Guest Post: Virtues of Versatility

This post was written by @SullyOnSports (Tom Sullivan). He’s one of the smartest people I know.

So, guest post number four! I hope you’re as excited as I am…

Let me begin this post by saying that your favorite blogger and journalist, Jon, has asked all of us to share some insight into (or out of, in Brittany’s case) the world of journalism so he can express a number of different viewpoints in this space.

I’ve known Jon the longest of all the other guest posters. I think, actually, that I was there the day Jon began this adventure into the world of news and information. It was a Newswriting I class at Manchester Community College in the fall of 2008. Jon was a fresh-faced transfer student from the University of New Haven Mechanical Engineering Program, and I was the grizzled Communications major. Jon sat in the back with some people he knew, I sat in the front either because I’m a total nerd or arrived late that day. Jon was new to it, but you could tell he was in love with it right away, and we became fast friends writing for the school’s paper together.

On to me… Firsts first, I am not a professional “journo,” as Jon likes to endear himself and his contemporaries.

But wait, my resume says Thomas T. Sullivan, B.A. Journalism, CCSU 2010, so what am I doing with my life if my byline doesn’t ever appear ANYWHERE , the way Jon and Mike’s do so often? Well, Jon and Mike, and Brittany until her recent defection, have always branded themselves writers or reporters, and I NEVER thought of myself that way.

Jon wrote on Matt’s blog  about his recent revelation that video and photo are going to be a big part of career for the rest of it. HELLO, it’s 2012! What did you think you’d need to know!? (Seriously, why do you read this guy?… just kidding, he’s a great reporter, and a very good friend)

In all seriousness, any forward thinking professor of mass media should have pointed this out to Jon the second he expressed any interest in reporting, but people like to cling to what they know. NOT ME, the reason I chose to matriculate in the journalism program was because my passion is simply creation. And by that I mean production, development, and generation; not the intelligent design that many think simply placed our Earth, as it exists, in the middle of our universe magically.

I love to create, I love learning new ways to create, and I love creating things that have impact (or can, at least, be seen). I’ve experimented, and often succeeded, with all types of creation including: audio, video, graphic design, writing (you’ll be the judge of my level of success here), painting, drawing, some rudimentary web design, and a little acting.

Lots of things there, right? Sure, I could venture into other media like carpentry, welding and carving, but in the words of Nick Carraway, those might position me in the territory of “that most limited of all specialists, ‘the well-rounded man.’”

This curiosity hasn’t killed me yet; maybe because I refuse to refer to myself as a “cat.” How pretentious would that be?

I continue to look for new ways to express my creativity. And maybe it’s true that limiting my specialties has kept me from an actual job as a professional journalist, like my friends who have written here before me; but I don’t regret anything. I know that in the long run I’m better off with this plethora of pertinent proficiencies (See I can write! That’s called alliteration); and that is the only advice I would give to any reader who is also “just starting out.” It’s great to be exceptional at one thing, but never limit yourself, always stay open to new ideas, and don’t ever be afraid of change.

So what am I doing as a jour-not? Three things. My grown-up gig is in the Academic Technology department of my alma mater. This job is great for me because all of the advice I gave in the above paragraph, I can share with people who come see me at CCSU. My job is to teach the faculty and students what I know about multimedia technology so that they can use those mechanisms to augment their educational experience. I’ve also taken on some freelance video work to supplement my income, mostly for PR or instructional purposes. These assignments are great because of the final product, and the cash, but the downside is that I am always at the mercy, and the beck and call, of the client.

The third thing I’ve picked up is more of an avocation, a passion project; but it has been nothing but fun. Every Thursday night, my friend Jonny (@jonndailey) and I, release a podcast called “Lateral Moves.”

Now, I’ve been listening and subscribing to podcast for about six years, but I know they are just beginning to make their way into the mainstream. So for those of you who don’t know, a podcast is a downloadable, free, audio or video file that consumers can subscribe to using an RSS feed. Basically an on-demand, Internet radio show.

Lateral Moves averages about 45 minutes per episode, and it’s just Jonny and I making mirth like we normally would in private conversations, but recording it for people all over the world to hear. Sometimes we have a guest or two, sometimes we have a more direct topic, but it usually devolves into just a conversation about life.

Why would anybody want to listen? Your guess is as good as mine. It confounds me too; but we’re up to around 50 subscribers, and that doesn’t count the people who are just downloading each episode manually.  It’s some of the most fun I’ve ever had, and there’s nothing cooler than seeing peoples’ reactions to us on twitter between episodes each week.

So please, subscribe to us in iTunes, or visit our website and download there: (clever, huh?). I’d like to promise that you won’t regret it, but I can’t, all I can do is reiterate not to be afraid, because we’re pretty cool dudes. Jon is one of our avid listeners and maybe our biggest fan. Hopefully we’ll have him on soon. So listen, won’t you?

To conclude, I’d like to stress that I WILL interview anyone naked (take that, Mike).

Look for my reaction post tomorrow!


2 Responses to Guest Post: Virtues of Versatility

  1. Pingback: Finding Your Own Way « Just Starting Out

  2. Pingback: It’s Not about the Cash « Just Starting Out

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