The idea of having a social media club sprang up in 2006 in Silicon Valley and the concept spread quickly all around the world with groups of folks interested in the social internet getting together to share knowledge, experience and best practice under the motto: “if you get it, share it”.
We formed the Isle of Man Social Media Club (SMC) in early 2008 and have met on the Third Thursday of each month ever since (with one exception: the week that OwenC and I were both tied up with family issues). Sometimes, usually at Super Third Thursdays, we can get up to 50 people turning up.
Last week, SMC founders Chris Heuer and Kristie Wells hosted an open discussion with more than 50 local leaders from around the globe about upcoming changes to the organisation, and the programmes and events slated, and I was on the call eager to hear the news.
It seems that having existed for years as an adhoc network of informal groups, the SMC HQ is getting organised. That means introducing a formal structure and hiring staff so that it can continue to grow and reach some important goals.
The main objective is to better tap into this great network of resources and facilitate knowledge sharing across chapters. Part of this will be to provide training courses and materials for use by the local chapters.
So how is this being taken forward? The parent organisation, Social Media Club Inc., is in the process of filing the non-profit designation of a 501c6 – member owned club and expect to receive designation within next couple of months.
All US based SMC chapters will operate under the Social Media Club, Inc. umbrella and HQ will set up International hubs to support our chapters outside of the US.
What does this mean for the Isle of Man Social Media Club?
In the near-term we get access to the new SMC website launched to help bring the global community together (some bugs still to be worked out). The idea is to have one place to find information on the parent company as well as other SMC chapters and to assist members in connecting with one another.
Website features include:
- aggregated group blogs
- Social Media Observer and Social Media Journal ezines to facilitate chapter info sharing.
- chapter and member directories
- events diary
- speakers directory
- job listings
A longer term outcome for Isle of Man SMC may be in becoming an ‘official’ chapter. This would mean complying with organisational bylaws, access to deeper support (sponsorships, acocunting help, etc) and sharing revenues share with HQ.
To become an ‘official’ chapter the Isle of Man must have 10 professional members and adhere to .org bylaws. Professional memberships are US $100 per member and the $1,000 collected covers administration expenses for filing fees, bank accounts, book keeping, etc. For members 11 and more, there will be a tiered system that provides our chapter with a set percentage of the memberships dues.
But becoming an official chapter is still just an option Isle of Man SMC might pursue in the future. We discussed this on Third Thursday last week with three key outcomes:
- Firstly, we agree that putting a formal structure and global organisation of the SMC is a great idea and there are lots of benefits to be had.
- However, we think the Isle of Man just might be too small to be able to maintain official status. We’ve agreed to stay engaged in the process as long as we can and see what the future holds.
- In the meantime, we encourage everyone to sign up to the SMC under the Open (FREE) membership at least, and promise to keep reporting news and progress.
Click here to listen to a recording of the conference call.
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