Strength in numbers
One of the most important elements that we wanted to bring when we created the SEO Training Dojo, was a lack of egos. All too often in the internet marketing world we see jackasses strutting around with their peacock feathers fluffled for all to see… I can’t tell you the number of times people have come to me about such-and-such (cough) A-lister SEO all but brushing them off at a conference acting puffy and pompous (or related tales). This is something we sought to avoid.
You see, regardless of people’s odd affinities for hero worship, we’re simply a bunch of search marketers nothing more, nothing less. There is NO SUCH THING as rock stars or A-listers… the concept has always left me shaking my head, that’s for sure. No one outside of our little niche has a clue who we are. And ‘industry leaders’? There are few of those I’d dare say are suspect as well since most of the more prominent SEOs tend to be ‘more prominent’ from a profit motive than one to lead.
You only know what you know
Which brings us to one of the core concepts we like to stand by; We’re all teachers, we’re all students.
You see, each of us in the business have different experiences from each other. Some work as in-house, others are freelancers and some manage SEO companies (or work for them). We can only work in a finite number of markets which means other SEOs you meet will have experience in markets you haven’t. We also work on sites of varying age/authority and so on… you get the idea.
This means there is no limit to what we can learn, and teach one another. An SEO with two years experience can learn from those with five years, (experience) and they can teach those that are noobs to the game. Even beyond that, a more experienced optimizer can pick up tricks once in a while from a noob as well.. there is no limit. None can know it all.
"The purpose of a fish trap is to catch fish, and when the fish are caught, the trap is forgotten.
The purpose of a rabbit snare is to catch rabbits. When the rabbits are caught, the snare is forgotten.
The purpose of words is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten.
Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to" - Chuang Tzu
The Minds of the Collective
Speaking of ‘rock stars’, prominence is another misnomer if you ask me. While there are plenty of folks writing SEO geekiness in the sphere, visibility doesn’t always equal genius. Some of the best/smartest SEOs that I know can’t be bothered with blogging nor the whole conference circuit. Add to that the boat loads of sub-par info in the search blogoshpere…. And well, you have to take the public crap for what you will. Few and far between on the value meter.
Networking is the name of the game my friends… having a strong base of professionals to call upon when needed. The power of having a strong base of warriors can’t readily be measured, but it’s huge. I know from the many hours spent hanging with my gang of geeks in a chat room (sorry FaceBook too public, nuh-uh-uh Twitter, 140? Get real).
Pass on the Art
And so I say to you, the passionate professional, never miss an opportunity to pass on your knowledge to the deserving and a keen ear to learn from practitioners old and new. This is what makes the true artist...for lack of a better word. It is the desire, if not out right enjoyment, of sharing it with others.
When the idea, (for the community) began in late 2008 I would have never imagined the incredible heights it would take me. There is no greater feeling to be part of a strong group of peers pushing beyond merely 'getting the job done'. Thanks to new friends made I've learned more in the last 18 months than the previous 3 years before it. May we never stop learning and the engines continue to evolve to fuel the fire, (cue music and fade out crane shot).
That's about it... not even sure why I wrote this. Just was on my mind.
As you were....
ADDED; friend of the Trail, Rishi, sent this over which I thought continues the dialogue well; We can't all be Rock Stars