could really, REALLY help.

I’ve hung my consultancy on three specific pillars: Social Media Integration, Digital PR and Personal Branding. I tell the story that these were the three areas I had the most success with during my time at Microsoft and it’s true that businesses struggle very often with these channels. I’m not a catch-all marketing agency. I won’t set up your Twitter account or Facebook page. I won’t manage your social online reputation on an on-going basis, but I will set you up and teach you how to do that. I know my niche.

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P.S. Also, read “Million Dollar Consulting” by Alan Weiss. The book sounds ghastly but was recommended to me by Jun Young, so I thought I’d pick up a copy. It’s a remarkable read packed full of advice from how to market yourself, how to write a killer proposal so it gets accepted and how to navigate the minefield of fees and what to charge.

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!

How to Stop Procrastinating!

I am as guilty of procrastinating as anyone who puts off certain tasks until the last minute!

A few years ago I wrote about the book Eat That Frog, which is an excellent quick read to help you get over your stalling.

More recently I’ve read Procrastination too, and found out I’m a maladaptive perfectionist!

The above video is an excellent two minute explanation of why we procrastinate from ASAP Science.

Watch it and learn about “present bias” and “hyperbolic discounting” and then…………………stop procrastinating and get back to work!

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!

That Resignation Email & The Death Of Journalism

Update Weds 26th September 5.05am PST: I’m not publishing any more comments (or gossip) about the individuals involved or any opinion on whether the allegations are true or not. As I’ve said we don’t know if they are. That’s not the point of this post. It’s an opinion piece on the “evolution” of social media and news, not a playground for internet trolls.


Anyone in the media industry in the UK, if not the world, has been exposed today to the #Shicklegate social media explosion radiating out of London right now.

A disgruntled employee resigns and sends out an email with a flurry of accusations about the conduct of their boss. Someone sticks it on Dropbox and it goes viral…….in a big way.

Thousands of people have commented on Twitter using the hashtag and probably millions of Twitter accounts have been reached as a result.

As many are pointing out, this sad episode just goes to show the power of Twitter if the content is juicy enough, regardless of whether it is true or not.


The Sun has run an article which it has now taken down. There’s already a Hitler “Downfall” video live on Dailymotion, but I gather that’s been deleted too.

I think it’s sad because two people’s careers may lay in tatters.

Shickle’s because whatever he says in his defence, it’s unlikely anyone will fully believe him, and Allen because he’ll probably get sued if these allegations are not true, and who’s going to want to work with someone who appears to be logging your every move anyway?

What else lays in tatters is the reputation of journalism for going after page views in lieu of actually checking facts. I know it’s The Sun we’re talking about, but still, the attitude of “publish” and then “oops sorry, unpublish” is starting to wear a little thin.

This one’s set to roll with a lot of Tweets asking if the BBC will talk about it on tonight’s news in the UK.

Let’s hope not eh?

There’s plenty more wrong with the world without worrying about this little spat.

Social Media & Escape to the Country AGAIN!!


Over 3 years ago Ashley and I appeared on the UK property show Escape to the Country.

All these years later, it’s STILL getting repeated (must be more than 10 times now so they’re getting their mileage out of it) and every time I find out through social media.

The above was taken by our friend Katie who lives in Sussex and she posted it to her Facebook page tagging me saying “AGAIN!???”

Another friend, Carey, posted:


But these are friends. People that know us.

What about people who don’t? Well when I know we’ve been on, I love to see what people are saying on Twitter:


All pretty innocuous right? But good fun to eavesdrop on complete strangers’ viewing habits.



My next favourite things is to reply to people who say things like that:


To which I got an immediate reply:


And then:


Now this was all a bit naughty of me and the lady then got chatty and was very nice (that’s why I’ve scrubbed her name out, although you could easily work out who she was) but it just goes to show what kind of feedback social media can provide and just how people react when, as she says, they are “rumbled”.

Food for thought for brands on a bigger scale?

BTW if you’ve seen the show, we couldn’t afford any of the houses as the house market had crashed between when we applied and when we did the filming. It was good fun and Alistair Appleton was a lovely man!

Pioneers of Digital Book Website Launched


Overjoyed to announce that the website to accompany our book Pioneers of Digital has now officially launched.

Designed by Kean Richmond who works for the fabulous Dave and Becky Naylor at Bronco, a UK-based Web Design and Search Marketing agency, the site includes the usual “About” areas and also an advertising blog where we’ll be writing about our adventures writing the book as we run up to launch in October 2012.

We’ll be adding sections highlighting each of the pioneers too, plus a video gallery which should make it a useful, informative and engaging place to get some digital inspiration.

Do take a look and let me know what you think and thanks again to Kean, Dave and Becky!

We’re also building up a following on Twitter and Facebook, so you can pick up all our news there too!

Just putting the finishing touches to the book now, so stay tuned!

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