SMA-UK get's a Kickin' in the Forums

45 comments
Thread Title:
SMA-UK
Thread Description:

Search Marketing Association UK is being given a right pasting by one of my favorite forum troublemakers PhillC over at webworkshop:

Well it seems to have died a death. Their website doesn't look like it's been updated since the launch last October. It still has the original press release on the front page, and nothing much else except a PDF info file, which isn't dated but looks like it's from back in October.

There is no discussion forum for people who might be interested but want to know more before shelling out £250 a year for an individual membership, or £1000 a year for a corporate membership.

But it's no surprise. SEMPO didn't do anything, so it was highly unlikely that SMA-UK would do anything

All fair points i think. Not exactly fucking inspiring is it? You'd think that a whole bunch of the UK's finest SEO's would be able to update the sodding homepage...

Comments

Not Very Fair

As I understand it, they're being careful to do this right. There isn't actually an organization yet; just a working group who are exploring exactly how this thing is to be organized.

Once they've done that, I believe the plan is to see if there's interest in getting a sufficient number of people to join, at which point the working group will resign and they'll elect a board of directors.

So can you blame them for not setting things up when they don't exist yet?

A higher standard

Don't they know everyone is going to watch their progress? Many people will be rooting for them to fail. If SMA expects to be taken seriously they will have to be a cut above the crowd. They should be and will be held to a higher standard than SEMPO.

It may be unfair, but they will need to clearly communicate at every step.

the vultures are gathering as we speak.

>>Many people will be rooting for them to fail.

In fact I think so many that they have no chance, sad to say. I don't honestly think SEO/SEM is mature enough for an official organisation yet - too many people want different things from it and I suspect that any organisation can only ever hope to agree with max 50% of potential members (and most of them won't actually sign up until they know what the deal is) In an area as vocal, clique-ridden and incestious as SEO/SEM you may just as well attach a large sign to your back saying "kick me" as try and set up something like this at the moment.

of corse you can critise a lot about SMA-UK if you want to find problems (my own pet peeve is that after all the Barbara hoo-ha about publicising personal sites in SEMPO missives all of Black Knights comments end with a link to Cre8aSite and generally also to Propellernet - stupid stupid stupid) but if people want an organisation then I think SMA-UK is at least starting along the right lines although not in the right pricebracket.

If no ones signing up then they're in a really difficult position and I don't envy them it one bit - I wonder if the others are doing any better since they may not suffer so much from British cynicism?

Support

Actually, i've been behind SMA from the start, but i do find it inexcusable that they let something as vital as their homepage gather dust when regardless of the current state of the organization, appearances are everything.

Not everyone, as Gurtie kinda points out is aware or even interested but when someone goes to the homepage and finds it hasn't been updated since October, and this someone runs a damn forum! how can you blame him for being less than impressed? I certainly dont, im less than impressed also.

Fair enough

There's no escaping the criticism that things with SMA-UK have gone slower than we'd wanted. That's both a fact and an admission there. However, the unstated part is just how much has been done that we did not expect to have done, or even be asked to do, at this early stage.

Helping other SMA groups around the world to get started for one very obvious thing. Here we are, just a few months old, and we've already been giving time to help support related endeavours such as SMA-EU and SMA-NA, (with another two or three other regional groups in the pipeline too).

Don't get me wrong, I'm absolutely delighted that the idea has ignited so many people so very quickly, but it was not honestly anticipated at such an early stage, and so has taken time that we'd expected to put exclusively into SMA-UK.

There are some more exciting unanticipated projects and possibilities that have arisen too which are uncertain enough that we won't raise false expectations about until they are more definite, but which do have to be explored, examined and given consideration. If those explorations look good, then you should hear about these around the end of the month following the next general meeting.

The one thing we want to do is to update the SMA-UK site with real information and solid progress. We can't just update it with things that are mere possibilities (too much like marketing hype) as we consider our members smart enough to see possibilities for themselves.

The page will update as soon as we have real news, meaningful news, to report to everyone that is absolutely true and not just plans or possibilities. We're taking our time, because we want to do this right.

In the meantime, anyone who wants to talk to us can get in touch pretty easily, and there are a few forum threads knocking around that can discuss some of the progress and planning that is not yet defined or certain enough to be on the site proper.

No excuses, there, just a straight answer.

so....

Quote:
The page will update as soon as we have real news, meaningful news, to report to everyone that is absolutely true and not just plans or possibilities. We're taking our time, because we want to do this right.

Not good enough Ammon - it's all very nice to see what your plans are here at TW but your homepage is er.... your homepage! - It looks like you've abandoned the org, it looks like you dont care, and more, it looks wholely unprofessional.

Dont have any real news? Jeez man, say that! Here ya go, i'll help - timer ticking....

Quote:
A Brief note from the SMA-UK Team
Hi there, we are aware that there is not so much going on at our website. We have not forgotten you, we have not stopped working on SMA-UK, we just won't have any real news for a little while yet.

We've been working very hard behind the scenes though on a number of things including:

  • Helping other SMA startups get moving, like SMA-EU and SMA-NA
  • Doing X
  • Doing Y

We do hope to have something more interesting to report in very near future. If you'd like to be informed when we update the site, send an email to

and we'll send you quick note when there is more to say. If you're interested in discussing SMA then see these forums threads where we are actively engaged in discussion with the SEO/SEM community:

  • List of
  • Threads

Thanks very much for your patience, and best wishes from the SMA-UK team!

There, almost exactly 5 minutes.

No org

Nick, I am sorry to say but you got it all wrong. There is no org ... yet. You are perfectly right to ask those things of an org but there just isn't any org to ask that. All there is is a working group trying to work out what it takes, and establish a framework, of how an org should or could work.

If you think the goal is to update the website I just don't agree. I think my goal is to make the basis for the formation of the (hopefully) coming org. The rest is up to the members. It's NOT up to me or anyone else in the woking group to do that. In fact, we (in SMA-EU) decided NOT to do too much with the website because we want to democratically elected executive commitee to be able to make those decissions. We don't find it fair that a totally undemocratic group (the working groups) decides how the website should be and what to publish. So we keep it limited to what we need for the working group to move ahead. I hope people can understand and appreciate that.

If it turns out that the ideas the working groups come up with can gain enough support then fine if not then nothing happens. If you don't have the time to wait for that then I am sorry but I am not going to change my goals because of it. You are lways welcome to join later :)

On a personal level it surprises me to see how many people that have set ideas about what I and other working group members should do or not do and yet the same people do NOTHING to actually help. My goal is to build a member driven organisation. If the members don't want to do anything and they don't want to pay others do do it then nothing happens. Thats the downside of a real member driven organisation but thats what I want and thats what I will fight for beacause I don't think the alternatives are any good. I could personally, or with the help of a few good friends, easily have build a full blown websites but that would be MINE with MY ideas, with MY agenda - me, me, me, me and honestly I don't want that. I think we all seen where such self-focused actions lead. That is simply not an organisation I want to be part of :)

I may be wrong in trying to build a member based organisation and require that such members take an active part in it but again, thats my goal and thats what I will work and fight for.

Spot on Nick

Thats all it takes to stop adverse comments from being posted about a site

Dont treat your customers like mushrooms

Mikkel, people dont like being kept in the dark and fed a load of shite.

like Nick said it only take a few minutes to change a web page keeping visitors up to date with what has or not been happening!!

Dont have any real news? Jeez man, say that!

I find it unbelievable that anyone can possibly try to defend te indefensible

Those concerned must know they have been caught to rights.

Why not just quietly update the front page and let this thread die?

Mikkel

Quote:
There is no org ... yet. You are perfectly right to ask those things of an org but there just isn't any org to ask that. All there is is a working group trying to work out what it takes, and establish a framework, of how an org should or could work.

I don't care. Your homepage reflects your potential organization

Quote:
If you think the goal is to update the website I just don't agree. I think my goal is to make the basis for the formation of the (hopefully) coming org. The rest is up to the members. It's NOT up to me or anyone else in the woking group to do that. In fact, we (in SMA-EU) decided NOT to do too much with the website because we want to democratically elected executive commitee to be able to make those decissions. We don't find it fair that a totally undemocratic group (the working groups) decides how the website should be and what to publish. So we keep it limited to what we need for the working group to move ahead. I hope people can understand and appreciate that.

That's a poor excuse for not putting something relevant on a homepage - your homepage reflects your potential organization

Quote:
If it turns out that the ideas the working groups come up with can gain enough support then fine if not then nothing happens. If you don't have the time to wait for that then I am sorry but I am not going to change my goals because of it

I don't beleive anybody was asking you to. Your homepage reflects your potential organization - but we were talking about SMA-UK

Quote:
I could personally, or with the help of a few good friends, easily have build a full blown websites but that would be MINE with MY ideas, with MY agenda - me, me, me, me and honestly I don't want that. I think we all seen where such self-focused actions lead. That is simply not an organisation I want to be part of :)

Me me me me me? Yep, again i think the conversation was about the SMA-UK homepage right? - There is no excuse for looking like you dont care, all it takes is a brief note to explain why not much is going on on the homepage, and where to joind active discussions.

Quote:
I may be wrong in trying to build a member based organisation and require that such members take an active part in it but again, thats my goal and thats what I will work and fight for

Great, you go right ahead and do that.

Fair Comment

Although I have to say people who signed up to get information on the SMA-UK site for news and updates about what is going on did get their last mailer only a couple of weeks ago. So, those interested enough to have put their names on our mailing list have been kept fairly up-to-date - and will get a further update after the next working group meeting to be held on 15th February.

Those that haven't probably are not that interested in hearing more waffle about an organisation that hasn't been formed yet (unless they want to knock a non-existant organisation)!

But a statement on the website stating that we are not going to update the page until the organisation is in place and a suggestion that if someone is interested to find out what is going on they should add themselves to the e-mail list is a good idea!

We absolutely should have thought of this knowing that the sharks would be circling and looking for any excuse to lambast us. So, I'll put my hands up - we should have done this earlier.

Forum

A forum is a great idea - every can benefit from a forum for meaningful dialogue.

And a blog might be helpful, too.

Need a hand with either? I've got a vBulletin licence floating around spare at the moment, but I'll not let it go unused for more than a couple of weeks. I'll help you set up a MovaableType as well, should you wish (excluding the "nofollow" plug in). :)

Missing the point

Nick, I think you are missing the point: There ARE no members to do what you want.

Anyway, if all you are interested in now is SMA-UK I guess I just back out of this discussion. Have fun :)

Don't go yet, Mikkel!

There are people who are interested to receive anything at all from SMA-EU....

Thanks to the SMA-UK Members

As someone on the working group of the formation of the SMA-NA, I'd like to express my thanks to the people working on forming the SMA-UK who have offered many great ideas and suggestions.

Although I have to say people

Although I have to say people who signed up to get information on the SMA-UK site for news and updates about what is going on did get their last mailer only a couple of weeks ago.

Why not archive that kind of thing on the site too, then? Solves any issue of looking inactive, and provides a useful background to those who haven't already joined the mailing-list lark.

Its one of those elusive Win Win situations isn't it?

Stever, you know where to fin

Stever, you know where to find me - I am at SEWF and SES all the time :)

Smells like DMOZ

We don't find it fair that a totally undemocratic group (the working groups) decides how the website should be and what to publish. So we keep it limited to what we need for the working group to move ahead.

Uh oh. This sounds like some of the things we hear from the folks at DMOZ. It is starting to appear like a bureaucracy before there are even members. Seriousely, just adding a little fresh content would seem to go a long way...but why listen to outsiders?

C'mon guys, give them a chanc

C'mon guys, give them a chance to get it set up first.

SMA coming together worldwide.

I didn't want to do this just yet, but...

In the very near future, I will be helping to officially announce the development of working groups for:

SMA-LA (Latin America)

SMA-JP (Japan)

SMA-ANZ (Australia/New Zealand)

SMA-ZA (South Africa)

I am personally involved in the support and development of a viable alternative to SEMPO worldwide and working as closely as I can with the individuals involved. A movement of people in the industry who are willing to put members first.

Unlike SEMPO, an organisation which put its website, its logo, its need for cash and qualified leads BEFORE it had a constitution (read bylaws in US), which they are now working on AFTER running illegally and letting a few privileged ones have a go at milking the cow first.

Do I give a shit about the SMA homepage or its logo? No, not really. All of that will change when the MEMBERS are in control. They can then let their creative juices flow and tap into a uniquely talented membership to help them move forward with issues such as corporate ID, branding and design.

However, until then, I won't be putting style over substance myself.

There's a lot more going on behind that stale old homepage than many people know about.

And not that it has anything to do with me at all... But if somebody has the time to devote to doing anything with the SMA homepage and its current ID on a temporary basis... Just volunteer your thoughts and ideas to the guys who are busy doing the much more important job of trying to create the critical mass which will become the membership.

I'm personally happy to support every single individual within the SMA movement, as and when I can, for as long as it takes to get the ground rules right, at home and abroad, first.

Cheers.

Mike.

PS - It's my first visit. Nice place you have over here, Nick!

Welcome Mike..

Mike, it's great to see you here! Do the done thing and introduce yourself :)

About the homepage - it really isnt a matter of worrying about logos or presentation or of putting that before what we agree are important matters. It's simply a matter of putting one paragraph on the homepage that assures people that the org has not been abandoned.

Simple as that - 10minutes work at absolute tops and you're laughin...

As it stands, anyone coming to the page without the benefit of having seen any of the SMA threads at SEW or here do not get a good impression - worse, they get a bad impression - just assure them that everything is in order...

I really have no business bei

I really have no business being in this thread, insofar as I'm not likely to become a member of any such organisation, but still:

However, until then, I won't be putting style over substance myself.

this seems to be an argument in favour of updating the site, not 'against' it. Where is the substance? To the front-facing world there is none unless you're signed up for the mailing list. As a quasi-impartial fellow, it seems that anything with 'marketnig' in its title ought to pay attention to it, search prefix or no ;)

Fresh is the in thing this year, especially so within our industry; stale just doesn't cut the mustard*, simply updating the site would certainly quash any such notions people might have, and lend an air of pro-active credability, which after SEMPO is sorely needed. You all know this, be honest.

*yay for mixed metaphors.

Where is the substance?

The substance, as far as I'm concerned, is in the people that make the difference. Not an addition of some text. Right now, that is.

Personally, I wish that there had been NO website until there was an organisation.

But as it turned out, in my early conversations with the good people involved... What comes first Mike? The chicken or the egg?

Hard one that.

Amazing...

SEO's and SEM's that don't understand that a homepage that looks abandoned is bad for everyone? - Mike, that's astonishing...

One paragraph....

One paragraph...

Nick,

There is a subgroup within SMA-UK which was developed before this thread i.e. before Christmas, to talk about content. I'm part of it. I hope you will be. And when we all have a chance to put the conference call in...

I'm trying very hard to work with SMA on the development of the organisation. It's very much a personal network of relationships going on right now.

The web site needs a paragraph? Join the working group and donate one?

And I will personally buy you a beer. I mean that sincerely.

Job done!

Paragraph

Hey Mike, the SMA is not something im likely to join, i think i prefer being outside of any organization at the moment but thanks for the suggestion.

However, i've been behind it from the get-go, and remain so untill something manages to show my trust in the guys behind it was misplaced so in the spirit of good will, i give you msg 3 in this thread - just fill in the blanks :)

Or, say so and i'll do a better one for you in the morning - it pains me to see SMA looking like that on thier website and if it means i must devote 10/15minutes out of my busy schedule of doing bugger all, then so be it heh...

g'night!

Such Venom

I really don't understand where the venom comes from when it comes to the SMA - Network, because that's what it is, or more precisely, will become, in the future.

It's easy to sit at a distance, do nothing and point out errors in a fledgling 'organisation', and I use the word advisedly since it isn't even that yet.

SEMPO seems to have left a bitter taste in many a mouth but IMHO, spitting nastiness at SMA because of it, is more likely to result in a repeat of history because those who have actually gotten off their butts to do something get sick and bored of continual snarky sniping from the sidelines.

You're missing the point

mcfox.

Individual members can correct me if this does not apply to them but for my part, the fuss is being made becuase i care about it - and im 99% sure that others here feel the same way.

Start a Blog

Given the recent popularity a simple blog with an entry of "We are working to develop the legal framework to start the SMA. While we are doing that please feel free to post here any thing you feel like adding and we will use the information as we move forward."

I'm not missing the point

I'm not missing the point, Nick. Sure you care about what happens with the SMA-Network, as I'm sure many people do. High expectations and aspirations are laudable.

But here's the thing; the people doing the building -- many of them got their fingers burned with SEMPO one way or another and a lot of flak was fired. I'm not saying they are thin-skinned, far from it since they are prepared to try to enable the SMA organisation; what I am saying is that people sniping from the sidelines and complaining this isn't right and that isn't right is thoroughly counter-productive.

I've seen the same thing happen with similar(ish) start-ups. The guys that everyone hopes will get a great organisation going get fed up with the crap and leave. The end result if the project doesn't collapse is a diluted, half-arsed facsimile of the original concept.

SMA-Network is breaking new ground. The people currently behind it will make some errors along the way, it's only to be expected with this type of innovation.

Lambasting them in forums for it is just plain wrong. It sets the stage for everyone and their little brother to have a go in a public setting regardless.

Who wants to take a seat on the board when they know they have been set up for a public roasting by anyone who can type? A pre-poisoned chalice, if ever I saw one.

Stage

They've set that stage themselves - having homepages that look abandoned does them no favors - all for 10mins work...

Silly

I sit here shaking my head - how can something this simple can create such confusion...

Why make a site and then abandon it? Is the politics already so entrenched that a simple update cannot be made without the proper authority giving approval? Worse, it sounds like it hasn't been decided who has that authority, so the neglect continues...

Or, maybe it has nothing to do with procedures etc. Maybe the resistance is because those that have the power simply don't want to listen to external comments?

I think...

too much is being read into this. Yes, I agree that it would do no harm to add a little paragraph to the site saying that they're still organizing things, but I don't think the absence of such a statement is reason enough to announce that SMA has "died a death" or that it's a closed-off elitist organization that refuses to listen to reason.

The people who are organizing the thing have other priorities. Why is that such a problem? And if it's a problem, why haven't any of those who've complained offered to join the working group and take on the role of updating the web site?

It cannot be the time required to update..

...it has to be, as a previous post has put it...

Quote:
Is the politics already so entrenched that a simple update cannot be made without the proper authority giving approval? Worse, it sounds like it hasn't been decided who has that authority, so the neglect continues...

come on guys, pull the other leg. The time to update a site like that is ten minutes a week. Anyone reading this on TW knows that. I just sit here like ChigagoHH shaking my head.

I reckon the collective might of SMA_UK have spent more time defending the indefensible here, than it would have taken them to solve the problem in the first place!

A Homepage that look abandoned

would indeed be a very bad thing, for something that existed. But, anyone who is part of the many teams laying down the foundations for not only a new org, but a network of them, is working on the foundation.

Each of the SMA's is at a different stage of planning and development. None of it is functioning in any official capacity that I'm aware of yet. Some are trying to get the legal part down. Some are reviewing what people in the industry want for an org. As Mike indicated, some countries are still just getting into the idea at all.

For some folks, a "Coming soon!" page is tacky. We can debate forever on whether a site was even necessary right now, since there's no meat for it yet. A blurb, perhaps, explaining purpose and email for those who want to help build it or send ideas would be fine. The risk of this (having a site this early in the game) is what happened. Someone saw a page that didn't change and instead of privately inquiring about it, publically claimed the whole thing was "dead".

Which got picked up, of course, and has now done nothing but provide negative publicity and attention on something many people want to see succeed.

How can anyone in the SEO/SEM industry expect to be treated with respect by peers, or related industries that want to work together, when it's obvious airing dirty laundry is their favorite kind of marketing tool?

Who us? ... What us?

'*' - OK. I think I get it! The site is a statement about an organization that is unorganized. Since it is unorganized, the web site was built to show that it will some day be organized by a group of people who are not yet an organization.
It is currently neglected to show that while the organization is still unorganized there is strength enough in *even* an unorganized SMA to be unmanageable.

Seriously, I am not against the SMA taking off but c'mon...

I reckon the collective might of SMA_UK have spent more time defending the indefensible here, than it would have taken them to solve the problem in the first place!

Like I said

Like I said earlier,
> It sets the stage for everyone and their little brother to have a go in a public setting regardless.

How long?

Has the site been up?

I don't think it's THAT long is it?

As I understand it these chaps are trying to avoid the SEMPO crap and go via the democratic route, which is going to take time.

They have to have meetings, produce and distribute documents and whatever else and these things do not happen overnight.

Much too soon to be casting aspersions, surely?

Wishing success

I don't think anyone in this thread wishes SMA fails. I certainly don't. The only small issue is the site gives an image of something forgotten. A seemingly simple quick-fix was suggested, but it does not appear it will happen.

I wish SMA the best. I may have been a little too critical - rooting for someone to knock off SEMPO gets me worked up.

Motives

>>rooting for someone to knock off SEMPO gets me worked up

Says it all. I think the impatience here is because so many people are AGAINST sempo, not so much FOR the new organisations. Give 'em a chance I say.

Like with any building, the p

Like with any building, the proper prep work goes a long way towards insuring long term success. Give them a bit of time, I'm sure the holiday's interrupted things.

Hehe - it's not like they are handing out salaries to themselves, chests full of medals or hereditary titles, so give them a chance. Much of what they do is going to be copied by the other SMA's so it might as well not be slapped together in a rush.

No matter what they do...

This thread pretty much proves that any SEO/SEM org is pretty much screwed regardless of what they do.

I hope those involved will just ignore all this irrelevant crap and get on with the business of forming their organization, if that's what they want to do.

Sometimes it really makes me ashamed to be part of this industry because of all the vultures just waiting in the wings to take down anyone and everyone.

Exactly

"rooting for someone to knock off SEMPO gets me worked up."

Yep. And hearing SMA is dead musta been cause for a party at SEMPO.

None of this is going to be easy or painless. Given the enormous volume of complaints and outrage against SEMPO, one wonders at how easy it is to shoot down a group that decided to try to do it better.

I understand the motivations and frustrations (I have them too) and everyone, no matter how they expressed it, has a point or valid opinion. I'm in one of the "supporting industry" roles for SMA-NA, meaning though I retired from SEO, I work in a related industry. Means I'm trying to help, or have at least offered to lend a hand if they need me. Means the point about an ineffective web site was an alert for SMA-NA.

It also means that this new organization, even in its pre-org stage, is listening. Something the other one couldn't always lay claim to, or didn't communicate well about.

Association Or Organization - Well It's Only Semantics - Part On

There's a phrase that should make you cringe. "Well it's only semantics." Words are powerful if used correctly and different words can have very different meanings. That came

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