Mike Grehan says...

Random musings about search marketing, flying around the planet, networking and people watching.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Another day... another country.

And yes, that's the view from my hotel window, the road to Ventura. I remember once, I was on a train from Los Angeles going to Santa Barbara. I was listening to the radio and just as we were passing Ventura beach on the left, the DJ played an old song By America called... Ventura Highway.

I've been in search a long time, but I have to say, even I think it is so cool that now, with Google rolling out universal, and all other search engines following in line, if you do a search for - ventura highway - at Google, right there, in the middle of the results, you get a video of them performing it live.

I'm very excited about Universal. I'm very excited about the future of the industry. I'm very pissed off that last night some assholes invaded my private in-box suggesting that, perhaps, it would be better if I was dead, not SEO, as I'd written in my ClickZ column.

Unfortunately, I took the bait and posted here. This morning, I deleted the post. I think it is the most abhorrent thing ever, when, having just suffered the death of two of my most treasured and loved family, someone is evil enough to write to me and suggest that I follow them.

But enough of that. There are sick people everywhere, even in search, it appears.

So, the most exciting thing that happened yesterday is... I was reunited with my iPod and camera. I left them in my car when I started this leg of my current tour. My wife sent them to London for me, but, I had left on a plane to Canada. The hotel in London forwarded them to the hotel in Toronto. But by the time they arrived, I was on my way to LA.

The hotel in Toronto then forwarded them to my hotel in LA. You see... even my iPod and camera are independent international travellers. By the time they got here, with all of the overnight courier charges... I could have just bought new ones :-)

Of course, I was in Toronto for SES. This is the first show chaired by my great friend Andrew Goodman. And what a great show it was. And yes, I just *loved* the keynote by Seth Godin. Fantastic!

Andrew and his wife, Carolyn, are coming to my city (Newcastle) for a few days next week. It will be so great to have a pint with him in my local pub (and Carolyn, of course).

So, I left Toronto and headed to LA to spend a couple of days in the office getting to know my new colleagues better and... er... doing work. Which is what you do in an office. I thought I should pop through and see the wonderful Lisa Barone to say hi. Turns out, I got there as she'd just finished reading my ClickZ column :-)

Okay, back on the road. Miami next for SES, Latino. See you there.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sullivan pulls it off big style.

Nobody doubted for a second that Danny and Chris' first show (SMX Advanced, Seattle) would be a success. But boy, what a winner it was!

Congratulations Danny, Chris (the other Chris) and most of all, well done Karen Deweese. Where would those guys be without you? ;-)

It was my first time in Seattle. So the first thing I did, as usual, was find a watering hole. The Sunday before the show was glorious, so a waterside bar was just the thing. This is the Fisherman's... er... bar, or something. Anyway, Bruce, Robert and I had the most wonderful lunch there as we were seven hours early for the show set up (well, it felt like that).

Robert, by the way, is my spiritual guide to the way of all things Bruce. He has learned a lot himself from his Bruceness... But more importantly for me... he knows everybody's name at HQ and I can hardly remember my own sometimes. He's worth his weight in gold just for that. And speaking of Robert, here he is.

And yes... You never thought you'd see it, but here am I all Bruced up and very proud of it.

I spotted this large metal guy swinging a hammer and looking very evil outside the art museum in Seattle. Not at all sure what the heck that was about.

I have more pics but I'm sitting in the Air Canada lounge at Heathrow and my camera (and my iPod, boo-hoo!) are in the glove compartment of my car, as I just remembered. At some point I'll post some of the other pics. But in between, as I'm planning my annual trip to Mother Russia, here's a pic I took of the Red Square in Moscow. What's it got to do with anything? Nothing at all. But It's very unusual to se a pic which has the Mausoleum, St Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin all in the same shot.

I'm looking forward to Moscow, again. It's simply one of the most happening cities in the world.

Having said that, I promised myself again that this year I'd do less travelling. Between now and the middle of next week I'll find myself in Toronto, Los Angeles, Miami and New York. Sure, that's pulling back a bit!
Farewell uncle Peter.

On Friday we said farewell to Peter. A packed church followed him into the church yard, through the trees in the beautiful, golden sunlight, where he was buried a few yards away from his brother (my father).

Peter, you were a gentleman, a quiet man and a giving man. In my whole life I never met a kinder more giving man. I learned so much from you. So much.

Thanks you for those wise words and lessons in life. Now go and poke my father in the eye and tell him off for being such a bully to you sometimes! (Oh and say hi to Paul for me. Tell him I think about all three of you each day).

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Yesterday, my uncle died.

On a day when I was 5,000 miles away from him, my uncle and lifelong, dearest friend, Peter, chose to leave his pain and suffering behind.

My late father's youngest brother has always been there for me. And since my father died, eleven years ago, we've been there for each other.

It was a long weekend in the UK last week. So I got to spend some extra time with Peter. I was talking about my new and exciting opportunity with Bruce Clay. He told me to go for it and wouldn't hear a word about me not travelling until he was well again. Of course, both he and I knew, he was never going to get well again.

I loved you all my life uncle Peter for being such a great friend and counsellor. And I should have checked my diary. You knew I would be away on the eleventh anniversary of my father, your brother, dying. The exact day you chose to go and be with him again.

Wow. How lonely a hotel room can be when you are so far from home and alone with your grief.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Bruce Clay, Inc.
Today is a very special day for me. Today, I officially joined Bruce Clay, Inc., in the newly created position of Vice President, International Business Development. And I have to say, I'm delighted to be working so closely with such a major industry figure as Bruce.



So, here I am in sunny LA, about to have my first day in the office (make that calling in for coffee to say "hi" to everyone, actually).

Bruce Clay already has a presence in the UK as well as South Africa and Australia. I'll be supporting him in strengthening the brand and training in those territories, as well as opening in at least three new geographical territories this year.

So, it looks like my office, once again, will be mainly on a Boeing 777!

So, look out world -- Bruce Clay, Inc., coming to a place near you, soon!

And while I'm blogging this, I should give a quick mention of my pal and fellow Geordie, Jon Myers. He and I worked together last week in London at the New Media Age training sessions and Marketing Week's Killer Search Engine Strategies conference.

And although my wife has slapped me around the back of the head for this, as I'm "not allowed" -- I'll publish it anyway. Geordies in their natural habitat: The curry house :-)