What a month July was! On Sunday 8th July I flew to Seattle to attend MozCon 2018, having won a VIP ticket in a competition by Moz. My submission was a short story about Roger MozBot (Moz’s brand mascot) discovering a time machine, visiting various points in Moz’s past and potential future. You can read it here! (FUN FACT: I only know of 3 people so far who have found the story’s Easter egg…)
When I got back I blogged my notes from two of the lunch discussion round-tables for a post on State of Digital.
And you can see all my tweets, notes, pics, etc. of MozCon and Seattle here.
I also did a talk at Welsh ICE (my coworking space) as part of their ICE Breaker series, which is when members of the ICE community do a 20-minute talk during Wednesday lunchtimes (formerly known as Friday ICE, which used to be held – no surprise – on Fridays). The guys at ICE videoed it and published it to Facebook Live, which I’ve embedded below! 👇
For years and years, it’s been a dream of mine to attend MozCon, Moz‘s annual SEO conference.
Just over a week ago, Moz published a blog post announcing that they would offer a free ticket and accommodation to MozCon 2018 for the best example of a “unique, compelling piece of content telling [them] why you want to come to MozCon.” Examples they gave included blog posts, videos, drawings, slide decks and even songs. Straight away my brain went into overdrive and had a (ridiculous) idea: what if I were to write a story…?
I checked with the Moz team if it’d be ok to do and they gave me their blessing, so I’ve written Roger MozBot & the Time Machine, a short story involving Roger – Moz’s mascot – who discovers a time machine and visits various moments in Moz’s past and (potential) future: a total of 6 different time periods.* Parts of it act as a tribute to why I’ve admired Moz so much over the years and therefore why it’d mean so much for me to finally make it to MozCon. Expect appearances from Mozzers past and present (yes, don’t you worry, Rand is featured – a lot) and a bunch of name-drops of other SEO industry folk, too.
I wanted to do it Choose Your Own Adventure-style (inspired by a speaking gig I did years ago), but a) with only a week until the deadline, I thought it’d be too complicated to pull off effectively, and b) I think CYOA might be copyrighted anyway, so I didn’t want to imitate it too closely. Either way, the way I’ve done it means that you don’t have to do all it in chronological order – i.e. you can visit different times in different orders.
* There’s actually a 7th – but it’s hidden. Consider it the story’s Easter Egg! There’s a clue buried in one of the years, and there’s no straightforward way to get to it, so you’ll have to ‘hack’ your way to find it. The first person to find it – and to tweet me a message confirming their discovery – will win the prize of… a link. From this very blog, in all of its DA 30 glory. Because I’m an SEO through and through. (Terms & rules apply.)
If anyone wants to translate the story into another language, let me know. I’d happily update this post with links to any translations.
Oh and let’s be clear: other than blogging, I am not a writer, and I don’t think I’ve ever written fiction (outside of my school days) – except for Rorschach’s SEO Journal, which hardly counts. And we all know how messy time travel stories can get… So be kind, yeah? 😜
(For the Mozzers – my name is Steve Morgan and my email is [email redacted now that the competition is over], as per the competition’s submission rules. I’ll also leave them on the final page, just to be safe.)
[Image credit – Josh Hicks]
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of Moz or the individuals mentioned.
** Ok ok, so this was an April Fool’s. We’re not calling him Rand Fishkin Morgan. **
For those of you who are unaware, my wife and I are expecting our first child in early May (which is sadly the reason that I won’t be able to attend BrightonSEO in late April – too close to the due date).
When we found out that we’re having a boy, we discussed what we were going to name him. At first, we liked Noah, but it’s suddenly become an extremely popular name, so we decided against it. Then we were thinking of Rory, but we were still a little undecided. And then it hit me: what about Rand?
There are two Rands (or Randals) that I admire. The first is Randal Graves from Clerks. Admittedly, perhaps not an obvious role model (note: extremely NSFW clip, unless you have headphones…), but I love the name. And then of course, there’s the Wizard of Moz:* Rand Fishkin.
* Genuine job title, by the way. Awesome.
Wait, it gets better. I even managed to convince Emma that we should keep Fishkin as a middle name. In other words, we’re naming our son: Rand Fishkin Morgan.
We’re very excited that we’ve come up with the perfect name for our son! But what do you think? Please leave a comment below!
I’m delighted to have been granted the opportunity to interview Rand again, this time about the rebrand that took place at the end of May – when “SEOmoz” became simply “Moz.”
At the time, Rand talked about his reasons for the move in a blog post, plus Mozzer Ruth Burr has blogged about it from a domain migration point of view, and while my questions have touched upon a few things that have already been brought to light in those two posts, I wanted to catch up with Rand to see how he was feeling about the overall process.
Steve Morgan:The biggest question on many people’s lips: why rebrand at all?
Rand Fishkin: As I mentioned in the blog post about our rebrand, this is really for several reasons. The biggest of which is that we’re more than an SEO software company, and having “SEO” in our name doesn’t transparently reflect our identity today or our plans for the future. We always want to provide great tools for SEO, but to do that, we need to go beyond SEO and into areas like content, social, branding, local, etc. (just as many SEOs have).
Steve:When did you have the idea for “Moz”? And when was the decision made?
Rand: I believe the idea was first conceived and proposed in late 2010, and the decision was made to move forward with the re-brand in mid-2011. Although the re-brand and new website wouldn’t have been hard to pull off on their own, our decision to ship Moz Analytics (the new version of our software) with that change delayed us considerably.