I saw two things in 2006 that really made me smile/cry. One was a headline from the Search Engine Watch Blog - "2006: The Year Search Grew Up" and second the announcement from SEMPO of the SEMPO Institute. [The Institute was created to help educate people on SEM - bringing many people into the fold in a uniform and consistent way.]
Both showed the moving of my dream to reality of what Search Marketing could be and how SEMPO could help make it happen. When a few of us dreamed up the idea of a non-profit industry association for Search Marketers we had an official sounding mission statement about spreading the word about search - that was in December 2002 (SEMPO officially launched in August 2003). Privately I had another way of describing why I got involved (and ran the organization for 2 years) - to help mature our industry - to get Search Marketing to GROW up.
Thanks Elisabeth and Chris Winfield for giving me some confirmation that we have come from being babies crawling on the floor to tweens. We have much more growing to do to become teenagers. More about that in future posts.