Jump to content

Cre8asiteforums Internet Marketing
and Conversion Web Design


Photo

So What Does SEMPO Mean To You?


  • Please log in to reply
222 replies to this topic

#121 rcjordan

rcjordan

    Gravity Master Member

  • Members
  • 189 posts

Posted 28 July 2004 - 12:50 PM

Great post, Bill. I need SEMPO even less than most --no SEM clients at all. That said, I just posted about the non-profit compliance issues over at Danny's, which I'll repost here to save anyone the trouble of surfing if they're even remotely interested.
That notification to "stop by the corporate office" is the standard compliance veil for many non-profits, but given the rocky first year of SEMPO, I agree with you that full, WIDELY distributed financial disclosure would seem to be the better course.
========
I run a non-profit of my own, have for over 10 years now. We are required to make public (literally to anyone off the street that requests it) detailed financial information. IRS compliance rules dictate this, though it may vary a bit by type of non-profit structure. So, it shouldn't be all that hard to get SEMPO's financial records if anyone is really that interested.

Before making any sort of contribution, commitment, or membership to a non-profit, the prudent thing to do is to determine what percentage of income goes to administrative and promotion/marketing expenses vs. spending on the "stated goal" of the organization. When digging around, it's not uncommon to find very high percentages (I've seen as high as 95%) being used to keep the organization in the business of perpetuating the bureaucracy rather than funding the goal itself.
=======

#122 Black_Knight

Black_Knight

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 9339 posts

Posted 28 July 2004 - 01:12 PM

I have just one single question that is really burning in my mind:

Will these 'elections' that we are hearing some (still somewhat vague) reports of enable us to choose who will run the organisation at the payment scale that Barbara has generously set for this (I guess) demanding role?

Ideally, I would like the person who is nominally 'at the helm' of SEMPO to not be an SEO who will thereby be in competition with the members at times, and privvy to inside knowledge about the members/competitors. I think that whoever runs SEMPO should have that as their sole job, which is perhaps (hopefully) why Barbara has set a reasonable wage for the job.

#123 rcjordan

rcjordan

    Gravity Master Member

  • Members
  • 189 posts

Posted 28 July 2004 - 01:25 PM

> 'at the helm' of SEMPO to not be an SEO who will thereby be in competition with the members at times, and privvy to inside knowledge about the members/competitors.

Ammon, the information I've been given (which seems to be in line with all the little snippets gathered at various forums) indicates that the search engines themselves are major, or at least significant, financial contributors. If that is the case, what are your thoughts on that? I've yet to run across a fund-raising organization that can truly keep major contributors' interests separate from their own.

#124 bwelford

bwelford

    Peacekeeper Administrator

  • Site Administrators
  • 9002 posts

Posted 28 July 2004 - 01:39 PM

I see no great conflict there, rcjordan, since I believe that the majority of SEO's and the SE's share many common goals. The common view seems to be that they must inevitably be in conflict. However I believe that the real conflict is between on one side the white-hat SEO's and the SE's and on the other side the black-hat SEO's.

Of course anyone with 'clout' may have an undue influence on the affairs of a trade association. That 'clout' may come because they are a major financial contributor or because they devote many person-days to the affairs of the association.

Indeed thinking aloud, a much greater concern for me is whether the $ 5,000 SEMPO Circle members have more clout than the humble $ 299 Executive members.

#125 Black_Knight

Black_Knight

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 9339 posts

Posted 28 July 2004 - 01:54 PM

the search engines themselves are major, or at least significant, financial contributors. If that is the case, what are your thoughts on that?

That when the fleas decide to get organised, the dog wants to vote against drinking it dry. :P Or, if you prefer a slightly less tawdry comparison than comparing SEOs with fleas, the smart cows have decided that while they may not like being milked, they far rather be milked than butchered. ;)

#126 peter_d

peter_d

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1914 posts

Posted 28 July 2004 - 03:22 PM

Ideally, I would like the person who is nominally 'at the helm' of SEMPO to not be an SEO who will thereby be in competition with the members


Agreed.

#127 rcjordan

rcjordan

    Gravity Master Member

  • Members
  • 189 posts

Posted 29 July 2004 - 12:55 PM

FWIW: Danny posts in his forum that he has checked with Sempo and that the stipend was approved a few months ago. So Mike had that part right.

#128 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 13451 posts

Posted 29 July 2004 - 01:10 PM

In that same thread, Joe Morin defends Barbara and SEMPO as well. He states, for the record, many of the accomplishments from their first year.

#129 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 13451 posts

Posted 29 July 2004 - 03:37 PM

Just found this Press Release too.

Zunch Defends Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO)

“Mike seems like a good guy and a very knowledgeable search pro,” said John Sanchez, President and CEO of Zunch Communications, a Circle Member of SEMPO, “But I think some of his questions about what SEMPO is doing with his membership dues were a little harsh and not necessarily founded in truth. This organization is just one year old, and Mike, by his own words, chose not to join at first, believing that SEMPO would be no different from other do-nothing professional organizations. When you come at us from a negative attitude to begin with, it won‘t be hard to find fault with what we’re doing.”


I'm not a member of SEMPO, and I agree wholeheartedly with much of what Mike brings up, but, if I were a member of SEMPO, I'd be worried a bit right now about what this is doing to the reputation of the organization and how that might play out in the long run.

Anyone who did pay the fee may be feeling a little squirmy. If you belong to an organization with a shakey rep, how is this helping your business?

How is SEMPO responding, if not to defend itself, but to protect the integrity of its paying members?

#130 bwelford

bwelford

    Peacekeeper Administrator

  • Site Administrators
  • 9002 posts

Posted 29 July 2004 - 04:35 PM

I guess if you don't know how SEMPO is responding, Kim, as someone who keeps a keen surveillance on all that's happening on the Web, then that indicates the size of the current problem.

Everyone seems to be assuming that all the main actors will be together next week at the SES in San Jose and that something good is bound to happen. However I think the problems are much more serious than can be resolved in a few days. Problem resolution seems to require a common will to solve the problem and I have not seen evidence of that.

In some ways the discussion that took place in the Search Engine Watch Forum on Improving the Reputation of the SEM/SEO Industry was a trial run at just one issue that SEMPO has got to develop a position on. I don't believe that considered and multi-day discussion really advanced understanding much. People seemed to end up in the same positions that they had started in.

In addition to that, SEMPO has some other major issues to resolve, such as how does the UK contingent develop its appropriate place within the organization, does the organization need a professional trade association chief to lead it, is the organization only for the big companies or do all those small SEM/SEO companies have a significant position, and so on.

I hope any members of this Forum who attend SES in San Jose can feed back to us anything that helps us to understand exactly what SEMPO should mean for us.

#131 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 13451 posts

Posted 29 July 2004 - 04:54 PM

Barry, I think you did a tremendous thing for SEMPO by first establishing this thread. It attracted feedback from Barbara and Christine, and we'd love to have them talk to us again.

But, the fact that you asked ("What does it mean to you?") in the first place and so many people jumped on it, is also an indicator that there are concerns. And that list of concerns continues to grow.

To their credit, there are good people who care about SEMPO and if listened to, can make a difference and help lead the organization forward.

<<added>>Perhaps at their San Jose gathering they would benefit from something in this - How to run a brainstorming meeting :P >>

#132 Guest_rustybrick_*

Guest_rustybrick_*
  • Guests

Posted 29 July 2004 - 07:00 PM

I'll make sure to write on the SEMPO members only meeting, I am sure it will be interesting.

#133 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 13451 posts

Posted 29 July 2004 - 10:49 PM

Danny Sullivan has made two more posts at his forums. One where he reviews the concerns, followed by

this one after receiving some news from SEMPO.

OK, I have news passed along to me on behalf of the SEMPO board. Why isn't this coming direct from any of the SEMPO board members? Because they've decided it makes the most sense to address these items directly to the membership itself at the meeting Monday night rather than through the various forums.

Barbara's stipend was approved on May 15 and she began drawing it on that date. She began taking it because she also assumed a second hat, that of acting executive director, in addition to her role as president.



#134 Brad

Brad

    Mach 1 Member

  • Members
  • 354 posts

Posted 30 July 2004 - 06:57 AM

OK, I have news passed along to me on behalf of the SEMPO board. Why isn't this coming direct from any of the SEMPO board members?


I would ask the same question. Why is everything coming out second or third hand? Frankly, each communication from SEMPO makes me a little more cynical and more wary.

I would assume most of the rank and file members are scattered around the globe (or at least N. America) and not able to make these SES based meetings. Yet communication directly to the membership with all the tools provided by the Internet seems to completely baffle SEMPO.

I think it comes down to this: if keeping the members informed was really important to SEMPO they would have been doing it right from the start. They would have found a way months ago not just now.

I have a demotivational calendar on my wall that has a picture of a phone with cobwebs covering it. It says, "Apathy: if we don't take care of the customer, maybe they'll stop bugging us."

#135 bwelford

bwelford

    Peacekeeper Administrator

  • Site Administrators
  • 9002 posts

Posted 30 July 2004 - 07:08 AM

In any case, if SEMPO, as a non-profit organization, is aiming to represent the whole industry, then much more information should be promptly and easily available to a wider audience.

If I wanted to join, I would feel I was buying a brown paper bag at the moment. I would just have to hope I would like what I found in the bag.

#136 bragadocchio

bragadocchio

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 15634 posts

Posted 30 July 2004 - 07:45 AM

I agree with you Barry.

A couple of topics that they might want to consider at their meeting:

What does it mean to be a nonprofit organization? What are the responsibilities? What responsibilities are there to the membership? When your membership is worldwide, might there be a need to provide communication in a manner capable of having them participate? A legal obligation?

When an organization starts claiming "industry leadership" and seems to be using that perception to land contracts with clients, do they develop legal obligations, responsibilities, and risks?

#137 Black_Knight

Black_Knight

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 9339 posts

Posted 30 July 2004 - 08:15 AM

I spent a lot of time at SES London discussing matters relating to the SEM industry at large, and also to SEMPO. I made time in my schedule to seek out Barbara, Christine, and many other SEMPO members and board members. There was a lot I waned to know. I didn't get many of the answers I wanted, but I did get some. Most specifically, I was told that apart from some expenses in setting up space for the SEMPO meetings at SES events, that the funds were virtually untouched, and that the vast majority of the membership fees were in a bank account just waiting to be put to good use for the entire industry.

We are now still in July, and being told that Barbara has had this $1,500 per week stipend approved for "some months". If more than two months ago then I feel somewhat deceived in what I was told in June. In fact, unless this was a very hasty decision, I wonder how there could be no plans to pay anyone in Barbara's posts in this discussion in May, yet the matter has been tabled, discussed, and approved by the board 'months' ago before the end of July.

Earlier in this discussion, from a couple of months ago, Barry calculated that membership fees had raised some $220,000. We can only speculate at what monies may have been paid by non-member supporters and search engines, etc.

However, deciding to spend $78,000 per year on one single person does seem like it needs to have some very clear expectations. I mean, surely $78,000 is still a pretty big chunk (well over 10%, and probably over 20%) of the organization's total funds, and must therefore be expected to generate a very good ROI in real terms. I'd love to know more about that. Not because it is unrealistic to pay for an organiser and chairperson to do a hard job (indeed, I said this was a requirement back on page 1 of this thread), but simply because I'd like to know the job description, the accountability, and the expectations placed upon the role.

When an organisation asks me for money (and I have been directly asked to join) I think it is right and proper that I know what I'm buying, and in the case of a non-profit, exactly where my money is going. I need to know what I am supporting - meaning who gets my money and how they'll use it.

The fact I haven't yet managed to get a clear answer (and that I now have some cause to question the one clear answer I ever did receive) is the only major reason I have still not either joined SEMPO, nor decided to ignore it completely.

As things stand right now, I'm positively glad that I haven't put money into this (not even the cheap basic level membership). That's bad for SEMPO, because what I ought to be feeling is regret that I didn't get involved sooner.

#138 Black_Knight

Black_Knight

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 9339 posts

Posted 30 July 2004 - 08:58 AM

Oops - an answer to one of my questions was already available. Barbara received her stipend from the 15th May. This was therefore a rather important ommission from the information I was given in June.

#139 DianeV

DianeV

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 7216 posts

Posted 30 July 2004 - 09:22 AM

I agree, Bill. And Ammon's delineation of discrepancies in the time frame during which statements were made, and decisions and monies were paid, does not bode well.

As someone who might have wanted to join but has not yet seen a reason to do so, this current ruckus is not promising.

As well, I noted a comment in the SEW Forums thread (by Bob Massa) that SEMPO ought to just ignore all this and let it die out.

In my opinion, which includes a certain amount of training and experience in public relations, that would be a major mistake. They are, in essence, having a public relations flap which includes many questions raised publicly for all the industry and world to see, and which SEMPO has (AFAIK) yet to answer satisfactorily. Since these include questions about transparency and forthcoming-ness, etc., SEMPO's silence only tends to "prove" the issues in the absence of answers from SEMPO.

SEMPO aside, people do not like to live in a vaccuum; they like answers; they like to understand things. Where there are no answers, they will adopt any answer whether right or wrong. Unfortunately, most of the "answers" out there are not SEMPO's and are extremely detrimental to SEMPO's perceived actual mission and reputation.

Of course, the only other answer is that all the negative comments are correct.

#140 Brad

Brad

    Mach 1 Member

  • Members
  • 354 posts

Posted 30 July 2004 - 09:25 AM

This was therefore a rather important ommission from the information I was given in June.


I think your revelation pretty much says it all about SEMPO.

I think Mike Grehan's suggestions form the basis for a new organization:

1. Membership of individuals not firms.

2. Membership dues more in keeping with the estimated 80% of one person shops.

3. Clear, frequent and regular communication with the members and for the members about membership business. Not only retroactive but also with a heads-up to members about new business.

4. Perhaps elect the board members first, then start paying out salaries. Looks funny when a board appoints itself then start paying salaries.

Insert the rest of Mike's suggestions.

My suggestions might be, that such an organization should also be more welcoming to the SEO end of the business, not just PPC services. That would mean that no search engines can be members. I do not think any organization that purports to serve SEO/M industry can have two masters in this.

#141 DianeV

DianeV

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 7216 posts

Posted 30 July 2004 - 09:28 AM

It's an idea, Brad.

The thing is, having watched an earlier such organization in its early days, I noted that it takes a *terrific* amount of work to get something like this going.

Hm. Unless it's done at a time when industry eyes are focused upon it. That wouldn't preclude the necessity of a lot of work, but ... it's an interesting idea.

#142 DianeV

DianeV

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 7216 posts

Posted 30 July 2004 - 09:40 AM

Danny has posted a reply from SEMPO which addresses questions:
http://forums.search...1&postcount=109

#143 Brad

Brad

    Mach 1 Member

  • Members
  • 354 posts

Posted 30 July 2004 - 09:50 AM

Diane, I agree it would be a lot of work. I'm not cconvinced that the SEO industry even needs such an organization. Helping people enter the business is already being addressed by forums like this one and others far better and for free. On the SEO/M awareness angle I'm pretty sure that if it will make them money, people will find the industry on their own.

However, if such an organization is desired, Mike's blueprint is a better one than the current SEMPO setup.

#144 bragadocchio

bragadocchio

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 15634 posts

Posted 30 July 2004 - 12:50 PM

I agree with you about Bob Massa's point, Diane.

Sunshine is often the best remedy when the complaints leveled are about a serious lack of communication. That problem doesn't get resolved by clamming up.

But in this instance, maybe it's a good idea.

If the caliber of the press releases coming from SEMPO B2B committee members and circle members is a measure of their notion of open communication, then maybe they should consider keeping their mouths closed.

Danny's post communicated a start, but it was partially what I was responding to above. It's not enough. There should be a statement for members and potential members on the front page of the SEMPO site. It should address some of these issues, and it should show that an action plan is being put into place to address the concerns of the members and industry that the organization purports to represent. That's what an executive should do - handle the day-to-day issues and problems and emergencies. We know now that SEMPO has an executive officer.

I'm glad I'm not a member of SEMPO. I think I would be really mad if I was.

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.

#145 bwelford

bwelford

    Peacekeeper Administrator

  • Site Administrators
  • 9002 posts

Posted 30 July 2004 - 01:08 PM

I see one Board member has made some statements, admittedly in his own Forum, but that's OK.

However all that's written still confirms for me that the organization has the wrong name.

It currently is called SEMPO, that is:
Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization

I believe it should really be called, SEPMO, that is:
Search Engine Professionals Marketing Organization

#146 bragadocchio

bragadocchio

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 15634 posts

Posted 30 July 2004 - 01:41 PM

Thanks Barry.

In it's own way, it's even worse than the press releases I pointed to above.

#147 bwelford

bwelford

    Peacekeeper Administrator

  • Site Administrators
  • 9002 posts

Posted 30 July 2004 - 01:42 PM

It's suddenly hit me how they do it. The SEMPO crowd really is communicating but they're doing it at ultra-sonic frequencies so we lesser mortals don't detect the communication.

#148 bragadocchio

bragadocchio

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 15634 posts

Posted 30 July 2004 - 02:09 PM

Could be, Barry. :)

#149 bragadocchio

bragadocchio

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 15634 posts

Posted 30 July 2004 - 03:23 PM

I sat quietly back in March when this post originally started. There were a number of things that bothered me, but it appeared that the organization was striving to be an organization that could lead an industry.

I'm having a harder time sitting on my hands and biting my tongue this time. I'm seeing too much nonsense from too many directions. As a friend of mine likes to say, "truth means not having to remember which story you told whom."

In response to the WMW post from a SEMPO board member:

SEMPO is a California nonprofit, and not a Delaware one. I would have expected a member of the board to know that, or have it explained to him, especially when he starts quoting the legal requirements for whether or not the Board has to be elected. (Under California law, it needs to be indicated in the by-laws whether they are elected or selected, and there need to be statements addressing those issues in those by-laws.)

The criticisms I've made are towards an organization that claims to be a leader of the industry. Most of the criticisms I've seen come from people who appear to want SEMPO to be in a posture where it succeeds.

An ad hominem attack on people criticising SEMPO by stating that those people are in bed with the seach engines is a pretty sad ploy for someone with considerable experience moderating a forum. I've never been to a Google dance, nor shared drinks with a google engineer, and I'd refuse the opportunity to have a Googleguy posting here because we value the freedom to voice honest criticisms without fear of losing the insider viewpoint. Hmmmm.

There's also an internal inconsistency in the WMW statement which discusses SEMPOs own, closer-than-arms-length relationship with search engines. An industry leader of the SEM/SEO community should have the ability to form independant opinions and views about search engines. When the purse strings are held by the search companies, it's unlikely that will happen.

#150 bragadocchio

bragadocchio

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 15634 posts

Posted 30 July 2004 - 06:44 PM

The importance of knowing which law applies...

As a director of a nonprofit organization, it's important to exercise obligations under that role while fulfilling certain duties.

One is a duty of loyalty. It's the one that says that you are not supposed to use the position to make secret profits that the members of the organization don't know about, or to gain access to information for your own personal use, or for the use of just a small circle of insiders.

One is a duty of care. This one requires that a person undertaking the responsibilities of acting as a director make informed decisions, and ones that have some basis in the exercise of a reasoned business judgment.

Another is a duty of obediance, which would require directors to exercise care in their undertakings and conform to the appropriate and applicable laws. I'd guess that would require knowing which laws are the ones that guide your actions.

Here are a couple of pages that cover these types of duties:

http://www.t-tlaw.com/np-02a.htm

http://www.vscpa.com...t/liability.htm

One reason why it can be helpful to actually hire one or more people as directors who have previous experience is that they recognize the potential problems and responsibilities under these duties.

Anyone who is a member of a nonprofit should know a little bit about these types of duties owned to their organization by their directors.

#151 peter_d

peter_d

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1914 posts

Posted 30 July 2004 - 07:29 PM

I think the drama has served as a great rallying point. SEMPO hasn't been on the agenda up until now.

The momentum has been building for a representative SEM body, and it is reaching a head. This is an important opportunity which should be seized.

I agree with Mikes recommendations (outlined by Brad above).

As Ammon pointed out, the head of this organisation should not be an SEM. They can't be expected to effectively work two full-time positions, and there is potential for conflict of interest. The head of a fledgeling organisation should be someone with sufficient experience at running a non-profit organisation. As such, is Barbara Coll the right person for the job?

Nobody questions the work involved. Most people support payment for a full-time position. It is now a matter of selecting the right people for the job, and to to fix the problems thus far.

As for the "communication issues", I concur. There had to have been a complete lack of desire to communicate with the membership. Why?

After all, sending an email, writing to a blog, posting to a bulletin board, or posting on the front page of the SEMPO site is elementary. Even now, SEMPO feed communication via third-party, or via offline conferences that most people cannot get to.

Find the cluetrain and climb aboard.

#152 spinaltap

spinaltap

    Unlurked Energy

  • Members
  • 4 posts

Posted 30 July 2004 - 09:32 PM

Bill, your instincts are in tune. Supporting "facts" seem to be created on demand.

#153 bragadocchio

bragadocchio

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 15634 posts

Posted 30 July 2004 - 10:45 PM

Hi Spinaltap,

Welcome to the forums, and thanks for your words.

One of the paragraphs that really stood out to me as I was reading through the links I posted was this one:

A business consultant to nonprofit organizations was asked whether the directors of his client organizations understood their responsibilities. He replied, "about 70% of the boards we've seen and worked with see themselves as passive bodies serving for name recognition. They do not realize their responsibilities and when I've pointed them out some of the directors resigned on the spot."*


* emphasis mine.

Though some of the SEMPO board members may not have the experience to know it, one of the responsibilities they have as a director in a nonprofit is to take action, and not sit by passively. Look over those duties I listed before and ask yourselves if you are fulfilling them. Look through the rest of the articles I linked to, and read what it says about oversight of executive decisions.

Read the excellent post from Peter, above. I agree with him. I will add that I'd much rather see you all find the cluetrain on your own than to have someone come along and smack you with it.

#154 spinaltap

spinaltap

    Unlurked Energy

  • Members
  • 4 posts

Posted 30 July 2004 - 11:27 PM

i have long time experience with sempo, even before it was sempo. close, but not direct association. a lot went on. sullivan, tabke, and coll were most definitely informed of all of the complaints now being voiced again. i don't know about the others. yes, i know that sullivan was technically in an advisory position, gimme a break. there was a long hot thread in a subscriberonly forum, sempo was slaughtered in that one. i believe the sysadmin had to finally take it down because the outcome was so embarassing to the organization. then, as now, the fundamental complaint was that the small independent would have no real representation. read barry's calculation of the money involved. a director says that is way low. i have it on good authority that now one director is boasting that s/he leaked the info because sempo is cozying up to jupitermedia and and lining meckler's pockets and s/he wanted some of the pie. imho, this organization has serious problems beyond the current mess in public relations.

#155 Ruud

Ruud

    Hall of Fame

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 4887 posts

Posted 31 July 2004 - 12:50 AM

I remember that "somewhere" around when this thread started I added my 2 cents. I realize you all talk about something else by now, probably. But let me add my current 2 cents anyway.

My main problem with SEMPO right now is that it represents nothing. I can't even sell it to a potential customer as the equivalent of SquareTrade. For that nothingness they want money. That money goes into nothingness. I simply don't see a value for me. It's a great brainwave for a money making site but really - would you advice a family supporting business starter like me to spend money on this?!

Ruud

#156 bragadocchio

bragadocchio

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 15634 posts

Posted 31 July 2004 - 01:54 AM

I'm not sure, Ruud.

There are a lot of issues that seem to need to be discussed between the members of this organization, and it seems like that won't happen until next week.

It would be wonderful if a SEMPO director or member would join this thread and explain to you and I, and the rest of the forum, what the benefits would be of membership to us.

I'm not sure that they could.

I don't think there is any value for you or I.

#157 Brad

Brad

    Mach 1 Member

  • Members
  • 354 posts

Posted 31 July 2004 - 06:17 AM

I'm not sure that they could.


This seemed to be the problem right from the start, SEMPO's 'reason to be' and it's objectives seemed fuzzy and sometimes evasive. It is like they created an organization and tried to find the purpose for it later.

Many people wanted to suggest other roles for SEMPO (just look at the title to this thread), and it might be better to have several purpose built organizations for those very different roles. One would be an informational/lobbying type org like SEMPO says it was to be. Another might be about certification, or whatever people want.


I don't think there is any value for you or I.


That also hits it on the head Bill. For those of us that do some SEO, but don't hire ourselves out SEMPO offers nothing.

#158 Black_Knight

Black_Knight

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 9339 posts

Posted 31 July 2004 - 08:31 AM

All SEMPs and no Organization is how it seems right now. The board, even now, are still reacting privately and as individuals, rather than bothering to discuss it together as an organized board, thrash out an policy decision collectively that represents the organization, and appoint someone to implement that policy on behalf of the organization.

That, to me, is the ultimately damning factor, and the reason I find myself with absolutely no faith in all these talented individuals ever being able to act as an equally talented collective body.

The root of the problem, as I see it, is that very problem of talented individuals. Many of these folks are strong entrepreneur types. People able to set things up alone, and delegate the running while focusing on policy, using their dynamism to drive things forward. Trouble is that it is all entrepreneurs, barely able to find time to speak with each other, and seemingly having no managers to delegate to.

In addition, because these individuals are successful, they already have full-time jobs, and additional responsibilities. I don't think any of them have the time to do this right, and paying just one person to put a bit more of a part-time effort into it is not a solution. Every single member of the board, and advisory board, needs to be able to do the job it will be, with full commitment to the serious responsibilities it entails.

They are having to ask now, after policies have been implemented, just what those policies are, when decisions were taken, and who by. Even now, there doesn't seem to be any channel for them to all communicate as a board, nor to react as a board, not even to elect a spokesperson. It is a union without unity, and an organization without organization.

Sure, this whole matter may help them see these lacks and fix them. But hell, this organization is a year old. If it has taken a year, and a fiasco, just to realize that they need to communicate and know what is going on, rather than being point one of the original constitution, then frankly I don't think shoring up this edifice will work. The problem is in the foundations.

#159 bwelford

bwelford

    Peacekeeper Administrator

  • Site Administrators
  • 9002 posts

Posted 31 July 2004 - 09:07 AM

Luckily for the members of SEMPO as Bill has pointed out, directors have fiduciary responsibilities set out by law. Of course it would be good for them to get their act together to make the organization run. However any one of them should realize that their number one personal priority should be to make sure they are discharging their legal responsibilities. If not, they may find that they are spending much more time on the SEMPO dossier than they ever envisaged.

#160 spinaltap

spinaltap

    Unlurked Energy

  • Members
  • 4 posts

Posted 31 July 2004 - 11:23 AM

>Supporting "facts" seem to be created on demand.

Bill, be sure to catch Andrew Goodman's post http://forums.search...p=7403#post7403



RSS Feed

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users