I had the pleasure of interviewing Rick Calvert by phone prior to this year's Blogworld conference--which he founded. We talked a bit about the changes to the conference location and philosophy, and about video's place in the world of new media. I could hear in his voice the excitement he had for the event. And I would have had the chance to follow that piece up with an in-person, on-camera interview at the conference itself if it hadn't been for you meddling kids a bout with pneumonia.
But Mark was there, and managed to grab this great video interview with Mr. Calvert, and I think most of you will find something in it to enjoy. Check it out:
There are some parts of the interview I'd like to highlight:
New Media & Search
Focusing on search doesn't come naturally to content creators. This makes all kinds of sense. I have a background in search marketing and SEO. But most of my clients don't. By the time they come to me, their content is typically already created. As Calvert says, they realize late in the process that if they can get their content found in search, they have a better chance of getting popular. I can't help but wonder what their chances of being found might be if search was a consideration from the very beginning... as the content itself is being conceived and created.
Multimedia Content Producers
"We're all going to be multimedia content producers." Most of us who create video content, for example, also create ancillary content to go along with it such as a blog or a twitter feed--we do this, in part, because it helps that video content to be found by the search engines. And even though video is getting easier for search engines to find, Calvert is quick to remind us that content consumers are still varied and diverse. Some like text. Some prefer photos. Some are into podcasts, while still others seek out video. Video on television and in movie theaters didn't kill print or radio, and it's not likely to kill other forms of new media either. So, in a way, he's saying that "new media" will almost certainly end up meaning "all media."
Video Will Be King
Where are we in the evolution of new media? According to Calvert, still in its infancy. New media is a baby, and still has a lot of growing to do. To that end, he says--and this is my favorite quote from the entire interview--"If you look at traditional media, video is at the top of the food chain. So, eventually video will be at the top of the food chain for new media. The only reason it isn't yet, is that video is the toughest medium to master." Amen, brother. Video is going to be the dominant new media format; it's kind of inevitable. We're just still figuring out how to master it, from creation to promotion and search.
Traditional Media's Role
Right now, traditional media is still playing catch up with new media and specifically with video. But much like what happened with blogs--when old school media companies began buying up their blogging competition--there could be a change coming. Calvert is worried the traditional media companies are going to figure this "new" media out and start putting independent video creators out of business by gobbling them up for themselves. That's an interesting--and probably valid--concern.
The Impact of Social Media
Social has turned search on its head. Calvert says social media is "the most significant impact that's happened to search since search became important." The looming follow-up thought, obviously, is this: what will social do to video?
The Blogworld expo and conference is growing and larger than ever--in fact, according to Calvert, it is the largest new media event in the world. It jumped from 2200 attendees last year to over 3500 this year, and the reason is the high percentage of new media thought leaders that attend, speak, and exhibit there. If you want to stay in the loop on new media--where it's been, where it is, and where it's going--Blogworld is the conference for you.
Special thanks to Rick Calvert for taking the time to share his unique insight with us so that we could share it with you.