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If someone in the industry has an unpopular opinion, or defends something, or otherwise causes negative publicity to their company or self, they may as well be walking around with a scarlet letter branded to them for life.
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from qwerty 2471 Days ago #
Votes: 1

"bombard everyone with your humble greatness"Now that’s a challenge. Hey everyone -- check out how modest I am!

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from cre8pc 2471 Days ago #
Votes: 0

HehI had a few lines in my head to expand on that but didn’t.  What came to my mind first is how for marketers there is no such thing as being humble.   I had a personal giggle over the SEMMYS because I was all excited about being nominated until I saw the other nominees expressing their joy too...which is fine until I began to see how many of their things were nominated and I felt squished back into my little unworthy corner again :)I thought it was funny anyway...

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from DazzlinDonna 2471 Days ago #
Votes: 0

It almost seems inevitable because of the very nature of our industry, which includes a large dose of competitiveness, and an equally large dose of unprovable "facts".  In addition, we are all a rather tight-knit group in some respects, so we are all kind of in each other’s business a lot.  I mean, way back when I was a secretary, I didn’t hang out with secretaries all around the world, nor was there any sort of competitiveness amongst secretaries for who had the best secretarial skills.  Honestly, considering our industry, and the fact that many of us are "less than social creatures", it’s pretty amazing that we get along so well.  The fact that we knock heads now and then, and let our baser human sides shine through isn’t pretty, but not all that surprising either.Now, having said all that, let me say this:  Let’s all play nice, shall we?  :)

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from dannysullivan 2471 Days ago #
Votes: 4

Kim, I guess I’m more positive. I don’t the the SEO world has gotten any more partisan than it has ever been. Actually, I’ve thought for the past year that things have gotten better than in the past. I’ve watched various organizations, for example, offer training and accrediation programs recently. I can remember when the mere mention of this would have "old school" SEOs somewhat rightly upset that they didn’t want to be seen as pushed out of the space for not being "accredited."I can remember the incredible furor over SEMPO and the stipend issue, with people predicting it would die -- many wanting to kill it. Some of those same people are now members of it and strong supporters.SEO -- like any industry -- has its fights. I think we tend to assume that we’re somehow special. But I’m currently reading this biography of Andrew Jackson, and it’s amazing to watch the number of fights going on. These long letters written betwen injured parties, demanding satisfaction of restoring their reputations. Duels. "I call you sir, a coward and poltroon." Lots of poltroon calling -- had to look it up, another word for coward!On the balance, I think things have gotten better over the years. I have no believe that fights will go away, but neither do I think we’re going to devolve into individual cults. Actually, the entire cult aspect is what worries me most. They aren’t cults. They are communities and readerships. If someone doesn’t like SEOmoz, it’s disrepectful to assume those who do like it are mindless gnomes unable to think for themselves. If someone doesn’t like John Andrews, it is similarly disrepectful to assume those who do like him or voice support are only doing it because they are fanboys. And the same at SEL -- at WebmasterWorld, you name it. These are all places where peopel gather and often share a sense of community or family. When people dismiss members of one community as just loving that community through slavish devotion, is it a surprise you get a "you talking about my mamma" response?Communities have problems; people make mistakes, and sometimes it takes those outside a particular community to raise issues. We shouldn’t be afraid of that. We shouldn’t be afraid of intelligent discussion or a calling out when needed. But what we do not need is for the personal attacks that sometimes go with these things. They get in the way of the facts, get the blood rushing and people who would never yell at each other in person or say certain things face to face can be downright mean. And that, indeed, can suck.

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from evilgreenmonkey 2471 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"many wanting to kill it. Some of those same people are now members"Damn it, you noticed! ;o)

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from dannysullivan 2471 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Kim, back to communities, I remembered and old piece I did on being a "Big Voice" in SEO that came off of advice Andy Hagans posted. It talked about supposed A-Lists, but it also got into community aspects, as well:In my SES Chicago keynote, I touched on all of these venues as ways we have a multitude of communities in SEO, and I’m probably going to write that all up in more depth. But it’s also important to remember that if we do have A-Lists, B-Lists or whatever, no one’s really going to completely agree on them. There are people at WebmasterWorld who simply live in that space look up only to those in the community there. Pick another forum, and you’ll find the same. An "A-Lister" wading in isn’t necessarily going to carry that A-List reputation earned in other places over. They’ll either earn it anew or gain it because some in the "new" community they’ve entered with uprep them to others, because they feel it is deserved.Beyond this, you’ve got people who have never, ever been to a search forum at all -- yet they can be successful search marketers. Life does not revolve around the forums. You’ve also got people who haven’t been to a single search conference, or not read a particular blog, newsletter, whatever. Who is important to them may be completely different than someone else. Overall, as I explained in my keynote, we have a variety of SEO communities and leaders within those....Befriend rivals? Sure, I completely believe in that to some degree. I could run a site where I never link to anything but our own SEW material. Instead, I think it’s a better site if it is inclusive in pointing people to the best stuff wherever it is. Being a good guide in pointing is as important as being a good guide in terms of doing your own content. And only a foolish person believes they know it all. Bad advice is scratching someone’s back for something that doesn’t deserve it and figuring the "dumb readers" won’t know it. Sure, some won’t. But I think -- or at least hope -- many readers do see through that type of stuff. At least for me, those types of patterns are glaringly obvious. When I see it happening, my respect for those doing it begins to drop.

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from seanmag 2471 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Leave it to the fairer sex to inject a does of wisdom and thoughtful perspective.Too much testosterone is never a good thing.

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from cre8pc 2470 Days ago #
Votes: 2

@Danny - "Kim, I guess I’m more positive."Good, because the industry needs that :)  It’s like a coach and his team.  You never hear of a good coach who has given up.  Great coaches see the potential and wring it out of their players whether they like it or not.I remember the SEMPO fiasco because a lot of it played itself out at Cre8asiteforums.  One of the complaints then was that some felt one USA based organization couldn’t possibly represent SEO’s in other countries, or even the different practices.  New org’s formed with the idea of each country having it’s own, but in the end, SEMPO outlasted them all.  The "cult" reference is bothersome.  If I want to do business with or partner with a company that has an interesting reputation, my own reputation is then tied to them.  It’s the nature of the beast, but it’s a beast I strongly dislike.  I think that when you’re in the thick of it, like a new SEO, or wanting to grow your business in the search marketing industry, reputation becomes a real concern.Odder still is when someone tells me who to "let" into the Cre8asiteforums community.  I could be silent about this practice but I’ll use it to illustrate how deep the manipulation goes in the industry.  I always listen and sometimes I’ve been offered, while unsolicited, some accurate advice.  However, sometimes it’s given to sway me to one’s way of thinking and that crosses the line and causes me to question motives.@To allI’m hopeful that the outcome of my post (and some of the others like it I’m seeing crop up) is healthy, productive discussion.  Most everyone in the industry are friends and most reach out and welcome newcomers with open arms.  It helps to remind ourselves of the good stuff.

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from bwelford 2470 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I think the opportunity for SEM is so huge out there that there’s more than enough opportunity for all who have skills and experience.  Why waste energy on internal bickering when that same energy could be so profitably applied elsewhere.

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from thejenn 2470 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Danny,I was thinking the same thing (re: forums) when I read Kim’s post. I remember, back before blogs were all the rage, how there was this mindset that things were "divided." You were either part of WMW, SEF or IHY. Then we got HR and Cre8asite going. Then SEW. People noticed Digital Point and V7N and other networks. Things spread out.Like you said, it was just different ways of looking at things, or even just different personalities. I see the same thing going on now. People tend to gather with other like-minded people. Do the SEL fans love SEL the most? Of course. Otherwise, they wouldn’t hang out there. Do the Mozzers think that site is the best? Of course. If they didn’t they’d hang someplace else. I don’t really think there’s any more fighting these days either. I just think the fighting is more public. It’s not confined to the community it’s happening in because blogs and twitter and Facebook and the like have turned things into one giant community. We’ll always have drama queens, we’ll always have instigators and we’ll always have peace keepers. We can get caught up in them, or we can simply keep doing our work the best way we know how. No one is ever going to be liked by everyone. Find your audience, focus on what makes them happy and deliver the goods. End of story.

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from crashingflwrgrl 2470 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Just the ramblings of a nobody here. I’ve been on the verge of submitting a heartfelt comment to this thread over 3 times now. Each time I’ve decide against it though. I’m learning quickly in this industry that it’s more often best to keep your yap shut when your opinions go against the elite crowd. That is unless you want negative attention (which I do not).We all want to be recognized by the elite, for our work and our contributions to the community but it seems there’s less and less room in that clique. In fact, the more I read about the ’hassles’ of being a ’famous’ search marketer, the less appealing it becomes (or is it the less appealing THEY become?).*going back to my lil’ corner*

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from AdamAudette 2470 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@crashingflwrgri: do your work, make your friends, have your family. What else is there? Don’t focus on the unimportant things, much of it is perception and not reality... and we all make our own of both.

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from debram 2470 Days ago #
Votes: 0

We all want to be recognized by the elite, for our work and our contributions to the community but it seems there’s less and less room in that clique. I hope that’s not true, a community that doesn’t embrace new thoughts or people perpetuates stale thoughts and eventually dies.  Besides, anyone who doesn’t let the new kids into play is a fathead.

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from cre8pc 2470 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Ok. I’ll use forums as an example.What if one forums (aka community, specific "feel", group karma) were to be combined with another community with a different environment and group of folks, but still within the same industry, through purchase or other form of unification?Even if the reasons for the combo are business decisions, you can bet members of both communities will be upset and reputations would suffer for the decision.  We have all the forums because there is no one size fits all place to be.  What interests me is that crossing boundaries, speaking up for someone who is unpopular, or doing business with someone outside your "group" opens up the door to being harrassed, either privately or publically.Unless it’s happened to one of you, you may never know what I’m talking about.  When the experience does hit close to home, it makes you think and reconsider where you want to be, what you want to do and who you want to do it for.@crashingflwrgrl, don’t give up. One thing I’ve observed at conferences, for example, is that while there are a handful of well knowns as speakers, there is also a majority of people who company workers, owners, project managers, etc. whose names you won’t see because they’re working and not in the public eye.  Some of the best takeaways I’ve ever had from conferences come from people I’ve never heard of before :)

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from katfrench 2470 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I’ve debated for a bit on whether or not to comment on this. I’ve seen the patterns that cre8pc and thejenn describe before, albeit on a completely different set of forums in an entirely different interest group. Online communities forge an odd kind of intimacy among their members. And most of us carry personal baggage that can very easily get mixed into our passionate opinions about our work and our jealously-guarded professional reputations (not to mention those of people we really respect and admire). To paraphrase a quote from Star Wars, "Our mentors sometimes see the worst of us, that’s how we grow," but another truth is that we sometimes see the worst of our mentors, and that, too is another way we grow.Edited to Add: Oh, and to cre8pc, as another person who "straddles two industries" (I found it a little shocking how far the divide is between ad agencies, even interactive agencies, and SEOs), I definitely feel for you.  It was an excellent article, and probably the most thoughtful one I’ve read on the whole affair. 

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from WebmasterT 2469 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Danny, the skin I have in this game is exact opposite to you. You can’t have your business go in the shitter because some guy talks like he knows, when in the words of Kramer "they know nothing!". there are people held up as leaders and listed as a leader in Wikipedia the number one result for search engine optimization. The fact he or one of his devotees likely put it there is the part that really rankles me.Danny, when the public sees us practitioners with a jaundiced eye you will benefit from it because the only alternative is to teach yourself. Where better to go than SMX for that?Yeah, I’m ranting I think my livlihood is at risk because some of us can’t see when we pi$$ in the fountain it’s our water supply we’re fouling. Having spent years in the telmarketing business and watched an industry kill itself off by allowing a few bad apples to flourish. Eventually the whole basket is seen as bad and everyone gets thrown out! if we don’t clean this up the end is not pretty and ends with grown men crying because their kids don’t eat. Been there done that and got the T to prove it. So crank up the "Don’t Worry, Be happy" as we whistle past the graveyard playing nice!Outsourcing is a huge trend in America, yet SEO is on a definite trend towards in-sourcing. Doesn’t anyone else wonder why that is? I often do!

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from cre8pc 2468 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I rescued your comment Jill!  Eric said the same thing to me the other day...talking about high school and who hangs around with who stuff. 

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