When I think of my friend, Rick Calvert, CEO and founder of BlogWorld & New Media Expo, the words “nice guy,” “friendly,” “smart,” and “humble” all come to mind. I was lucky enough to meet Rick a year ago at SXSW during a blogger dinner at Stubbs BBQ in Austin. It didn’t take long for me to realize that Rick was definitely someone I wanted to stay in touch with. While I don’t stay in touch with Rick as regularly as I like, it’s always a joy chatting with him on Twitter or bumping into him in real life.
How did you get into the world of online community, social media or social marketing?
Well I am news junkie particularly a politics junkie. I am just interested by the whole process and I love arguing about politics. Which isn’t something you can do in most polite circles so blogging was a natural outlet for me. I started my political blog The Real Ugly American back in 2005 and one thing lead to another where I wanted to go to the blogging tradeshow and figure out how to make my blog better. Of course there wasn’t any such thing so we launched BlogWorld & New Media Expo in 2007.
If you had $10 million to invest in one company and one company only based on their use of “social,” which company would it be and why?
Since I am absolutely the wrong guy to ask this question I am going to take a very contrarian position and say Yahoo. Now they don’t need my money and a lot of folks love to bash Yahoo but they may have more cool new media tools than just about anyone out there and if they figure out how to market and monetize them all with the full force of Yahoo behind them I think they are going to surprise a lot of people.
Which business leader, politician or public figure do you most respect?
I absolutely hate picking one “best of” anything. So I will cheat and pick some past folks and present. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were both amazing men amidst generations of amazing men so those two stand out for me on a historical perspective. I actually have a portrait of Lincoln on my wall next to my desk. Haven’t found a good vintage one of Washington yet. For public figures today General David Patraeus will go down in history as a great military leader. I really like Mark Cuban. He says what he thinks and follows his passions.
Would you join a toothpaste community? Why?
No. I am just not that into teeth.
Freeform – here’s where you can riff on anyone or anything – good or bad. Or just share a pearl of wisdom.
I don’t have any pearls of wisdom. What I can say is I cannot express how excited I am to be a part of this media revolution. I think we all are. When people realize just how all encompassing new media is it really hits you like a ton of bricks. The invention of the computer in our lifetimes was a major turning point in history, the atomic bomb was a turning point in history and I think we will look back 20 years from now and say new media was a turning point in history. To be able to participate in something like that is a tremendous gift and a blessing.