Home from Europe, Next stop Chicago

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, Life | Posted on 08-06-2010


I survived my Spain & Portugal rugby tour intact, and this Thursday I’m heading to Chicago for a couple of days for the Internet Retailer Conference.

I’m presenting a Twitter workshop on Friday morning titled ‘Twittering Your Way to Retail Success‘  so holler at me if you’re attending or a Chicago local who’d like to meet up while I’m in town.

Rugby tour was a blast. We lost our game baking in the Spanish sun vs Acala 48-41, won our first game in Portugal 32-5 and then lost the final of a local tournament in Caldas 17-5. The highlight of the tour though was Forcado training alongside our host rugby club, the Grupo de Forcados Amadores das Caldas.

For the uninitiated, Forcados are an element of Portuguese bullfighting where a group of 8 blokes essentially tackle a bull by the horns. As Wikipedia puts it: “It’s not uncommon that forcados get serious injuries – in 2008 at least one forcado was in a coma for three days – or even death.” I’ll post some videos later if one of my mates gets them up online.

Rugby Tour to Spain and Portugal

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Life | Posted on 26-05-2010


Expect radio silence from PaullYoung.com (and *gasp* even Twitter) for the next 10 days as I’ll be joining my fellow Village Lions on rugby tour in Spain and Portugal.

We fly to Madrid this afternoon and play a game in Spain this weekend, then make our way to Lisbon, Portugal to take part in a tournament next weekend. There’s also some bullfighting training planned… so assuming I make it back alive I’ll be back in action here in mid-June.

And here’s a great action shot, courtesy of my good mate Christian Averill, of me in the thick of it on last year’s Lions tour of Argentina.

Water in Ethiopia

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in charity: water, Life | Posted on 24-05-2010


Friday morning we were treated to an inspiring meeting at charity: water when the co-chair of our partner A Glimmer of Hope, Philip Berber, came in to the office to share their story & latest news.

Together to date, charity: water and A Glimmer of Hope have provided clean water to over 400,000 people in Ethiopia. There’s still much to be done. You can help. Check out these three videos from A Glimmer of Hope that Phillip shared with us. And if you feel like making a donation to help click through to my fundraising campaign and make a difference.

A view of Burbax, Ethiopia

The Importance of Water

September 2008: Philip Berber & charity: water founder Scott Harrison watching one of the water projects we’ve built together in Ethiopia break ground

Video of the Month: Sept. 2009 from A Glimmer of Hope on Vimeo.

Insipiring stuff right? I hope it inspires you to make a donation – click here right now to do so!

The Best News I Got Today

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Life | Posted on 19-05-2010


Having just read Manhunt (thanks to my mate Billy Bob Bottinick) I find it even more significant that John Wilkes Booth was almost exactly my age when he tried to shift world history by assassinating Abraham Lincoln.

Video Friday charity: water Edition

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in charity: water, Life | Posted on 14-05-2010


I like throwing up a video post every now and then on a Friday arvo as I’m guessing so few of you are working ;).

In honor of my new gig, this week I thought I’d throw up a few great charity: water videos. Enjoy – and if you’re moved, click here to make a donation in my name.

2009 September Campaign Video: The Story of charity: water

The story of charity: water – The 2009 September Campaign Trailer from charity: water on Vimeo.

Promo Video Featuring ‘Time Bomb’ by Beck

charity: water promo featuring “Time Bomb” by Beck from charity: water on Vimeo.

Haiti Unshaken Campaign Video

Unshaken – charity: water’s campaign for Haiti from charity: water on Vimeo.

And remember: you can help. $20 gives one person clean water for 20 years. Make a donation to my campaign right now!

I’m Joining charity: water

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, Internet, Life, Marketing | Posted on 10-05-2010


Two years ago I gave up my September birthday to a new-to-me non-profit named charity: water, little did I know this would eventually turn out to be a life-changing event.

Through this process I learned the full extent of the shocking truth of the world’s water crisis. I learned that close to one billion people lack access to clean water. I learned that unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation caused 80% of diseases and killed more people each year than all forms of violence (including war). And I learned that via charity: water and their 100% model (with every dollar heading directly to water projects) that $20 can give one person clean water for 20 years.

And today, I’ll make this mission the purpose of my work life as I join charity: water’s executive team as Director of Digital Engagement and Fundraising.

There’s a host of reasons I’m ecstatic to join the charity: water team, and not the least the amazing people I’ll be working with, led by our Founder Scott Harrison.

If I had to narrow my motivation down to 3 key items though, it would be the following:

1. The Cause: 1 in 8 people in the world lack access to clean water. It’s a problem that can be solved with the right mix of ingenuity, hard work and cold hard cash. It’s a gigantic task, but there’s few out there more worthy of taking on – the gift of water can truly transform lives.

2. The Model: Every single cent donated to charity: water is used to fund water projects. No waste. Administrative costs are covered by other donors: everything from our team’s wages to the ink in the office printer. No confusion. It’s a new approach to charity.

3. Proven Digital Innovation: A website that looks better than nearly any corporate. Every well that is built is marked on Google Maps. 1.3 million people follow them on Twitter, they were the focus of the first Twestival and they’re even held up as an example by Twitter for other causes. In short, this non-profit is a true digital organization.

Paull Young charity: water from Paull Young on Vimeo.

And the best part of all of this? YOU can help. I want your money, your sweat, your voice and your brain… or any of the above :)

Your Money - Make a Donation

The most important element for the millions without water is access to your money. As I said, as little as $20 can give one person clean water for 20 years. The first thing I’ve done as a charity: water employee is to ‘eat my own dogfood‘ and launch my own fundraising campaign – so if you were going to say congratulations remember there’s no better way to do so than by contributing $20 in my name! (and please do report back on the donation process – there’s nothing like feedback).

Your Sweat – Run a Fundraising Campaign

There’s only one thing I’ll love more than our donors in my new role, and that’s our fundraisers. There’s many ways you can raise money for the cause, you could give up your birthday for the cause just like Alyssa Milano, you could climb a mountain, heck, it’s so simple an 8 year old can do it! The only bounds are your creativity, and if you plan to fundraise for us do be sure to let me know!

Your Voice – Follow us Online and Spread the Word

Even if you can’t donate or fundraise right now there are a range of other things you can do to support us – importantly you can help spread the word and introduce us to your network. Please check out the links below and stay connected:

Your Brain – Share your ideas, your connections, your organizations

Please feel free to reach out to me with any of your ideas or thoughts on how you can help. I’ll always have time for you and every piece of support is valuable.

I know many of you are marketers or corporate folk – I’d love to find ways to get the support of your clients, your employers and your coworkers. Likewise I know I’d like to draw on your professional expertise no matter what your background and skill set.

So if you’re interested in lending your professional support now or down the track please leave a comment or drop me an email, at least then I’ll know I can reach out to you in future without fear of being needy.

I’ll be trying to blog regularly here and share insights on how we continue to develop charity: water’s digital program. I hope you can all subscribe and come along for the ride!


My mate Joe Ciarallo over at PR Newser covered the move, and my former CEO Rob Key wrote a nice post bidding me farewell over at the Converseon blog.

Making a Move From Converseon

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Admin, Business, Life | Posted on 07-05-2010


Today is a huge day. My last full-time day at Converseon after 3 brilliant years… though I’m not moving very far.

Almost exactly 3 years ago today I turned up at Converseon’s NYC HQ straight off a 24 hour flight from Australia completely unsure how my new social media career in the USA would turn out. This was after a 3 month blog world tour, a phone interview from a balcony in Florence overlooking the Duomo, and receipt of my offer letter, alone, in a youth hostel in Venice.

In my offer letter my CEO Rob Key said “As I lay this out, I can say with confidence that I can’t imagine another opportunity that will provide you with the same type of frontline and innovative social media work with such great brands … in a very fast moving, innovative environment that really is doing extremely cutting edge work“. And he couldn’t have been more right.

If I could turn the clock back 3 years I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve had the chance to be a part of long-term social media programs with huge brands like Graco, Telstra, Kohler and many more. I’ve moved up the ranks from Senior Account Executive to Senior Account Director. I’ve been deeply involved in programs that have won more awards than you can poke a stick at – a Forrester Groundswell, a WOMMIE, a Webby, SNCR (twice) and PR News to name a few. We’ve made a real difference with our clients and these efforts have been noticed.

But the reason I can look back with such pleasure is the people I’ve had the good fortune to work with.

Firstly, our CEO and Founder Rob Key – a bloke who has become a really good mate and a constant inspiration. Working closely with Rob has been a blessing, especially since he consistently looks 3-5 years into the future. He’s a brilliant CEO and has continually surprised me with the accuracy of his foresight, as well as his ability to think big for huge brands about how social can change their business.

No less important, a mentor and one of my best mates, the Batman to my Robin, Constantin Basturea. 5 yeas ago when I started up in the blogosphere there was nobody I respected more than CB and he was the main reason I winded up at Converseon to begin with. We’ve been so close over 3 years you could barely fit a cigarette paper between us, and I can testify that his huge reputation in the industry is absolutely deserved.

I could name drop all day, but to pick out a few more I’ve got to say that Mike Moran has probably been the most influential in changing how I think about online communications, online reputation guru Bryce Tom has been my best mate to work with, our CTO Jeff Doak has regularly astounded me with his thinking on influence and online intelligence,  Lindsay Lebresco has been both one of my favorite clients and coworkers and more recently Craig Daitch has inspired me with his passion and brilliant thinking.

Happily for me, I won’t be moving too far away from Converseon. Rob has named me, along with SEO Guru Ted Ulle, as a ‘Converseon Fellow’ and in that role I’ll continue to offer strategic support to our clients.

However, my move away from full-time work here means there are some shoes to fill – so if you’re a social media rockstar (or ninja) let me know and I’ll be happy to intro you to the team. We’re hiring across the board and I guarantee you’ll be working with some of the smartest in the industry.

As far as my next steps… you’ll have to subscribe to this blog and stay tuned ;).

Esquire: ‘Hi, I’m Carol Bartz … Are You an Asshole?’

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, Life | Posted on 06-05-2010


I read this great little first-person interview with Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz and came away pretty impressed with her.

What stood out the most though, was if you change ‘Rattlesnake’ to ‘Red-Bellied Black Snake‘ in this par and she could very well be talking about my very own Grandma!

One day, my brother and I were in the machine shed when we heard a rattlesnake above us. We didn’t think about running for my grandfather — we ran for Grandma. She came, grabbed a shovel, poked the snake off the rafter, and chopped its head off. This was a big snake. And she said, “You could’ve done that.”

It wasn’t like she was trying to give us some big life lesson. She just walked away, and that’s the way it was.

Friday Video: Water Creativity from Solidarité International

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Life | Posted on 23-04-2010


The good folk over at AgencySpy pointed me to this great video from Solidarité International - a creative aquascript installation calling attention to the 8 million people each year killed by unsafe drinking water.

Solidarités International: Water talks from La Boite Concept on Vimeo.

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The World Would Be Better If Everyone Watched This Video

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Life | Posted on 16-04-2010


Stealing the headline and content of this post from Gizmodo as this video is so good it is worth sharing widely.

A big hat tip to my kiwi mate Sam Weston for pointing me to this via his always interesting Google Reader shares.


If every person on our blue Earth watched this video, the world would be a much better place. At least for a few minutes. Listen closely to Carl Sagan’s words till the end. It won’t fail to get you teary.

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