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 I have received several emails from many people over the last few days having some interesting thoughts about what the 17th rule in the SMO list might be.  Over the past few weeks, the discussion of SMO has grown quickly beyond my last posting about the life of SMO – with more than 80 links to the original URL, translations into French, Dutch, Italian and Russian, an entry on Wikipedia and the New PR Wiki, a dedicated Squidoo lens, a topic of discussion at the upcoming meeting of the Social Media Club in LA, and even inspired a new blog devoted entirely to SMO.  I am sure there are other efforts to build on this idea that I have missed (keeping up with all the discussion is becoming almost impossible). At this point, I think it’s safe to say the term has grown beyond a point when I feel like I can (or should) be the gatekeeper to decide what the 17th rule should be or how this area evolves.  So, to that end, for those interesting in continuing the discussion and helping SMO to grow – here is my quick list of things you can do to help spread the word about SMO:

  1. Post your thoughts on your own blog
  2. Add a comment to the original SMO post on this blog
  3. Add a comment to a relevant blog post about SMO (whether they mention it or not)
  4. Tag any blog posts or online content about SMO with the tag "socialmediaoptimization"
  5. Update the Social Media Optimization page at the New PR Wiki
  6. Translate the rules into more languages (apart from those already done)
  7. Tell your colleagues (especially those outside online marketing) about SMO

In the spirit of social media principles, the idea of Social Media Optimization is now out there and belongs to the marketing and PR community.  People have already added great ideas and thoughts to this concept – and I strongly believe the future definition of this emerging marketing practice will come from the group.  And perhaps this phenomenon gives us a 17th rule of SMO: Don’t be afraid to let go of a message or idea and let others own it.