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Do SEO's Need to Be Organized and Represented?  

:: Friday, July 30, 2004 ::

Yes, there are good and bad practitioners in every field. There are people in authority who aren't what they appear to be, and are instead cheating their employees or clients. I'm thinking of Enron here, and Martha Stewart. There is little room for error when you are in a role of leadership and ownership.

How worthy and honest is the organization that accepts anyone who can afford their membership fee and is therefore not representing a true snapshot of all potentially good business people?

My friend, Bill Slawski, one of the fairest men I've ever known, writes, in regards to serious flap and discontent over an organization determined to represent and work for people in the search engine optimization and marketing professions:

     "As it is now, I'm happy to be here where I can participate in a forum to help business owners, and web designers, and people engaged in SEO, SEM, and Usability.

When I think of industry leaders, I think of people who make a difference day-in and day-out to others by providing them with forums where they can interact, support each other, and share information.

When I think of industry leaders, I think of efforts like searchenginewatch, searchengineguide, SERoundtable, and similar efforts that share news, and try to remain helpful and objective.

When I think of industry leaders, I don't think of SEMPO."

I'm not here to rub salt in any wounds. Frankly, this still-new organization, despite experiencing troubles, has an overriding majority of members and member-maybe's who want it to succeed, do better and accomplish what it set out to do. They're willing to question, even loudly, to get answers because in the end, they care.

Silence would be bring failure much faster. Silence doesn't force growth. Silence doesn't create the lessons from which better practices are born.

What prompted me to purge here today is what Bill is saying about leadership, and the qualities of a leader.

In a thread at Cre8asite Forums, a member inquired about the dedication of the Moderators, and assumed for all their time and devotion, they were getting paid. No, I posted back. No one is paid at Cre8. Sometimes people do things simply because of the passion for their field, or as Ammon Johns says,the deep desire and willingness to "give back".

I'm not saying all leaders must work for free. Certainly not! But whom do you look up to more? The person who gives with no thought of reward and teaches you something? Your mentor who tirelessly answers your questions? The consultant you hire who refuses to charge for all your follow up email questions after the job is done?

Is a leader someone who lets you see them build something, they share the boo boos and then let you in while they build it back up? Someone like this doesn't bring their ego to work with them. Someone like this asks for help.

Can any business person stand on the merit of their own business ethics and integrity without the need to join hands with others, who are not only competitors, but maybe don't do the same job as well?

I know what I like about leaders. They must have a vision and they must be able to motivate. They're excellent, compelling, effective communicators. They have learned the art of listening. They're honest, always. They understand the goals and expectations of the people they lead.

Do SEO/SEM's want leadership? Do they want to be recognized as a body of professionals performing needed services? Is there a need?

I like the approach by SEO Consultants. There's a peer review process. My correspondence with them is always fair, polite, friendly, professional and prompt.

Not everyone in SEO-land wanted or needed anything more than just a simple, inexpensive place to hang their hat.

For those who want a larger organization to represent them and provide support for their field, it sounds like there's plenty of time and room left for more of you to chip in and build what you want.

:: posted by Kim Krause Berg on 7/30/2004 02:14:24 PM

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