On October 25th, MORCon 2014 will kick off in Abucay, Bataan for what promises to be two days of actionable search marketing insights and networking opportunities. Making this year’s event even more anticipated is the fact that an election of new officers has been put in the agenda by SEO Organization Philippines’ incumbent leaders. Excitement is in the air as the group’s members look forward to what the new batch of officers will bring to the table.
As a relative newcomer to the organization, I am grateful to the original members and the current administration for establishing a vibrant community of local search marketers. The group currently has 3,500+ members and that number continues to grow on a daily basis. The current leaders have created an online platform for idea exchanges, work opportunities and general relationship-building. All of these are free but priceless privileges we enjoy as a result of the original crew’s work.
But like everything else in life, evolution is key to survival. For the org to reach new heights, new leaders have to rise and bring in new ideas. There’s always room for improvement and reforms can always be made to help the group adapt to the times. With that in mind, I asked several familiar members one simple question: what is the one reform that you want to see from SEO Organization Philippines’ new officers?
Here are their responses:
I know everyone is busy, that running the org is not an easy task to do to make it grow. Look at our forum alone, it is hard to maintain but you cannot blame anyone because it is a labor of love but everyone needs to make money to survive.
So I think we need to open up the running of regular task in some kind of annual sponsorship. Still nobody is paid but the people contributing the work can use the forum, blog, FB group to run sponsored ads. Treat it as an incentive to those that do their task and give them only 1 year in that position. Next year someone else has to do it but the previous guy will spend a maximum of two months assisting the incoming new guy.
This is something that our small group has already been doing regularly for the past few months (with Glen Dimaandal, Gary Viray, Sam Nam, JJ Pike, Marq Untivero, Luch Zanirato, JP Prieto, Kenneth Sytian) and it wouldn’t hurt to see more people get more involved in this kind of gathering. I believe there are so many things that you can learn just from talking and exchanging ideas with people who’re also in the trenches.
Well Glen, to be honest I’m not entirely sure as I don’t really know what the SEO org ph is about. Is it about bringing order to the chaotic, fragmented groups of specialists in our country? Is it about educating all practitioners on the ethical side of practicing SEO? Perhaps as a business? Is it a group that strives to connect all specialists with each other?
I believe that I’m at huge fault as to why I don’t know this.
However if there’s one thing I would love to see the organization do, it’s this: that it would help filter the good, legitimate SEO practitioners from those who don’t. Why is this important? Because the world sees the Philippines as a country that practices SEO in way not too far from how the black hatters in India does it.
It’s an offense to the entire Philippine SEO industry. And I believe it should be addressed, fixed and finally debunked. The organization is a huge platform to finally achieve that.
Transparency – Officers should provide easy to understand documents, forms and media to the members of the organization in relation to governance, e.g. structures, policies, rules and regulation, and finances.
If an organization asks for money to pay for events, pay for utilities and maintenance or membership fees etc., it is only fair that the officers create a document to show how the collection was spent.
Transparency allows outside people to step in and see how everything works. You know there is accountability when your leaders are transparent.
Managing an organization is a serious investment of time and resources, but if there’s one thing I’d love to see from the new org, (not just from the officers themselves, of course), that would be; additional efforts in building a stronger and more solid online presence. Officers and members should be treating it as a brand and really invest time to promote the organization. We are a community of creative people. Small things like contributing content to our org’s site should help a lot.
More of what I’d love to see spring from the org:
- Virtual MorCon / MorCon TV! ― For our members who can’t make it to the conferences; why not!
- More Local Chapters – I believe Pampanga, Cebu, and Iloilo chapters have been established already, but we should be expanding more.
- Elected committee members – SEO Org is a fast-growing community and I’m pretty sure, managing it would be quite exhausting! Don’t you think it’s time to appoint committees and members? Event Committee, Speakers Committee, Social Media Committee, etc. This should help our officers – a lot!
- Rich Media Gallery (thus, solid website) – We have tons of amazing materials from our members, like presentation slides, event photos, etc. It’s a must-not miss opportunity to showcase our members and their achievements.
I suggested some time back that the organization should have an official list of members that can be posted in the Organization’s site. This was opposed at the time and did not materialize but I think it can be used to bring order to the SEO community.
The list can be used to identify good and legitimate SEO practitioners in the Philippines. Those who are doing good things for their clients can have their names and details on the list while members who are found to have broken guidelines can be taken off of it. In the long run, this can be used as a badge to help our businesses present more social proof to our prospective clients.
The reform we need – a new batch of officers to run the organization better. I am one of the guys who started this group, I’ve been there when the founding members were active that it doesn’t take a month for us to visit a school to introduce SEO as a possible career, there’s not a week that we don’t do meetups, and there’s no event that we shelled out money just to finance our advocacies, from simple gatherings to the bigger events.
But time passed by, most of the original members of the group have been busy with their families, some out of the country, and some too busy with their work. I knew these guys personally, they have been my family for a decade, they spent a lot of time building this group, and as it grew, it’s harder to handle things so we need a reorganization of everything.
What I’d like to see is that the new officers will establish a much much better system, from memberships, local chapters, event management and more but still keeping some of the group’s reason why it was built such as – officers and the org itself should not make money from our members for their personal gains, to keep events / conferences / seminars as cheap (in price) / free as it can be so more people can be there and learn.
I’ll do a short talk about that night several years ago on when and why we decided to build this group on the event night so the new officers will learn why we’re here and identify what they can improve.
Ah yes, maybe an open forum will be nice…
Now that we have that out of the way, here’s my two cents:
I may be naïve to want this, but it would be a dream come true if the organization can have an accreditation committee to identify which individuals and agencies are doing legitimate, white hat SEO. One of the stigmas about SEO services from our country is that we do mostly spammy, low-end work that only cheap and desperate clients would look for. There’s truth in that, but it’s also true that there are a lot of talented SEOs in our country who are playing fair and being successful at it.
The Organization is a big and influential platform that represents Philippine SEO. If we can start proving amongst ourselves who are for real and who are making money off of unethical methodologies, we can start uplifting our image as a hotbed of digital marketing services. A better reputation for Philippine SEO means better opportunities for all of us for the foreseeable future.
See you all at MORCon 2014. Let’s all put some serious thought into the votes that we cast during the event and let’s support whoever will take the mantle as the Org’s new leaders!