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Monday, December 10, 2012


Pioneers of Digital by Paul Springer & Mel Carson - Book review

Pioneers of Digital

Success Stories from Leaders in Advertising, Marketing, Search and Social Media

By: Paul Springer, Mel Carson

Published: November 5, 2012
Format: Paperback, 232 pages
ISBN-10: 0749466049
ISBN-13: 978-0749466046
Publisher Kogan Page

"True pioneers of digital, these innovators have pushed the boundaries of what's possible through the internet and created compelling, entertaining and useful experiences that have touched millions around the world", write communications professor and head of research for Design, Media and Management at Buckinghamshire New University, Paul Springer; and internationally renowned expert on search marketing, social media, and online marketing, and founder of Delightful Communications, Mel Carson, in their inspirational and fascinating digital personality filled book Pioneers of Digital: Success Stories from Leaders in Advertising, Marketing, Search and Social Media. The authors share the their intriguing and revealing conversations with the leading discoverers and innovators in the various disciplines that encompass the entire sphere of digital media.

Paul Springer (photo left) and Mel Carson recognize the innovations and contributions made by the visionary individuals profiled in the book. The digital pioneers presented in the various chapters have careers that cross many different disciplines, various platforms, different campaigns, and many industries across the digital frontier. Intriguingly, the authors point out that the creative people profiled had little idea about how ubiquitous and crucial the internet would be in the lives of people around the world. The various profiles include the identification of expanding and innovative regions of the world, including China, India, and the Middle East, where digital communications are being created and where the lives of people are shaped by those same digital media.

Mel Carson (photo left and Paul Springer present unique insights into the thoughts and vision of the profiled digital pioneers. To provide the information in a consistent form, the authors utilize a format here the individuals explain their digital discipline, tell their story in their own words, analysis of the success of their work, and the main points learned for each of the profiled people.

The authors identified a common set of lessons learned from conversations with the various digital pioneers. Those lessons are as follows:

* Not being original
* Pioneering commercial models
* Repositioning creativity
* Skills convergence
* All platforms and no content
* Running in real time: Not being ahead of the game
* Create something useful and never assume
* Enjoy what you do
* Ten steps to becoming a digital pioneer,from the people who got there

For me, the power of the book is how Paul Springer and Mel Carson combine the insightful interviews and stories of the profiled digital pioneers, with the lessons gleaned from the conversations with the profiled individuals. The authors offer a wide range of profiles that include leading thinkers in an array of industries, platforms, technologies, and disciplines. Despite this wide spectrum approach, the authors provide a cohesive overview of commonalities between the various pioneers.

With this understanding of the traits and ideas shared by the thought leaders, the book becomes more than an anthology of profiles. Instead, it becomes a treasure trove of concepts that guide the reader into the direction of becoming a future pioneer. The various stories have both a standard framework, and a unique sense of the individuals and their vision. The opportunity to learn from the successes of the pioneers, and how to learn from their experiences, transforms the book into a powerful teaching and learning tool for the aspiring digital innovator.

I highly recommend the insightful and success oriented book Pioneers of Digital: Success Stories from Leaders in Advertising, Marketing, Search and Social Media by Paul Springer and Mel Carson, to anyone seeking an anthology of informative and idea filled profiles of successful pioneers in the digital world. 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.


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