Mike Grehan, a founding member of SMA-UK, provides more details in his UK and mainland Europe search engine marketers unite commentary.
The piece suggests that SMA-UK will continue to operate as an organization independent of SMA-EU. Instead, SMA-EU so far seems intended as a catch-all for search marketers in Europe interested in an alternative to the year-old SEMPO search marketing group but unable to participate in SMA-UK because that group's UK-specific focus.
Why would Europeans want an alternative to SEMPO? Actually, any number of search marketers anywhere might want an alternative after SEMPO was dogged by controversy over poor communication and other problems recently. My Reflections On Sempo article explains this in more detail.
That leads to the question of whether an SMA-US group might be formed. Indeed, it was pretty much implied by the UK's hyphenated status that those founding SMA-UK probably foresaw the idea of a broader SMA group stretching into any country where there might be interest.
In fact, SMA-UK uses sma-uk.org as its domain name. A similar sma-us.org domain was registered on the same day as sma-uk.org. Both registrations were done by MakeMeTop, the company run by SMA-UK acting chair Barry Lloyd.
So will a SMA-US show up? Yeah, I have no doubt someone will jump in to do it there and perhaps elsewhere. In the US, I'd lay my bets on SEMPO-Tahoe being converted.
None of this precludes SEMPO from continuing and being successful in its own right, of course. Despite the criticisms, the group has said it's gained new members.
I also did have a friendly chuckle at Mike's article on SMA-EU where he describes SEMPO as "a type of trade association in America." Yes, it was founded in the US but counts a healthy number of non-Americans as members, including Europeans -- Mike himself still being one of them.
In the end, no matter where people stand in the wake of complaints on SEMPO, the good news is that search marketers seem more than ever interested in organizing together for a common good. The more groups the merrier!
More news on SMA-UK, SMA-EU and SEMPO as it comes. Representatives from all three groups will be meeting at Search Engine Strategies Stockholm this week, where Chris and I will both be at.
Want to comment or discuss? Here are a few recent forum threads related to these topics: