Search Engine Watch
SEO News

Go Back   Search Engine Watch Forums > General Search Issues > SEM Related Organizations & Events
FAQ Members List Calendar Forum Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-17-2004   #21
Jill Whalen
SEO Consulting
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 650
Jill Whalen is just really niceJill Whalen is just really niceJill Whalen is just really niceJill Whalen is just really niceJill Whalen is just really nice
Let us know what the Feds say when you contact them, Lotso.
Jill Whalen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2004   #22
lots0
 
Posts: n/a
jILL I did not say I was going to contact the Feds. What I said was;
Quote:
I think having a US Federal Prosecutor take a look at the activities of SEMPO, just to make sure that no laws are being broken, may be a good idea at this point.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2004   #23
bethabernathy
Looking forward to Summer
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Lake Tahoe, California
Posts: 419
bethabernathy has a spectacular aura aboutbethabernathy has a spectacular aura aboutbethabernathy has a spectacular aura about
72 hours has passed

Well they were supposed to get back to me about helping them with a non-profit lawyer and a review of their practices. They were supposed to contact me one way or another within 72 hours from 8/10/04. That time has passed. I found a lawyer up here with non-profit experience who would look at the situation on a non-biased basis. (Although, I can see why they wouldn't want me involved ). Anyway, it just leads to their communication problems i.e. they still exist.

Does anyone know when their next meeting is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lots0
I don’t often agree with Doug, But in this I do believe he is right. SEMPO as a non-profit 501 (c) (6), the activities of promoting and marketing its members is illegal in the US.
This is very true. It can be confirmed by calling the IRS Exempt Division at 877-829-5500 and asking for a Agent.

Last edited by bethabernathy : 08-17-2004 at 02:21 PM.
bethabernathy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2004   #24
dannysullivan
Editor, SearchEngineLand.com (Info, Great Columns & Daily Recap Of Search News!)
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Search Engine Land
Posts: 2,085
dannysullivan has much to be proud ofdannysullivan has much to be proud ofdannysullivan has much to be proud ofdannysullivan has much to be proud ofdannysullivan has much to be proud ofdannysullivan has much to be proud ofdannysullivan has much to be proud ofdannysullivan has much to be proud of
Relating to the above, Beth's been diligently outlining the various issues about SEMPO's actions and its non-profit status over here: SEMPO & Non-Profit Legal Issues. Good background and lots of references on the issue.
dannysullivan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2004   #25
dannysullivan
Editor, SearchEngineLand.com (Info, Great Columns & Daily Recap Of Search News!)
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Search Engine Land
Posts: 2,085
dannysullivan has much to be proud ofdannysullivan has much to be proud ofdannysullivan has much to be proud ofdannysullivan has much to be proud ofdannysullivan has much to be proud ofdannysullivan has much to be proud ofdannysullivan has much to be proud ofdannysullivan has much to be proud of
Also, Kevin Ryan just posted his take on the meeting.

He's got a funny take on the stipend and spending issues ("Pricey trips on the SEMPO Boeing 737, Central Park apartment use, Wimbledon...) but concludes:

Quote:
Speaking candidly, with the depth and breadth of bureaucratic process I have come to know and love in other areas of the ad industry, I am pretty impressed they were able to do anything at all in a year. However, that’s not to say the organization should be left to roam free without the watchful eye of its constituency.
dannysullivan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2004   #26
dannysullivan
Editor, SearchEngineLand.com (Info, Great Columns & Daily Recap Of Search News!)
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Search Engine Land
Posts: 2,085
dannysullivan has much to be proud ofdannysullivan has much to be proud ofdannysullivan has much to be proud ofdannysullivan has much to be proud ofdannysullivan has much to be proud ofdannysullivan has much to be proud ofdannysullivan has much to be proud ofdannysullivan has much to be proud of
And one last thing -- please keep further comments to this thread about the points raised in either of the articles, rather the people involved. While Christine wrote the original article, it's not so much whether she's "good" or "bad" but rather whether SEMPO needs the breathing room she's asking for -- and that Kevin Ryan also seems to suggest. To that end, I've renamed the thread to focus on the breathing room aspect.
dannysullivan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2004   #27
NFFC
"One wants to have, you know, a little class." DianeV
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 468
NFFC is a splendid one to beholdNFFC is a splendid one to beholdNFFC is a splendid one to beholdNFFC is a splendid one to beholdNFFC is a splendid one to beholdNFFC is a splendid one to behold
On the Ryan stuff, he said:

"The truth is SEMPO has experienced unparalleled growth since its inception, a problem that might leave any group of professionals on a mission a bit lost for a brief moment. Going from zero to 250 members in a year"

Lets just put that in perspective; "unparalleled growth" + "Going from zero to 250 members". Honestly if a board of what are supposed to be the Internets leading marketers can't figure out in 12 months how to commuinicate with 250 [repeated for emphasis 250] people then....

If they had devided up the members between the board they could have personally visited them all.
NFFC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2004   #28
Chris_D
 
Chris_D's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 1,099
Chris_D has much to be proud ofChris_D has much to be proud ofChris_D has much to be proud ofChris_D has much to be proud ofChris_D has much to be proud ofChris_D has much to be proud ofChris_D has much to be proud ofChris_D has much to be proud ofChris_D has much to be proud of
Quote:
SEMPO as a non-profit 501 (c) (6), the activities of promoting and marketing its members is illegal in the US.
Hey guys - I've got an answer - SEMPO should start promoting and marketing their NON US based members - you know, the 70 something members outside the USA!



You have my URL SEMPO - feel free to promote it!!

Chris_D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2004   #29
Jill Whalen
SEO Consulting
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 650
Jill Whalen is just really niceJill Whalen is just really niceJill Whalen is just really niceJill Whalen is just really niceJill Whalen is just really nice
Well, this is weird. I got a SEMPO "newsletter" tonight, it didn't address any issues! Was kinda like the boring meeting, only shorter.

I thought perhaps they only sent half of it or something because it seemed to be just like one of those short newsletters that are a teaser for the actual content, and you have to click through for more. And yet, there didn't seem to be a link to click through for more. (Other than a press release and a rehash of the SJ meeting.)

I replied to the email to find out where the rest of the newsletter was, but no answer so far. (It's only been about 5 or 6 hours, so I'll see if they reply tomorrow.)

Maybe they don't need breathing room after all and simply think that everything is fine and dandy?

Weird!
Jill Whalen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2004   #30
bethabernathy
Looking forward to Summer
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Lake Tahoe, California
Posts: 419
bethabernathy has a spectacular aura aboutbethabernathy has a spectacular aura aboutbethabernathy has a spectacular aura about
As a twist from my negativity, I checked out their site and they have a job listing for the Exec. Director position, and no reference to Webmama next to B. Coll. They have hired legal council? I think so, from a tc with D. Todd.

Anyway, I think it is good that the members or community help them along with in these posts. That may be what they need. It isn't fun to have to ride the coattails, but in this case, in this industry, that is just taking off, it maybe just the thing to do?????? And that is a question mark or 5.
bethabernathy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2004   #31
Jill Whalen
SEO Consulting
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 650
Jill Whalen is just really niceJill Whalen is just really niceJill Whalen is just really niceJill Whalen is just really niceJill Whalen is just really nice
Yep it seems they did. The email they sent did say this:

SEMPO Governance
- Lawyer engaged to review operations; preliminary review completed
- Governance documents in legal review

But without any elaboration. That's why I thought I was missing something. Why not tell us more about that? What did they find in the preliminary review?
Jill Whalen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2004   #32
rustybrick
 
rustybrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 2,810
rustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud of
To be fair, they did list out a dozen or so bullet points of what they will be doing. The detail was not there but it is a newsletter.

Here are some of the action points they will/are taking:
**** - SEMPO forum in beta (ok, so we can interact with all members)
**** - Increased membership communication (how so? by this email? its a start)
**** - Membership levels being reviewed (this is a good thing - who knows what the outcome will be but they are listening)
***** - Lawyer engaged to review operations; preliminary review completed
***** - Governance documents in legal review (by laws)
***** - Job description [for executive director] posted on*sempo.org (www.sempo.org/jobs.php)
**** - Advertising campaign launched August 2nd

There are other points I left out to keep this post short.

They are, IMO, doing more now then they did 6 months ago. Its a good start I think.
rustybrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2004   #33
bethabernathy
Looking forward to Summer
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Lake Tahoe, California
Posts: 419
bethabernathy has a spectacular aura aboutbethabernathy has a spectacular aura aboutbethabernathy has a spectacular aura about
It is a small step in the right direction.
bethabernathy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2004   #34
Jill Whalen
SEO Consulting
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 650
Jill Whalen is just really niceJill Whalen is just really niceJill Whalen is just really niceJill Whalen is just really niceJill Whalen is just really nice
Yes, but Rusty, there's no way for us to know what they're actually doing. They sent only their table of contents. I really think maybe they did it by mistake? They couldn't have meant to send only that, could they?

I'm going to email Barbara personally, because it's just too weird and doesn't make sense!
Jill Whalen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2004   #35
bethabernathy
Looking forward to Summer
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Lake Tahoe, California
Posts: 419
bethabernathy has a spectacular aura aboutbethabernathy has a spectacular aura aboutbethabernathy has a spectacular aura about
"SEMPO Governance
- Lawyer engaged to review operations; preliminary review completed
- Governance documents in legal review"

Can we find out the details of the completed preliminary review by the lawyer?
bethabernathy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2004   #36
rustybrick
 
rustybrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 2,810
rustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill Whalen
Yes, but Rusty, there's no way for us to know what they're actually doing. They sent only their table of contents. I really think maybe they did it by mistake? They couldn't have meant to send only that, could they?

I'm going to email Barbara personally, because it's just too weird and doesn't make sense!
Jill, Please let us know what you find out.

Thanks!
rustybrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2004   #37
Jill Whalen
SEO Consulting
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 650
Jill Whalen is just really niceJill Whalen is just really niceJill Whalen is just really niceJill Whalen is just really niceJill Whalen is just really nice
They didn't do it by mistake.

That's what they meant to send.

So much for better member communication. So how long does anyone think they actually need for this breathing room?

Why in the world they aren't writing as much as possible on exactly what's going on behind closed doors is a mystery. I've heard talk that stuff is indeed going on. Why can't we learn about it?

By not communicating (well) after everything else, they seem to be just digging this big gigantic hole. How the heck are they ever gonna climb out of it now? This newsletter that they sent yesterday was their big chance to come clean about everything and they blew it.
Jill Whalen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2004   #38
bwelford
Internet Marketing Consultant
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 100
bwelford is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill Whalen
they seem to be just digging this big gigantic hole. How the heck are they ever gonna climb out of it now?
Jill, I think that "big gigantic hole" has been dug for quite some time now.

You remember that phrase, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". Tom Peters came up with another one to encourage change, "If it ain't broke, break it."

I think my best advice for the SEMPO Board at the moment is, "If it's really broke, just leave it the way it is." Keep your heads down and hope you can salvage something once the dust has settled some months down the road. Perhaps that's the present In-Action Plan.
__________________
Barry Welford
SMM Internet Marketing Consultants
bwelford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2004   #39
Jill Whalen
SEO Consulting
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 650
Jill Whalen is just really niceJill Whalen is just really niceJill Whalen is just really niceJill Whalen is just really niceJill Whalen is just really nice
Have you been advising them, Barry?

That definitely seems to be what they're doing. To me, that's just dumb, dumb, dumb.

I can't imagine being part of a board that believes in keeping everything secret from the members. I truly do not understand what they're doing and why.

Getting very close to just canceling my membership and forgetting about them all together. Originally I thought that because of the smart people they had on the board they'd be able to actually create something good over there, but it appears that they believe in secrecy instead of public acknowledgement of what they've done wrong. It makes it seem like they're guilty of something, even if they aren't. It makes little deals seem like big deals, when all they have to do is make a few detailed explanations about everything that is going on. Honest explanations.

But they choose secrecy and that is just dumb. Secrecy is never a good thing, that's just common sense. Maybe nobody over there has any common sense? Or maybe those that do are being shut up by those that don't?

Still not getting it, but also starting to care less and less (which certain IS their plan!).
Jill Whalen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2004   #40
bethabernathy
Looking forward to Summer
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Lake Tahoe, California
Posts: 419
bethabernathy has a spectacular aura aboutbethabernathy has a spectacular aura aboutbethabernathy has a spectacular aura about
One thing I have noticed in deciphering their newsletter and website modifications are some admissions. While these items were not addressed directly there does appear to be a few items they have changed.

On the Sempo website B. Coll is no longer listed as Executive Director. These are questions I would like answered:

1) Did B. Coll resign?

2) If so, did she resign because, in fact, it was a conflict of interest for her to act as a member of the board, President and Executive Director?

If you read back through any of the Federal Tax law I have posted and read the Sempo job description for the new Executive Director position, you'll see that the Executive Director will report to the board. So, when B. Coll was in the (is she still?) the Executive Director position, it seems that she was reporting to herself.

This brings up the stipend (which I have also posted some Tax law on). This was not unilaterally approved. In fact, I am pretty sure that in the capacity of Executive Director B. Coll would have no say on the stipend. In recalling how that transpired it was because her personal business was suffering. So I am sure she was involved in the decision related to her stipend and the amount paid was based on her personal businesses revenue.

Next, do you really think they will pay the new executive director $100 per hour for a 40+ hour a week position? That would be a salary of $192,000 per year. Is this an acceptable salary for an Executive Director of a non-profit corporation?

The next item is the newsletter states: " - By-laws will be modified and legally reviewed to reflect new process"

Is this an admission that the current by-laws are not following the code for a 501(c)(6).

The next item stated on the newsletter: " - All new processes will be communicated to members"

3) I would like to see the new by-laws when they are prepared and I would like to see the old by-laws.

I would also like just a very brief explanation to my questions above #'s 1 & 2. Does that sound fair?

REMINDER, if you are a member, it is your legal responsibility assist in the governing of the operations of a 501(c)(6). I can see if I can get in touch with Ian (their legal advisor) to see what their plans are related to implementing a formal mechanism for members to assist with the governance of this corporation. I think that this is the next step, but people may just be too annoyed to participate, just thought I would throw that out there.

Last edited by bethabernathy : 08-20-2004 at 12:56 PM.
bethabernathy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off