Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars 20 stories "that span multiple disciplines, platforms, campaigns, and industries across the digital space", 30 Nov 2012
This review is from: Pioneers of Digital: Success Stories from Leaders in Advertising, Marketing, Search and Social Media (Paperback)
Those innovators who pushed the boundaries of what is possible through the Internet and WWW include Time Berners-Lee, Bill Gates, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, and Steve Jobs. As Paul Springer and Mel Carson correctly note, there are other, less renowned pioneers of digital whose stories also "span multiple disciplines, platforms, campaigns, and industries across the digital space." Springer and Carson focus on 20 of them as well as on "the pioneering territories of the world that are taking up the digital challenge" and in the final chapter, as they explain, "we've reflected on the main issues, views and, in some cases, counter-logic from the cases that define these pioneers' views from commonly held assumptions about digital."

I recognized only a few of the 20 pioneers' names and previously knew little (if anything) about them so I especially grateful to Springer and Carson for what I learned as I read their book. I also appreciate the fact that they do not use a template when presenting their mini-profiles of them. This "customized" approach is eminently appropriate, given the differences between and among those discussed. They conclude each mini-profile with a "Sound bytes" section followed by "Further reading" suggestions.

Here are several of the 20 and an indication of what each has contributed thus far:

o Thomas Gensemer has pioneered cause-related community building.
o June Cohen has created cutting-edge digital media experiences since 1991.
o Gurbaksh Chahal has pioneered performance-based online advertising since the WWW was established (1993).
o Jaron Lanier "is an internet visionary, creator of virtual reality technology, bestselling author, musician, composer, industry pundit and social media cautioner, who now questions the very technological ideology he helped create in the 1980s."
o Angel Chen has provided "the strategic brains who marshaled advertisers and clients to push the potential of digital in advertising in China."
o John Winsor is an author and strategic thinker, "now best known as the founder of the world's first advertising agency built on crowdsourcing principles."
o Avinash Kaushik continues to be "an energetic and passionate evangelist for web analytics and results-oriented digital marketing."
o Malcolm Poynton is the executive creative director who produced the first full web-serviced advertising campaign.Lastminute.com
o Ajez Ahmed has been from the very beginning "a pioneer of digital media advertising."
o Martha Lane Fox is "one of the original dotcom entrepreneurs from England [who] co-founded travel and e-commerce company [...]."
0 Stephen Fry is a "celebrity, early-adopter of technology and all things digital, who is globally revered as a prolific blogger, Twitter power-user and technology industry commentator."

Springer and Carson devote 7-10 pages to each of the 20, explaining in greater depth unique contributions as well as insights gained from successes and failures, and issues that may be of relevance and value to their reader. In Chapter 21, they discuss "Pioneering places" (China, India, and the Middle East), then in Chapter 22, they suggest a number of lessons than can be learned from the 20 "pioneers." Also of special interest to me is the material provided in "Ten steps to becoming a digital pioneer, from the people who got here." (Pages 207-208) Paul Springer and Mel Carson conclude with these observations: "The 20 pioneers of digital in this book are significant, not just for what they've done, but for what can be learnt from their experience. Apply the lessons from their success stories in advertising, marketing, search and social media, and in 10 years' time someone might just write digital's next chapter about you."

As indicated earlier, I am deeply grateful for what I have learned about women and men who have accomplished - and will continue to accomplish - far more than many of us realize and appreciate. Moreover, the same can be said about countless others throughout the world, also deserving of recognition and praise. All of them are now creating or refining the digital future that awaits.
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Robert Morris
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Location: Dallas, Texas

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