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Discuss Sempo's Sept. Newsletter
Posted 11 September 2004 - 03:15 PM
I'd like to propose that we simply give them say 2 months without bothering them at all. Just let them go about their work of getting things straightened out, and at the end of that time, present all that they've done.
If at that time, things are still a royal mess, then I'd say maybe they should just scrap the whole thing and that will be that.
But maybe, just maybe in 2 months (or so) without people bugging them every two minutes, maybe they could finish what they started, have a real organization, real committees and those interested in being members would be happy with it.
Posted 11 September 2004 - 03:43 PM
My lips are sealed, can't promise 2 months though
Posted 11 September 2004 - 05:30 PM
Just for the record: I do not agree with you at all. Not at all. Also, I can tell you that policy is going to be very hard to sell here, where I live, in Scandinavia. I can't speak for other European regions but I am pretty sure of the reaction here: "Are you joking?"
This is one of the best reasons Americans should really stay out of the way we chose to organize things here. I respect your ways but you also have to respect ours and I am sorry to say, but the attitude you show, Ian, towards democracy in SEMPO is not helping one bit in buillding a better reputation for SEMPO here. In fact, I believe you are killing SEMPO here with such statements. You statements may be acceptable in the US (I don't know) but here, I can tell you, many people will not take it well. Me included.
Yes, democracy is a bitch. So is human rights and decent behaviour in general but thats the price we have to pay to be civilized, I believe. But then again, thats just my opinion...
Posted 11 September 2004 - 06:14 PM
Posted 11 September 2004 - 06:43 PM
The UK is England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The Republic of Ireland is another country altogether. I believe that's what people are referring to.
Posted 11 September 2004 - 07:10 PM
SEMPO really does bring people together...very interesting, if nothing else.
Posted 11 September 2004 - 07:45 PM
So brave and so true. Thank you for voicing your real opinions.
You have my absolute respect. We are not the united states of Europe nor are we Federal Europe, we are bound by a common cause - sure. But we are independent entities and sometimes, America just doesn't get it I guess.
SEMPO should check with the greatest American marketer ever, Philip Kotler, and note his observation of "self reference criteria" i.e. if it works in America it must work everywhere else. Wrong!
A little understanding goes a long way.
SEMPO may be based in Barbra Coll's house, but the ethos has to travel a lot further than that before it works in other nations.
We don't just have to have the same cause - we have to have a common language and our own democracy before we can all agree on what's good for search marketing overseas from America.
SEMPO - If you want to be global... stop thinking that only American ideas (or an estranged Canadian's as they are) count everywhere.
Posted 11 September 2004 - 09:57 PM
My musings were personal and opinion in nature, based on a fair amount of experience with public companies, NOT any particular political system (or SEMPO policy, for that matter).
But lets focus on moving forward - I've had a few emails regarding people flaming me here and that's why I checked in - I don't think that's the case (I don't feel flamed - or even toasty) but in view of the fact that it's apparently being seen that way I'd like to take this opportunity to move towards a more positive and useful approach.
I'm on the SEMPO election committee. That doesn't mean I control a damn thing, but it does mean I have some direct input and an interest in this area. So lets open this up for discussion.
Who wants to go first?
Posted 11 September 2004 - 10:25 PM
Posted 11 September 2004 - 10:54 PM
Who wants to go first?
I'll go first...
You are NOT American, but you are trying to help and support a very off the tracks American organisation do nothing more than remain off the tracks it seems.
And if I do pay my dues to this bogus operation, I'd like to hear from their American lawyer (heaven knows why you're doing legal
advice for free, in a foreign country, didn't Barbara say the organisation was loaded with sponsorship money recently?) and hear what their own relative and legal thoughts are.
I believe (respect you as do) I simply heard YOUR random thoughts and not a single thing which would stand up. Maybe we should get a little more formal with the law on both sides of the Ocean.
Yes, we could go on forever, it is that serious. Please take it as such and let some Europeans have grievance procedure of some sort where it's due...
Posted 12 September 2004 - 03:21 AM
So, to give you some real feed back and my best suggestion: Back out of Europe!
SEMPO is a completely US-centric organisation. Accept it. I think you have plenty of work to do just getting things together in the US. SEMPO is just not ready to go here - or maybe we are just not ready for SEMPO
Posted 12 September 2004 - 05:15 AM
On the real side, let's not have it so that no American can ever make a suggestion (nor -- gasp! -- a decision) without being accused in the most strident terms of trying to control the world. None of us are the government; you are not your country's government; no one here is, to my knowledge, representing a government; we are all individuals trying to get something done in a sphere that concerns us.
It's true that what is customary varies from country to country. I was born elsewhere, traveled, raised multi-culturally in the U.S. and have lived in big, sophisticated, cosmopolitan cities for ages, and so have been aware of this for most of my life. It's *very* easy to err when it comes to customs and cultures. Inadvertently. Heck, things offend my sensitivities, but I don't insist that everyone understand and cater to me at all times. Instead, I have found that increased communication helps and that manners smooth the way and ease the frictions between people. So enough already. Let's set aside the anti-isms, the generalities and the belittling and targeting of nationalities -- wishes for respect, common courtesy and understanding go both ways, my friends.
That said, I will not apologize for SEMPO. Nor will I accept the insinuation that what SEMPO does is how all Americans are. SEMPO is not "all Americans" nor even me. The fact that America has soaps does not mean we see life as a soap. We are not all charging about like Rambo. We are not Arnold the California Guvernator. <smile> Oops; he is not from here, which only goes to demonstrate that America is still a melting pot of peoples and cultures, accepting of the many.
Now, as to SEMPO: I've said before that SEMPO's lack of communication (or, now, poor and incomplete communication) has worked to its detriment, compounding the very real and serious issues it faces. Participatory things get done by agreement, so the problem here is that SEMPO called for help and volunteers and then placed respondees on committees without discussing it with them -- and then omitted to tell them what the purpose of the committees was. Ian suggested that this is one way that committees are formed, I guess in Canada and probably also here. But I don't know, and this may be the main unstated issue, whether SEMPO formed these new/whatever committees for the purpose of being the permanent committees and doing whatever those committees do, or simply for the sake of having groups within SEMPO who could start to research, organize information and make recommendations. I don't know; does anyone know yet?
At any rate, it's pretty clear that there's a sensitivity to being selected ("appointed") to SEMPO positions without either (1) an election, or (2) being told that it's a kind of preparatory position ... or (3) asking if they'd like to participate on committees at all. Given all that went before, that probably should have been foreseen as a sensitive point and handled more gracefully than it was. It wasn't. It was unfortunately made worse by the inclusion of Ireland in the UK contingent; whether this was due to a lack of knowledge or a desire to group geographic areas together, I cannot guess. Unfortunately, both have worsened things instead of being seen as an opportunity to move forward in a way that is inclusive of the industry rather than exclusive. SEMPO could easily issue a statement clarifying its actions and the purpose of these committees. More communication, not less, will help to resolve issues.
Mikkel has posted that SEMPO should stay out of Europe. On the other hand, Ammon Johns discussed in July wanting a UK contingent. It doesn't appear that there's agreement as to what "we" (you all) want. I guess those that want it will attempt to move forward, and those who prefer that SEMPO stay out of the market won't.
Funny; I say all this not being sure that I like what SEMPO, on some days, appears to be.
Edited by DianeV, 12 September 2004 - 05:23 AM.
Posted 12 September 2004 - 06:01 AM
I believe that one of the roots to the problems is that SEMPO is apparently driven more like a commercial business than a trade organisation. At least the way I see them here. To me the bylaws comes first, then a democratic and solid structure - and then comes the work for the goals. Aparently SEMPO has chosen another strategy focusing more on goals than democracy, bylaws and a solid structure. That is, in my opinion, what is backfirering now.
The reason I think SEMPO should go back to the drawing board and rethink the strategy for Europe is that SEMPO is hurting our industry here more than it helps right now. I constantly find myself in a position where I either have to defend stupid actions from SEMPO (or the lack of it) or join the choir of complaining people. I don't like either. In fact, I have spend far more time recently on trying to defend SEMPO actions (or the lack of) than what I usualy spend trying to clean up the bad reputation from scum SEOs. I am getting tired of that.
So, you won't find me here slamming on SEMPO. I have better things to do. I just wanted to pick up on the democracy issue because I do think it is one of the most important one.
I will return to my drawing board and together with likeminded people in this industry work out what we think is right to do. I'd much rather spend my time on buidling something good from the ground up than having to repair something this broken.
Posted 12 September 2004 - 09:04 AM
> Just like, I assume, most people from the Republic of Ireland don't like to be called "English". In fact, those kinds of remarks has triggered drive by shootings and terror in the past.
Okay. As much as I am "culturally diversified", I would not have assumed that. I should point out that it's a general American cultural thing to accept other nationalities, cultures and customs (we have so many of them here) and there are even laws with respect to discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, etc.; it's what you do when you have a big country with cultural diversity ... so we are kind of raised to be tolerant, however imperfect that may be. My *guess* is that SEMPO did not combine UK/Ireland out of a sense of malice, but you are right that they do need to look into local cultures so as not to offend people. Or, if they accidentally offend, they ought to apologize. This just goes to show how easy it is to overlook something and offend.
> one of the roots to the problems is that SEMPO is apparently driven more like a commercial business than a trade organisation.
Yes. That's what I see too. There are trade organizations in the U.S. that do not so much promote the members or operate like a commercial business. I tend to judge by actions, not words or PR statements.
There has been talk elsewhere (cre8asite, for example) about forming a different organization.
Are you not in San Francisco?
Posted 12 September 2004 - 09:31 AM
One thing I just don't get though is exactly why people care so much about this particular group? (Either good or bad.) It's just a group like the others out there. Why is this one so scrutinized?
Just curious really. I'm trying to stay out of things for the most part and just watching and waiting things out.
I have no real vested interest in whether SEMPO succeeds or fails. It wouldn't even be a blip on my radar screen either way, other than interesting story of the week.
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