The call was recorded and you can listen to it by clicking the box below. We have also provided a summary if you prefer to take a read through it.
On May 17th, Social Media Club Founders, Chris Heuer and Kristie Wells, hosted an open discussion with over 50 local leaders around the globe around upcoming changes to the organization, and the programs and events we have slated for this year (and beyond).
- Chris Heuer opens the discussion with a review of the state of Social Media – how the landscape is evolving, faces threats, and the need for an organization to stand up and promote ethics, media literacy and more.
- Social Media Club (SMC) has been a part time labor of love operating in an ad-hoc fashion since its inception in March 2006. We are introducing a formal structure and will be hiring staff (just added Justin Herman as our Community Manager) so that we may grow and reach goals.
- Why are we creating a more formal structure? To tap into our great network of resources. Need to cross-pollenate knowledge across chapters. For example, had our community been connected tighter, we could have pooled resources around topics like Facebook & Privacy. SMC could have and should have answered with collective weight of network to put forth recommendation, and back each other up. We also wish to work on courses and materials for privacy, etc. Local leaders could run workshops to educate public quickly & easily. But we need a bit of structure, and a hub, to curate this content.
- The parent organization, Social Media Club Inc., is in the process of filing the non-profit designation of a 501c6 – member owned club. We are waiting on documents from the Secretary of State her ein California and once received, will file actual application with the IRS. Expect to receive designation within next couple of months.
- All US based SMC chapters will operate under the Social Media Club, Inc. umbrella and we will set up International hubs to support our chapters outside of the US. SMC will work with each 'official' chapter (more details below) to file the necessary paperwork with their local government and ensure all legal bases are covered.
- SMC Board of Directors. The interim board consists of Chris Heuer (Chairman), Kristie Wells (President), Serena Ehrlich (Secretary), Todd Defren, and Howard Greenstein. This interim BOD is in place through January 2011, at which time, we will open up a BOD nomination to all professional members and seek the new board for that year.
- SMC launched a new website in March as the first step in bringing the community together. The goal is to have one place to find information on the parent company as well as *any* SMC chapter and assist our members in connecting with one another. The current website (phase I) is not where we want it to be, but we went ahead and launched it and ask the SMC community for their patience as we work to clear the bugs and add in the all the functionality that *should* be there. We had problems with the web development shop and have since let them go. A new development team has been put into place and correcting much of the initial wonkiness. We need your help to build out your chapter portal and find what needs tweaking or additional build outs to support all your local chapter needs.
- Feature of the new website: Aggregated group blogs for open and professional members. Social Media Observer is for all members. If you add your blog RSS feed into the field in your profile, you can tag any blog post of yours with 'smcobserver' and it will show up on the SMC website. Best part is, all the conversation around this blog post remains on your site. Not ours. We are merely giving you an additional promotional vehicle for your content.Same process for the Social Media Journal. This is available to Professional, SMB and Corporate members. Simply tag your blog post with 'smcjournal' and it will show up on our website. Again, critical piece is if someone adds a comment to it, all that is done on your site. Not ours.
- SMC is working to launch a membership drive in June this year (2010). We will also work to secure grants for programs like #smcedu, and sponsorships on local, national and global levels to help the organization fulfill our program needs, but it won't be enough. We will always encourage a free model as we don't want anyone to feel excluded as they cannot afford to be a paid member, but getting more membership dues in is a solid way to support the organization and will help keep the lights on. More details around this program will follow in the coming weeks.
- SMC is planning an 'Official Chapter Program'. We are working to finalize details over the next couple of weeks, but it is focused around securing bylaws on a local level, offering deeper support (sponsorships, acocunting help, etc) and revenue share with the local chapters, based on number of professional members they have. The basic outline is an 'official' chapter must have 10 professional members, and adhere to .org bylaws. Once the chapter reaches 10 Professional members, the parent company will file the necessary paperwork in each state (country) so they may be recognized on a local level. We will also set up accounting support systems to ensure minimal issues for the chapters. Professional memberships are $100 per member and the $1000 collected covers admin expenses for filing fees, bank accounts, book keeping, etc. Then SMC can provide accounting services, certificate of insurance for venues, support services & educational services. There are some additional items we need to address on an international level, and will be in contact with those chapters outside the US to discuss more.
- Member revenue share: The first 10 professional memberships will cover most of the administrative fees required to set up the chapter on the local level. For members 11 and more, there will be a tiered system that provides a set percentage of the memberships duee that will be provisioned to the local chapter (for example: for 11-25 professional members, the local club would get 10% of member revenue, professional members 25-50+, higher % of revenue for local chapter, etc.). Again, we will always offer (and encrouage folks to sign up under the Open (FREE) membership. Paid membership is not a necessity but will be used to foster reserve for club administration.
- Local Chapter Requirements: We are encouraging every single SMC chapter (currently 170+ around the globe) to build a presence on the SMC website. Some chapters already have a domain they are using, so we will work with each local leader to <at least> set up a RSS feed or build some outline of the places members can connect with that chapter on their local SMC portal. A key requirement is making sure every single SMC chapter adds their monthly meetings to the SMC Events calendar. We need to know when you are meeting and the details around it. We also require that <at minimum> one blog post after each event is posted to your SMC chapter portal that summarizes what was discussed and that it is tagged so others can find this content easily. This will help curate knowledge and wealth of history.
- Local leader intranet tool – a SMC intranet is coming for leader collaboration. Stay tuned for details.
- SMC Member Conference planned for November 2010. The first annual SMC Member conference is in the works (will be in the US this year, hopefully international location in 2011). The focus of Day 1 will be on local leaders – how to run better events, community outreach, etc. Day 2 and 3 is open to the SMC community at large and will provide beginner, intermediate and advanced courses on Social Media and business related topics. More details coming soon!
I would like to thank Amy Ravit Korin (Chicago chapter) for the notes outline as she saved me a bit of typing. 🙂
We have a lot of projects in the works and will provide another update in the coming weeks as we move the organization forward. Thank you again for all of your support!