Interview with BlogWorld Co-Founder Rick Calvert
If you search for job openings with the keywords “community manager,” LinkedIn will return over one thousand results. According to Rick Calvert, co-founder of Blogworld and New Media Expo, the popularity of job listings on sites like Linkedin or Monster is an indicator of how bright the future is for social media in corporate America.
“Companies know they need Community Managers,” Calvert says, “because they know they need to engage with their customers in a range of ways through social media, even though they are still learning how to manage those conversations.”
Education remains a primary goal for Calvert and his Blogworld team. “These attendees reach a global audience of over 250 million people.” he pointed out. “Their influence is undeniable.” In an interview conducted halfway through this year’s Blogworld event, held in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Hotel Conference Center, Calvert indicated that attendance has doubled in the last three years of the conference, but at 3000 attendees, what’s billed as the World’s Largest New Media Conference, is still pretty small given the nearly 200 million blogs that have been created worldwide.
Calvert acknowledged that it is hard for corporate marketers to know what technology platforms will stick with consumers; Calvert admitted even he “missed the point of Twitter at first. I wasn’t sure if it had real value or would turn into FriendFeed.”
Education is why he says he is committed to growing the conference over time. “If we’re lucky, in three to five years we might be able to stop educating people that blogging needs to be part of everyone’s business, like search. In the meantime, bloggers need to learn how to manage and monetize their businesses, and marketers have to understand how to engage with bloggers to serve their customers.”Continued on the next page