The Real Speakers of SearchLove Boston 2013

Seated on the shoulders of giants

As we may have mentioned once or twice (a week), our very own Mack will be heading off to Boston in May to speak at Distilled’s SearchLove conference. We’re almost excruciatingly proud of her and ridiculously excited about the event.

As we’ve been preparing for Mack’s imminent and inevitable stardom, we’ve spent some time pondering the ranks she is soon to join. Some of the biggest names in our industry will be speaking at this conference and we took a little bit of time to bask in our awe and their reflected glory.

And then we realized how much time we spend thinking of them as giants and superheroes and how easy it is to forget the actual people behind the names.

As we’ve reflected on the journey our company has undertaken to get Mack to where she soon will be, we realized that all of our idols have gone on similar questions, fought their way through similar struggles, and come out victorious.

Oh, the humanity!

Which is why our homework for SearchLove this year was less about delving into the accomplishments and assorted accolades of the pantheon of speakers and more about celebrating the smart, human people whose drive and determination have earned them not just our hero worship, but our genuine respect.

Soppy, we know. But truth is truth.

So, with the cooperation of those same folks, we present to you this little look behind the curtain. We asked them each to answer two simple questions to give us some insight into the people they are. They were gracious enough to reply.

What follows is the web marketing equivalent of a glimpse of Bruce Wayne at his leisure, lounging around the manor in his jim-jams, eating PopTarts and playing MarioKart.

Speakers of SearchLove Boston 2013, we salute you in all your real, live person amazingness.

Thanks for sharing.

Mike Blumenthal

What is your favorite activity to do outside of work?
Besides cooking and eating, it would be biking or cross country skiing with my wife. We live 20 minutes from Allegany State Park and some of the best cross country skiing on the east coast. Both biking and skiing give me the sense of “cheating” nature by overcoming gravity. When the snow is good and the wax is just right, you can get a glide that feels like flying.

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
Having grown up in a dysfunctional family of the 50′s and 60′s I somehow had lost sight of a career dream and all I wanted was to be in a normal family. I am not sure that it helped when I learned though that no family is normal…

Check out Mike Blumenthal’s blog.

Will Critchlow

What is your favorite activity to do outside of work?
My world outside work is increasingly about family these days. I’ve known my wife since college. We got together right after college and got married in 2008. Our daughter was born in 2010 and our son last year.

In activity terms, though, my top non-work, non-family thing is playing basketball. I’ve played since I was 11. Our high school was unusual for the UK in having basketball as a big focus. We went to the national semi-finals twice. I played in college (to give you an idea of that standard, our very best players were bench or walk-on players for D1 schools in the US previously). Now I play for a team in London in the London Metropolitan Premier league (the top regional league below the national leagues). My basketball claim to fame is guarding Steve Bucknall who now plays in our league.

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a kid, I wanted to be an inventor or an astronaut. I used to sketch all kinds of weird inventions – I remember a powered skateboard. We took my daughter to the London Science Museum for her 3rd birthday last week and she was transfixed by the space exhibit. She met a real-life female Russian cosmonaut and now wants to go into space too. Maybe we’ll get to go one day.

Learn more about Will Crichtlow, in his own words.

Annie Cushing


What is your favorite activity to do outside of work?
My fave activity outside of work – aside from spending time with my family (duh) – is shoe shopping. Moar shooz!!!

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a doctor. Until I worked as a candy striper and saw how depressed people were in hospitals.

Find out more about Annie Cushing.

John Doherty

What is your favorite activity to do outside of work?
I have many activities that I enjoy outside of work, so it’s almost impossible to pick just one. My favorites all involve being outdoors, whether that’s riding my bike around Brooklyn, skiing, rock climbing, or camping.

Often I’m able to combine one of these with my other favorite pastime, which is travel. I’m fortunate to be able to travel a lot and can often do so for one of my activities. Recently I was in Colorado skiing, which was my first time skiing in the Rockies. Previous to that I had only skied on the east coast of the US and in Switzerland and France, where I used to live.

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a middle schooler, and even into the first couple years of high school, I wanted to become a doctor. My focus was to be cardiology, so I was fascinated by the human heart and how it works. I remember dissecting animal hearts when I was young to find out how they worked (this was a perk of being homeschooled).

Once I got a bit further into my education, though, I realized that a) I hated science, and b) I would have to do at least 8-10 years more of school after undergrad to become a doctor. I decided it wasn’t for me and pursued writing instead. I’m glad I did!

Check out John Doherty’s blog.

Rand Fishkin

What is your favorite activity to do outside of work?
Actually, I have three (at least right now)

  1. Laying my head on Geraldine’s lap on our couch while watching AdventureTime
  2. Visiting the cornucopia of magical, hipster restaurants in Portland in preparation for our PDX office opening
  3. Heading to Ashland, OR (where we got married) and seeing a play in the OSF’s Elizabethan theatre

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
Originally, a dog. Dogs are surprisingly awesome in a lot of ways, so I told my parents that was my goal. Then I found out that’s not how growing up works, so I switched to biology, with a specific focus on rainforest frogs. Imagine my dismay when I found out that rainforests are humid! (FYI – I hate heat+humidity). That’s probably what drove me to the marketing world. :-)

Get to know Rand Fishkin a little bit better.

Mackenzie Fogelson

What is your favorite activity to do outside of work?
When I’m not working, I really love being outside. And with summer time right around the corner (my most favorite time of year), I’m looking forward to outdoor concerts, bar-b-ques, going to the pool, and spending time with friends.

Before we had kids, my husband Jon and I used to hike and mountain bike a lot during the summer. Now that we have a 2 1/2 and a 5 year old, we have been learning to adjust our expectations a little bit, but still enjoy all the things we love here in Colorado. We’re just starting to get the kids into hiking. We have one rule: no complaining. That goes for adults, too.

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was in the eighth grade, I got 100% on an anatomy test where we had to name all the bones in the body. I still remember coming home from school that day and telling my mom and dad that I was going to be a doctor. Seeing as I’m pretty bad at math, don’t have a knack for science, and am not so crazy about puke and blood, I’m glad I became an entrepreneur.

Get to know our own Mack Fogelson a little bit better.

Ross Hudgens

What is your favorite activity to do outside of work?
My favorite thing to do is hang out with my awesome girlfriend, Melissa. We’re normally going out to happy hours, enjoying the sun on a hike or a patio (we used to live in Seattle), or watching San Francisco-area sports teams (where I was raised).

As a close second I greatly enjoy Crossfit, which is somewhat of a cult these days. It’s a nice substitute in my life for competition where football used to be, which I played in college. Of course, that SEO stuff is tough too!

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a monster truck driver for a time. I used to watch Gravedigger and Bigfoot and think it was soooo cool. That affinity didn’t last for long, though, and was probably one of the most short lived “I want to be x when I grow up” in history.

Check out Ross Hudgens’ blog.

Dr. Pete Meyers

What is your favorite activity to do outside of work?
With a toddler and an infant, I’m afraid the honest answer is “sleep”, a rare and glorious luxury. Post-40, I find myself turning into a bit of a fitness buff. In 2012, I took on a misguided challenge to do 50,000 push-ups over the course of the year, and was amazed to find that the resolution not only outlived January, but I actually did it. That’s spawned a whole new world of dangerous obsessions. My ultimate goal – the one-hand-clapping push-up.

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
Green Lantern. I’m still working on that one.

Get to know Dr. Pete Meyers a little better.

Kate Morris

What is your favorite activity to do outside of work?
Crossfit. When I met my boyfriend almost three years ago, we talked about Crossfit on our first date. Our third date was him actually taking me to a Crossfit class. People in the class thought he was crazy for making it a date, but I think we are both a little insane. A few months later I started working out at a gym near me and been going for over 2 years now. We are not a standard Crossfit, we focus more on strength than most. I can deadlift 257 lbs and squat 220 lbs.

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
A marine biologist. I had a serious love for marine life, and even though I was a bad swimmer (I was bad at anything physical as a kid), I really wanted to work with those animals. So I had the thought to join the Navy maybe (I am an Army brat) and go that way. Alas, I fell in love with business in college and stayed with marketing.

Learn more about Kate Morris.

Phil Nottingham

What is your favorite activity to do outside of work?
Recently I’ve been doing a lot of stage combat choreography (theatrical sword fighting), for an upcoming competition in Russia. It’s kind of like a mixture between a sport and a performance discipline and I really enjoy the mix of physical skill and creative flair required to get a fight looking good.

The stage combat community are also a fantastic bunch to hangout with, so all fitness gained through wielding a rapier is fairly quickly counteracted with several pints in the pub.

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
I think I’ve wanted to do everything at some point in time during my childhood. Like all boys between the ages of 4 and 8, I wanted to be a superhero.

Then I wanted to be a professional footballer until the age of about 10. I think I then went through a phase of wanting to be a historian, and then from about the age of 14 to 18 I was very serious about becoming an actor until I decided that directing was more fun.

Find out a little bit more about Phil Nottingham.

Rob Ousbey

What is your favorite activity to do outside of work?
My favorite thing? Tough. I could say that I enjoy hacking together MVPs of startup ideas. I could say that living in Seattle has been wonderful because I can go hiking on the coast, on a volcano or even in a rainforest.

I could also admit how much I love playing boardgames, and am now working on designing my own.

But honestly, all that’s changed in the last year, because my favorite thing now to is hang out with my wife and son. He’s just turned 1 year old, and it’s like we get to rediscover what the first years of our life were like, all over again.

Each day it’s more fun to hang out with him, since he keeps learning how to do & say more hilarious things.

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
The first thing I ever wanted to be was a radio presenter, from when I was 3 years old. Then I wanted to be a magician, then in the circus, and then I wanted to be a pilot. Then I wanted to be a lawyer, then an engineer, and then a radio presenter again.

The only one I ever achieved was being a radio presenter, but I still enjoy doing the occasional magic trick when the mood is right.

Get to know a little bit more about Rob Ousbey.

Neil Patel

What is your favorite activity to do outside of work?
I love partying with my friends…I’m a big believer that you should work hard and play hard.

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
Doctor.

Learn more about Neil Patel.

The curtain falls

And so we withdraw and leave Batman to his own amusements.

We’ve certainly enjoyed the little insights that these fantastic human beings were willing to share with us. (And we’re a bit saddened that the siren song of Search has deprived the world of so many potential doctors. And the occasional dog. Sad for the world, maybe, but happy for us).

We’re looking forward to the chance to spend some time when these phenomenal people and we hope to see you there, too. Let us know if you have any questions for them.

We can’t promise they’ll answer, but we can promise we’ll pass them along.

Also, as a point of interest…what’s your favorite not-work activity and what did you want to be when you grew up?

 

 

One Response to “The Real Speakers of SearchLove Boston 2013”

  1. Phil “Sheriff of” Nottingham is into swordplay – of course :)

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