Search Marketing Association
of North America - SMA-NA
For those SEM's looking for a bit more info on the forthcoming SMA-NA (Search Marketing Association North America) you can find some interesting stuff at interim director Ian McAnerin's blog threadlinked above.
He also has some good stuff to say about DUMPO - the failed Search Engine Marketing Professional Association in his post that reveals much about the possible motivations behind the beleagured org and it's president.
A long time ago SEMPO got themselves into a bit of a flap because they had incorporated themselves as a Non-Profit, but then proceeded to break almost every rule known that non-profits are supposed to follow. It was a real mess.
I also discovered that although SEMPO is, in my opinion, fundementally broken, there are a lot of very good people who joined it because it's clear the industry needs a trade association.
The problem is that SEMPO is designed to cash in on big bucks sponsors and SEO firms. Key members have even stated that small SEO firms are "not their target audience".
To me, that was unforgivable. Small SEO firms and single SEO's working in IT departments form the vast majority of this industry. How can you claim to be an industry association if the industry is not your target audience? I have it on good authority that Google and Overture agree with me on this one.
Following a meeting in London with SMA-UK and SMA-EU committee members and setting up the framework for the new org Ian phoned Barbera Coll to resign from his seat on the DUMPO committee. The passage that follows, from Ian's post above is most telling i think...
Although the majority of the conversation was confidential, it was made very clear that SEMPO considers the SMA-NA to be a direct threat and a competitor for membership and sponsor dollars. Interesting that the SMA-UK and EU were not considered the same way. To me, that really confirmed the regional blinkers SEMPO wears. The concern about the money rather than the industry was also very interesting. Although it was mentioned that the industry would be better off with only one group (I agree BTW ;) ) this was mentioned in direct relation to funding.
Here's the juicey bit...
She also repeatedly demanded the names of the others on the SMA-NA working group. Since they had not been confirmed yet, I didn't answer, but the message was clear: SMA members were not welcome in SEMPO. Pity. Personally, I think that all support of the SEO/SEM industry is a good thing, and I'd rather someone support SEMPO than not support anything. I guess they don't see it that way.
That really does say it all doesn't it?