Monday, 18 July 2011

Interview with blogger Tommy Collison.

Today is Monday, which means only one thing. It's interview time. Today I have an interview with none other then blogger Tommy Collison who is most commonly know as Trusttommy. Here is what went down when I met up with Tommy:

So to start things off, tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm Tommy Collison, a 17 year old blogger from Limerick, Ireland. I'm an avid reader and also a drummer. I speak a lot in public on tech or education stuff. When I'm not blogging, e-mailing or reading, I'm trying to perfect the perfect peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich. 

How long have you been blogging?

I've been blogging consistently for about 3.5 years now, but I've had other blogs 5-6 years ago.

What kind of things do you blog about?

My blog is a brain-dump of stuff I'm thinking about or doing. Since I'm interested in tech, it tends to be about tech a fair bit. 

What made you start?

My brother was going off to college in the US, and asked me to write a blog about what was going on at home. Since then, I've blogged on a wider range of subjects, and not just as a sort-of online diary. 

What ‘doors’ have been opened for you due to blogging?

Lots. I've gotten internships and other freelance jobs through people finding my online stuff. 

Do you think people find bloggers like ourselves a bit weird?

I think for the most part they just don't understand why we do it, or how it appeals to us. 

Where have things come from when you started and how many people usually do you get to your blog a day?

Things have grown a bit, but quietened down recently. 2009 was a huge blogging year for me, but 2010 and this year have seen readership go down. Now, at the same time I don't have the time to devote to the blog as I used to, so I guess you get out of it what you put in. At its peak, I might've been getting 300 visitors a day, whereas now it's down to 100 or so a day. I don't mind the decrease in visitors on a stats page, because I've got a steady stream of freelance work coming in as a direct result of the blog, so I know that it's going well by that metric. 

I understand that you recently completed the Junior Cert. How did you manage to balance blogging and studying?

I balanced blogging and studying by pretty much not blogging for the months of April or May. Well, more accurately, I didn't put the time into blogging that I usually did, instead of thinking blogposts out, spending a few days looking at the different angles and so on, I'd type something out really quick and post it just to have something new on it. 

Describe your daily routine. 

Today's been a lil different to normal, because I'm currently in New York, enjoying city life and checking out NYU as a prospective college. On school days, though, I get up around 8am, go to school, come home and spend the evening doing emails, studying, and having dinner. 

Are most days the same for you or do they vary?

My days are pretty much the same during the school year, which is something that annoys me and the reason I try to do forty thousand different things while on holiday. 

What advice would you give to somebody trying to get into blogging.

Take pieces of advice as guidelines rather than guidelines and try to become the definitive voice in whatever area you choose to blog about. Also, blogging's a muscle like any other; the more you do, the easier it gets and the better you become.

Any tips on how to attract some viewers.

Be human, maybe use Twitter side by side.

Anything, interesting, going on for you at the moment?

In New York at the moment, going to California next week to see the aforementioned brother who's in college. Lots of cool projects planned over the summer.

Being mainly a video game blog I write, I have to ask some questions related to that topic.

Do you play video games?

I did a lot, a couple of years ago, then my brother moved away and our Xbox broke, so I don't do it much these days. My cousins are gamer fans and I'll play a fair bit when we hang out.

If you do, on what platform? IPhone, Xbox, PS3?

iPhone or Xbox.

Favorite game?

Tetris, Grand Theft Auto 4, Flight Control.

Earliest memory of video games.

Friends of my brothers were at our house and had brought their Playstation. I was about 5 and wanted to play with them. Absent-mindedly trying to get me to stop nagging him for a turn, my brother pushed me away. I tripped and almost split my head open on the fireplace and required 12 stitches. Still have a lil bald-patch. 

Current game obsession?

None really at the moment. I love games that I can dip in and out of, play for 30 seconds, that sorta thing. Flight control, Tetris etc. are all good for that.

Now for some iPhone questions. (if you don’t have an iPhone or iPod touch, no need to answer these.

Favourite App.

Twitterific, a lovely twitter client. 

Favourite game to play on iPhone.

Tetris or Flight Control.

The App you use the most.

Probably Twitterific or Instagram.

Most useful app.

Yelp or Foursquare.

Just a few more…

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

In college somewhere, all going well.

In 10?

Working somewhere I love, hopefully being paid enough to cover bills etc. I love how I thought of that before 'a girlfriend' or something similarly not-work-related. Priorities, right? 

Do you want to continue blogging as a full time career?

If it paid enough, sure. 

I am not sure if you have heard of James Lipton, but he is the host of a TV show called ‘Inside The Actors Studio’. At the end of each show he asks 10 questions. Here they are:

What is your favourite word?

I go through phases of favorite words. Currently it's 'serendipity', before it was 'cathartic' 

What is your least favourite word?

None spring to mind, although I never liked the word 'douche', because it didn't make sense to me as an insult. (and I swear too much for me to be a prude) 

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Hm, had to think about this one. Self-deprecating humor is totally an attractive quality. That said, the line between low self esteem and SD humor is a very fine one. An active mind is attractive too, someone who's constantly challenging themselves/me and trying new things. 

What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Low self-esteem, being clingy, people who don't view life as one great adventure invariably jar with me. 

What sound or noise do you love?

Ooh, interesting one. Wind instruments, rock music, lawn-mowers, rain on glass.

What sound or noise do you hate?

Nothing springs to mind. Rap, maybe.

What is your favourite curse word?

Haha, love this one. I don't tend to swear too badly, but 'shit' is a fairly common word in my vocabulary. "Son of a bitch" is the one I go for when I hurt myself . "Shit for brains" is one I sometimes go for, but I have no clue what it means or where I picked it up.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Stage actor. Doing a show I love 8 days a week as a profession? Heaven.

What profession would you not like to do?

Anything involving physical labor.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

You did good, kid. 

Thanks again to Tommy for agreeing to do this interview. Make sure to check out Tommy on his website and follow him on twitter @trusttommy.

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