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on 26 January 2013
This book is a great read if you want to be up to date with the latest innovations and stories that have helped shape modern day digital marketing

The authors have taken a unique approach to talk about digital marketing by providing the reader with a number of stories that focuses on the people that have pioneered the online world that we live in.

Industry leaders are interviewed from digital giants such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Ebay whilst celebrity's such as Stephen Fry share personal stories about the early days of the internet.

I loved the chapter where Stephen Fry talks through the backstory to [...] and how he was launched into the social media world which began with him being "stuck in a lift" and sharing a photo on Twitter!

The book goes on to provide you with first-hand insight into the challenges faced by digital pioneers in an entertaining yet insightful manner. Look out for the story of the Subservient Chicken and Alex Bogusky, whose ad agency came up with the idea. Other great chapters include Jaron Lanier and virtual reality and lastminute.com co-founder Martha Lane Fox.

Learn more about the social media and digital marketing behind Barack Obama's digital campaign and the story behind Gurbaksh Chahal who made $200 million via digital marketing by the time he was 30.

If you are interested in advertising, digital marketing and agencies, search and social media AND like a good story then pick this book up now. A delightful read.
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on 5 March 2013
For anyone who is interested in Digital, Social, Search or even just to hear the thoughts from some of the worlds leading marketing brains - this is the book for you. So many books on Digital give only one perspective on the authors thoughts, this focuses on the pioneers who have led change and continue to change the digital world we live in.

Inspiring, admirable and ascertain for anyone who likes to hear from people like Qi Lu & Stephen Fry in their own words. Who would be in the next book Pioneers of Digital 2 would be my question? Great job.
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on 23 October 2012
This is a must buy, amazing stories from pioneers in digital, stories included; philosophies from the worlds biggest digital agency, learnings from the early days of Lastminute.com, some great creative advice from ad legend Alex Bogusky and some great learnings from Obama's social media guy. If you work in the marketing, digital or advertising industries this book is a must for you. Mel Carson is a great interviewer!
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 30 November 2012
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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on 15 August 2013
This is a very good book and would be of interest to anyone who works or is interested in digital marketing, advertising, social media and SEO (regardless of seniority or organization). In short, if you're involved in digital, then read this book.

It's split into 22 easy-to-read, short and highly digestible chapters that you can fly through at leisure. The first 20 chapters profile `digital' pioneers and over the course of 8 or so pages gives you an outline of their background and how they came to be pioneers. The final couple of chapters look at pioneering hubs and lessons learned. You're not going to find Biz Stone, Sergey Brin, Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs in here - instead, you'll get to read the stories of the unsung stars of digital. The ones who didn't take no for an answer, who tried lots of things (and failed a few times along the way) before they found success. Most of all (and other than Stephen Fry), they're people who don't attract the celebrity limelight such as Brin, Gates, Jobs etc. One name many will recognize is Martha Lane Fox (of lastminute.com fame). They're very clever people whose sole aim is to improve the world of digital. There are similar key themes running throughout all their stories: be positive, be focused, don't give up, and use failure as a platform for success etc etc, but each story is told in a different way - as a reader you're not coming away with a feeling of repetition.

The stories certainly don't say `do X, Y, or Z to become successful' - rather it's up to the reader to takeaway what he/she wants. This is not a `how to' guide, nor a self-help manual. The pioneers' stories are amazing and the nuggets of information you come away with are pure gold. I found that not all the stories were in areas of digital I was interested in, but that's to be expected. I was very fascinated to read about Thomas Gensemer, June Cohen, Danny Sullivan and Avinash Kaushik. Each story concludes with some key takeaway bullets and suggested further reading.

You don't even need to read the book cover to cover - you can just decide which bits to dip in and out of. At the end, there's a very handy jargon buster that comes in useful given the plethora of terms bandied about in digital.

I've taken off one star for the simple reason that at just shy of 18 quid, this is an expensive book. Especially when the Kindle version can be downloaded for less than a quid (at the time of the review). I won't refer to the book again because I've made plenty of notes for follow up. Rather, I've downloaded the Kindle version so I always have the book to hand.
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on 9 January 2013
As a core member of a start-up media and consulting company, I found 'Pioneers of Digital' to be extraordinarily helpful. It goes without saying that in this day in age, companies of all variations are seeking to reach consumers via the Internet. Methods of doing so, however, are frequently misunderstood, especially by those at small and medium-sized outfits. By chronicling the stories of those who have led the dawn of the digital age, 'Pioneers of Digital' provides both phenomenal insight into the importance of tools such as online marketing and social media, and transparent methods for incorporating them into your business strategy.

But the book isn't just for those looking to extract business value from it. 'Pioneers of Digital' is also a work of modern history - the tale of technology in our age and the ways in which it has come to define all of our lives. The late 20th and early 21st centuries can't be understood without reference to the information revolution. 'Pioneers of Digital' provides just such a reference, and is thus a great read for anyone looking to understand the era in which we live.
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on 6 January 2013
Digital is already part of my world but it is daunting and at times scary and I have a lot to learn. Springer and Carson's Pioneers of Digital has proved to be an invaluable guide. In presenting a whole series of case studies it brings to life the fast changing world of digital technology providing both down to earth advice but also a theoretical framework for exploring relevant innovations. It is very clearly written and I particularly like its very human dimension with biographical details of the pioneers, what they stand for and who they are. I recommend it for the non profit world where effective use of digital is becoming the key to effective communication and fund raising.
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on 22 February 2013
This book is more than just about the key people who have had so much influence on the digital world. It is worthwhile reading it for this alone, in terms of finding out about the personalities who dared to dream of what we now consider part of the fabric of the digital landscape. But perhaps what is even more important is how it gives an insight into how these people had the creative thinking and the vision that goes beyond the world of digital. This gives the book a broader value to those interested in what drives people to develop new and innovative ideas, and have the courage and vision to pursue them.
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on 26 October 2012
This is a great book packed with pragmatic insight and informed opinion which I have been able to integrate in to my day to day work in digital. Largely focused on marketing rather than digital products. A quick and easy read for anyone in digital. Highly recommended.

I raised a slight problem with the formatting of the kindle version for the iPad in my original review. The author replied in a couple of days and had his publisher correct the fault and upload a fresh file a couple of days later. A man who has taken his own lessons to heart. Great.
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on 24 January 2013
Really enjoyed these stories. Amazing to think what these unsung heroes have done in their careers. Loved Jaron Lanier and Stephen Fry chapters especially. Pioneering Places chapter was fascinating too. Highly recommend!
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