About 2 weeks ago I spent almost the entire work week somewhere ‘up north’ in the UK. To be more specific, I was in Ripon, above Leeds. It is a stunning place which has everything a former history-student loves: there is a cathedral (really!) which has “secret passages” and was built on top of a small chapel, there is a really great country side, there is someone who blows a horn at the four corners of the obelisk in the Market place every night at 9PM to tell the town everything is safe. And lets not forget the houses which look like you walked onto the set of a movie which plays in the 16th or 17th century. Last but not least there is a really nice restaurant, called the Old Deanery, where you are not just getting great food, you really get the feeling you are getting an inside in the every-day life of Ripon. The owners are very open and hospitable and drinks after diner have never been so pleasant.
So why this free review? Well because I liked it off course! When in Ripon I had a very good week and I want to share that with you. But I wanted to share a little bit more. I was in Ripon, not for a holiday, but with a purpose. I was visiting one of my SEO-friends, Dave Naylor and his wife Becky and his company Bronco. It wasn’t just a pleasure trip, me and Dave have been working hard in the week on stuff which will be announced soon. The trip however is worth mentioning for several reasons, next to the great town of Ripon.
The search industry sometimes is just like high school. You have the geeks/ nerds, you have the popular girls and guys (who in this industry very well can be geeks ;- ) ) and you have those who want to be friends with the popular guys and girls. This makes that sometimes people get a wrong view on how people actually are. If you are a ‘rockstar’ you might live like a rockstar.
It sometimes even gets worse when you are not in the industry. Then people tend to think SEOs are lazy and they don’t have to work hard, because all they do is ‘trick’ the search engines.
Off course all of this is wrong and most of us know that, at least I hope they do. But the week with Dave made me realize that sometimes we just need to say it out loud: SEOs are just people, who work hard for their money.
When talking to Dave in that week he asked me what I thought of the way he lived and how I looked at it. I told him I liked the way of life and I liked his company a lot. It reminded me of the first company I worked in when I first started to work in the Internet. Its a very informal company which has a flat organization. Dave is one of the guys who sits with the guys.
And that was one of the things which really came forward that week: the “rockstar” Dave Naylor is “just” one of the guys at his office. The smartest guy at his office, yes, but as a person, just one of the guys. If you’ve met Dave at conferences you will know he’s always in for a bit of laughter and fun. I saw the every-day life of an SEO in Ripon UK, and apart from that rural village, its not much different than how he is when you meet him at conferences. He’s having a lot of fun at the office.
So it occurred to me it had to be said: there are many wrong views on SEO and SEOs as a person. Sometimes its good to see that an SEO is just another hard working person in a rural town : ). The search market has ‘rockstars’ but ‘rockstars’ are people too.
Well enough with the ‘sermon’. In Ripon I had a lot of fun and through this post I wanted to thank Becky and Dave again for their incredible hospitality. Thanks guys! It was fun, we had great food, drinks, laughter and we even went to see a Leeds United football game. I will always be an Ajax-fan first and foremost, but Leeds United sure will be on my ‘to follow’ list.
Last but not least, have you ever seen Dave Naylor sing? Here’s your chance:
PS, I almost forgot to mention I met “Bob the campervan“, who fits in great with the historic town 😉