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  1. #1
    Full Member jgoode's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 31st, 2006
    My View on industry associations
    I posted this comment elsewhere because i didn't feel like I could share this view over here. However, after thinking it through and sharing my view with a good friend, i'd like to share with you all here. Previously I felt like i couldn't share this because I don't have the history nor experience in this industry as many of you so i assumed my view would be taken as inexperienced... but in reality, this is a business opinion, not just an opinion/view of organizations nor affiliate marketing... it just so happens to fit both here today.

    thank you for letting me share
    The conversations about an association have interested me since the topic came up in february at the vegas summit, yet I haven't gotten involved... I haven't felt that I have the experience nor history of knowledge to jump into an industry defining discussion like this... yet I think all views and voices need to be heard to help make the well rounded outcome that needs to happen. So thank you for bringing it up here.

    Being relatively new to the industry I've always wanted a resource that helps me define the "best practices" of the industry. I've met and had the opportunity to talk with and learn from a number of people about how things are done... and as it is with many things, there are as many views and recommendations and suggested guidelines as there are people to ask. Defining the edges and then figuring out a way to present, not demand nor require, the various facets of the "middle" is an absolute must... especially as the industry and supporting technologies continues to grow. Newcomers need positive resources to guide their way. "Old hats", I feel, also need these resources as they grow their approach or even step out of their usual to explore new directions. Organizations like this are more than policing or governing body of the industry - they are a defining resource for an industry... and yes, there can be more than one, if the focuses are different.

    I've heard some of the views, worries and concerns of such an association being present - both pro and con - what I think is missing is the conversations that alleviate those concerns from both angles. I think a successful outcome would include answers to all sides.

    I might have a skewed view, but I think the perspective is definitely different when the experience of not having watched the industry grow to where it is... is a fact of one's involvement today. Sometimes being new brings a new view - call it ignorance if you want... I think it's more of a fresh look at an old story.

    Here's my experience perspective - as a designer/illustrator/artist, i have a number of organizations/industry associations I can join. i don't have to, but i can because i'm involved in the industry/have the credentials, etc. I somehow fit into their membership profile. Some organizations are stronger on networking while others are more for industry standards. some are nationwide while others are local. no one dictates how or what or why or where i design - they are there to help me succeed professionally by joining a community of other designers. the organization offers guidelines and information for contract writing, legal resources, where and how and why things are done the way they are done -- but not to control me. all of this is so i have a starting point as far as a path to follow. the organizations themselves build up their own credibility with the public view - they stand tall on their own regardless of the names involved, so by being a member i acquire that credibility as well... i've got a group of someones who have my back... i've got a clan so to speak. in my opinion... every industry would benefit from this kind of "big brother" and it would be silly to view it as a hindrance to one's business model - especially when these types of organizations are optional. it's not like a lawyer required to pass the bar exam to do business. its just another credible relationship. I can find the same type of groups specific to women business owners.. business owners in colorado... etc etc. it's not a bad thing, if its done correctly and maintained at the same level and spirit it was started.

    there is no official group i can join, associate myself and grow from/with associated specific to affiliate marketing... no credible source i can attach to my business as being a part of this unique industry - there should be. i can hopefully make my way into circles that exsist - but what does that do as far as building my public presence.. my customer trust level? depends on which circle.

    the difficult and most important part is figuring... who determines the lines, the rules, the acceptable practices and all their facets and functions? who specifies the membership requirements? who enforces the organization's guidelines? who decides who? and when those answers are figured and put down on paper.. that is when the organization itself is defined as credible and worthwhile for the rest of the industry.

    if you made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read my 2 cents - i appreciate it!
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  2. #2
    Tax Paying Member
    Join Date
    November 14th, 2005
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Very well said. I offer my thanks for your post.
    You must climb this mountain. There is no elevator. ---- Don't stick your finger in the liquid nitrogen.
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  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador JudiMoore's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    In Razerback country.
    Thanks, JGoode - well said. I think that the closer an organization comes to fulfilling their mission statement, the more apt they are to attract like-minded members. Then it becomes OUR decision which group(s) we want to join. I've actually never been in an industry where I was expected to LIMIT my participation out in the world.

  4. #4
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Jen this is an excellent post, one part jumped off the page to me.

    no credible source i can attach to my business as being a part of this unique industry - there should be
    This seems to be the problem for me also. I would never associate my business with an organization (and people) that I don't trust.
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