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March 04, 2008


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Andy Beal

I agree we could benefit from an association that could help promote the industry and perhaps even standardize the language we use, but I'm afraid I draw the line at any kind of standards. That's just the way I am about any kind of marketing standards. :-)

Danny's a great leader, but he's definitely more in the search engine camp, than social media--so not sure how it would fit with his plans.

Maybe we can put the "social" in SOMMA to work and have the wisdom of crowds help drive it forward, rather than rely on a single individual. ;-)

Paul Chaney

Andy, I do agree that "institutionalizing" social media marketing would be a dangerous precipice upon which to stand. However, with the wisdom of crowds at play, perhaps that could be avoided and a vibrant, pro-active industry group evolve.

While I also agree that the "we" is better than the "I," my experience has been that someone (singular) has to take the reins at least to get things started.

Dana VanDen Heuvel


I like where you're going with this, but I question whether or not social media is distinct enough to warrant it's own association? WOMMA, sure, and they take on elements of social media as well.

More to the point, I like Andy's idea of 'social sourcing' this thing and putting up a wiki for this, like has been done for tracking the Fortune 500 blogs. That way, we can all contribute to the definition, standards, cases and best practices that define the group.

This seems like a replay of what we did when the Pro Bloggers association was formed. Certainly there's still value in that, but it was never really taken to market.

Another way to spin this is the look at as a 'foundation'. We could start the Social Media Marketing Foundation which does all of the above, and supports academic research in this area as well - sure to be a hit (and incorporates some of the same principles that the AMA and WOMMA are based on - both have a strong academic component).

Paul Chaney

Dana, I like where you're going with this. Maybe a wiki is the best place to start. I'd like to hear more from you regarding the 'foundation' aspect of things.

Jon Burg

Sure, we need a SOMMA. But where do you see SOMMA playing? Would SOMMA interface with WOMMA? Would it include WOMMA? Would it go beyond WOMMA?

And given the increasing pervasiveness of digital social media, how does SOMMA interface with OMMA?

Paul Chaney

Ha, ha. I guess I had that coming. Good one, Jon. How could I have forgotten OMMA? I get their darn magazine for Pete's sake.

T Demop, Blogging for Business

Well, since we're all social, maybe just a big party?? Something like "Burning Man" maybe :)

Seriously though, some type of preliminary gathering or organization would be good.

I would welcome some type of organization or gathering under a pre-existing organization, or maybe something "Podcamp" like?). A separate org is fine too, but it may be early . . .

As far as "Best Practices" -- no way. I would MUCH prefer a list of "Worst Practices" -- things to avoid, things that don't work. "Best Practices" tend to stifle creativity and cause people to shut their brains off.


Paul et al - adding my 2 cents. my big take away from blogworld last year was 'social media is an industry.' my big take away working with big brands is some still so don't get it. my big take away seeing how agencies are working with clients is they so don't get it and maybe that is why the brands so don't get it. (okay maybe i'm generalizing but ..)

that said, i think there needs to be a formalized way to come together to discuss issues. ted, perhaps not 'best practices' but certainly learnings from each other of what worked, what did not and why. i like dana's ideas .. it has the flavor of the society for new communications research.

might also help to add credibility to this emerging industry.

Des Walsh

My challenge is that the "marketing" tag switches me off, not because I have any problem with the term per se, but because I don't see myself as a marketer. But if as Toby suggests there is an industry, then go for it.

The wiki idea seems a good place to start. If that takes off, there could be a natural momentum to form a related association, get together etc.

Paul Chaney

Thanks for all the comments for they have helped to amplify the discussion. What comes to my mind at this point, if not an industry (or trade) association per se, how would what you're suggesting be different than what's already in play with groups like Social Media Club or SNCR? Are they not existing forums designed to accomplish the same ends?

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