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Old 07-29-2004   #101
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Originally Posted by searchengineblog.com
Exactly.

The fact that some would consider it a flame shows that perhaps they're not really listening.
Plus I dont post topics that turn into flames.
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Old 07-29-2004   #102
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>>>preferably one experienced in cleaning up messes.

Better to start with a clean bill of health- than start with two black eyes...imho.
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Old 07-29-2004   #103
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How many people involved in this discussion are members of SEMPO? Basically others have the right to comment (the beauty of america) but the ones that have a real right to question actions are the members.
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Old 07-29-2004   #104
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Basically others have the right to comment (the beauty of america)
It's the beauty of other places, too

Quote:
but the ones that have a real right to question actions are the members.
If an industry group is claiming to represent the industry I work in, then I don't need to be a member to comment. They affect me by virtue of their existence. I hope that SEMPO does well, I really do. I'd join if I could see the benefit and felt the numerous issues were being addressed.

That's the problem. Myself, and others, and struggling to see the benefit and get clear answers to simple questions. That isn't a good position to be in when attempting to recruit new members, or convince existing members to renew.

Can SEMPO answer Mike's questions? If not, why not. If so, when?

Last edited by searchengineblog.com : 07-29-2004 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 07-29-2004   #105
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Originally Posted by AussieWebmaster
How many people involved in this discussion are members of SEMPO? Basically others have the right to comment (the beauty of america) but the ones that have a real right to question actions are the members.
Consider it due diligence.

If SEMPO wants me to pay them my hard earned money, then they should get used to a little scrutiny and some questions before I pull out my check book.

But you are right, if I was already a member, I would be asking a lot harder and more direct questions, I'm sure the others would too.
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Old 07-29-2004   #106
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Very good point, Aussie!

Many who aren't members aren't because they had particular gripes with the organization. This simply adds to them, but then they don't have to join!

I am a member. I'm really just waiting to see why they didn't tell members about the stipend. If Barb works as hard at SEMPO as she seems to, then it doesn't seem that weird for her to get paid for it, if the other board members agreed. Apparently they did.

Was it supposed to be a big secret though? Maybe, maybe not. The fact that Mike knew, makes me think it wasn't supposed to even be a secret. Yeah the members weren't informed, but that still doesn't mean it's a secret.

Hopefully, SEMPO will have a press conference or something soon and simply address the issues that have been put forth. Then all those that never liked SEMPO can go on not liking them, and those who joined can decide if we are still happy with our choice of joining...or not.
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Old 07-29-2004   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill Whalen
Many who aren't members aren't because they had particular gripes with the organization. This simply adds to them, but then they don't have to join!
Its not my gripe or my organization. It is the fact that if you are to represent my industry perhaps you need to convince me that I need to join or that I should support you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by searchengineblog.com
If an industry group is claiming to represent the industry I work in, then I don't need to be a member to comment. They affect me by virtue of their existence.
As I recall Jill you were one of the biggest naysayers at the Boston SES. Something convinced you to join, perhaps we are just wondering why we should.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill Whalen
Was it supposed to be a big secret though? Maybe, maybe not. The fact that Mike knew, makes me think it wasn't supposed to even be a secret. Yeah the members weren't informed, but that still doesn't mean it's a secret.
Yup, but I recall Chris D said
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris D
As a SEMPO member, I feel its pretty P*&& poor that I get to read of the decision to pay Barbara $78K on a public forum.

This isn't about the money. It isn't about whether or not Barbara 'deserves' it. Its just about a "professional organisation" keeping it's membership informed of its actions & decisions. ...

Maybe SEMPO should put a link on the sempo home page "Find out what's happening inside SEMPO at SEWForums".
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill Whalen
Hopefully, SEMPO will have a press conference or something soon and simply address the issues that have been put forth. Then all those that never liked SEMPO can go on not liking them, and those who joined can decide if we are still happy with our choice of joining...or not.
It is not about liking or not liking. It is about building a community that supports one another for the good of the whole (at least that is what "SEMPO is a non-profit professional association working to increase awareness and promote the value of Search Engine Marketing worldwide." tells me)

Unless of course raise awareness means just getting forum posts. I guess the current actions are doing a good job of that, but then again so did Traffic Power.
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Last edited by seobook : 07-29-2004 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 07-29-2004   #108
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Like I said, I just want to know more and am very interested in joining if it all makes good business sense, but to date going on 1 year have not received 1 response to any of my questions related to membership. Just weird thats all.
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Old 07-29-2004   #109
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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.

I'm told that this was going to be announced at the meeting Monday even before Mike's article raised the issue. In addition, I'm told these are other points that were planned to be discussed, of items that have been in the works already:

* A search for an experienced executive director is to begin with the goal of having them onboard by December 2004. Barbara will then step down as president and acting executive director and just be chair of the board.

* There were already plans to have the membership nominate and elect a board member by December 2004 - this will be done faster if the board can determine a way to do this.

* The entire board is up for renewal in March 2005 - at that point, the plan is to stagger elections of new board members.

* Financials for the SEMPO year end were posted on the member-only website in April.

* Minutes of all board meetings are available to anyone who asks and SEMPO's seeking a way to put them online in the members area.

New items that were not already on the agenda that have been added in the wake of the article and various forum discussions will include:

* budget spend to date
* income
* future budgets
* accomplishments
* admission of shortcomings with member communication and steps being taken to correct this
* update on a current research project
* update on an upcoming SEM advertising campaign

That's what I've got. I'm sure people have follow up questions. If so, I'd say the most constructive thing is to list what else you'd like to hear, know or have expanded at the meeting Monday night.
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Old 07-29-2004   #110
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Thank you Danny
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Old 07-29-2004   #111
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I have rewritten this too many times now. I only require a response to my fax which requests a copy of their annual report. I am sorry but I like things in writing and I have requested info on membership for 1 year at the onset with no response. So if you want anyone to look over anything ask me as I have 15 years of experience working for some of the top law firms in the country. I just want documentation which should be readily available from a non-profit entity from anyone. Again, still interested in joining, just do not understand.
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Old 07-29-2004   #112
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Beth,

From what i understand, the fax you sent was to the WebMama corporate office, and Danny mentioned that SEMPO doesn't have a fax number listed at the site. I believe Barbara is on her way to the SES conference via Montreal and may be out of pocket as a lot of us travelling to the conference will be over the next several days.
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Old 07-29-2004   #113
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O.K. this is the last one from me, but the address on B's site and Sempo are the same. Fax the same? I just simply want documentation without having to join a .org that I have requested info from related to membership for over 1 year. I am sure that I will not receive my requested annual report prior to the conference. Sorry to be a thorn.
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Old 07-30-2004   #114
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>>I'm told that this was going to be announced at the meeting Monday even before Mike's article raised the issue.

So it was approved and drawn upon on may 15 and they were going to announce it on aug 7

Sounds like damage limitation to me. I've met Barbara, it was memorable to say the least

And if that really is the truth, then it was at the very best, an ill thought out move.

Nick

Last edited by Nacho : 07-30-2004 at 10:46 AM. Reason: Removed phrase for misconduct.
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Old 07-30-2004   #115
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I'm surprised to read the rather dismissive retort against Mike Grehan. He raised a rather extensive list of very valid concerns.

That SEMPO would seemingly rather belittle Mike first, than address any number of the concerns raised, hardly suggests SEMPO as an organisation worth taking seriously - if it ever was in the first place.

Last edited by I, Brian : 07-30-2004 at 04:19 AM.
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Old 07-30-2004   #116
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Danny, thanks for relaying the answers from Sempo.

Quote:
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.
I live and work in Sydney Australia. I trust that the Sempo Board will appreciate that I'm really just too busy to 'pop over' to a Sempo meeting in the USA next Monday evening.

As a financial member of Sempo, could I request 2 things please:

1. Will the Sempo Board be providing agendas and minutes of any other Sempo Board meetings? What other decisions have been made (that, by definition, the membership is not aware of?).

2. Why didn't the Board not even mention the 'agenda' for next Mondays meeting in the 3 member emails from SEMPO (21 July, 2 July, and 21 May) - since the decision was made?

This has become a PR disaster for Sempo for one reason - the Board of Sempo has failed to communicate their meeting agendas, minutes, and decisions to their members. If they had - this whole issue would have been a non event.

Its not about Barb; and not about money; its only about communication with the (paid) membership.
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Old 07-30-2004   #117
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As a non-profit organization purporting to represent the whole industry, I feel that far too much information is for members only.

So if you want to join, you've got to accept that you're buying a brown paper bag. You hope when you open the bag, you'll like what you find.
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Old 07-30-2004   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny
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.

I'm told that this was going to be announced at the meeting Monday even before Mike's article raised the issue.
Surely it would have been appropriate to raise this matter at the SEMPO meeting in June. Instead, I was personally told by Barbara at SES London (in June remember) that the funds raised in membership had only been used to pay for meetings, etc, and that the vast majority of the funds were in a bank account waiting for a good use for them to be found and evaluated.

Now I find out that $156,000 of those funds were pre-allocated to be spent over the next two years on the stipend to Barbara.

Quite simply, I was directly deceived, at the very least by ommission of important facts, in a direct response to a direct question.
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Old 07-30-2004   #119
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That is without question the most damning thing I've read since any of this was brought to light. The only possible excuse I can think of for this is that maybe the funds used to pay the salary aren't coming from member dues, but rather from the sponsors.

But that's the sort of answer you'd expect from a politician.
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Old 07-30-2004   #120
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SEMPO exists to fill the gaps in awareness and understanding of SEM...
How can they hope to fill in the gaps about SEM when they have issues effectively communicating with their members and general public?

Out of all the issues presented in this thread, I feel that the lack of communication is SEMPO's greatest weakness. I work for a non-profit and I can certainly understand the challenges in running one; however, IMO there is no excuse for not setting up a membership database and sending out minutes and other updates to members via email.
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