2013 DIGIFAM SPEAKER: Clayton Collier

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This is a series of interviews with the speakers of Digital Family Summit 2013, October 11-13.
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Clayton CollierClayton Collier is a journalism major, entering his sophomore year at Seton Hall University. Clayton started out with several websites of his own, however soon began as a weekly contributor for MetsMerizedOnline.com, who he has been with for three years since. Through MetsMerized he has been able to cover various Mets games and events where he attends press conferences and batting practice while also interviewing players and coaches. He is currently Assistant Sports Director at WSOU, where he broadcasts Seton Hall sports including Big East Basketball and hosts various sports talk shows. In addition to his role with WSOU Sports, Clayton is the television Play-By-Play announcer for the Brooklyn Blackout, an expansion ABA basketball team. He also interns at CBS in their Sports Department. During the summer, Clayton works as a counselor at a Sports Broadcasting Camp, teaching campers 10-18 on how to be successful in the industry. On campus, Clayton is also involved in Student Government Association, Pirate TV, The Setonian and a male A cappella group he assisted in founding.
twitter:  @Clayton_Collier
website: http://www.metsmerizedonline.com

How did you get involved with blogging?

In my sophomore year of high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life once it came time for college. I had a wide variety of interests but nothing could really come to mind. After watching a baseball game, I realized no one announced the lineups, so I went to the school and they set me up with a P.A. system and had me call the games. That summer I attended a sports broadcasting camp I now am a counselor at, I was told by one of their guest speakers that blogging online is the best way to practice your craft while making a name for yourself. After receiving a rejection e-mail to write for a website, I decided to start my own blogs. In six months time, an even larger Mets website picked me up and I began writing for them. From there I slowly just started adding things on. What started out as a hobby became something I wanted to do as a career. I now am majoring in journalism at Seton Hall University and am Assistant Sports Director at our radio station, I announce ABA basketball on TV in Brooklyn, intern at CBS as well as a number of different activities on campus at my school. I am extremely busy and on occasion sleep-deprived, but I know it will all pay off soon enough. All of it has become possible through the tool of the internet and both social and digital media.

Who are your Creative Heroes?

I try to draw inspiration from many different places. Stories like those of Jackie Robinson are very inspiring to me as are any stories of those who go through hardship and emerge from it all on top. As far as writing, I enjoy Joel Sherman of the New York Post’s columns. His arguments are always well thought out and concise. In broadcasting, I really have listened to the Mets announcer Gary Cohen for sports and when I was younger Charles Gibson from ABC’s World News Tonight. I always have felt they are some of the best in the business in their respective fields.

Do you have any hobbies other than digital media creation? What are you passionate about? 

I obviously love sports, but I am also very passionate about history. Throughout most of my life I have been involved in musical theater or chorus, and a major reason why I started an A Capella group at Seton Hall.

If you could travel back in time and send yourself a message, what would it be?

I would tell myself to relax more. I was frustrated that when I started out now four years ago, I wasn’t very good. I loved it, but I didn’t think I had “the goods” to be successful. I wish I reminded myself sometimes that I was only 14, 15, 16 years old; however at the same time if I did that I may not have been as driven.

Any advice for young bloggers?

Make a website and just keep writing, you will be amazed how you progress just by repetition. Look at how the pros write, but don’t lose you niche. Be open to criticism, that is how you improve and better yourself.

What do you think is the greatest opportunity for digital teens today?

We now are in a world where everyone and everything is connected, and the ability to make yourself know is literally at your fingertips. Be smart with this amazing opportunity, but utilize it to your full potential. Writing online is the best place to start, and then post links on Facebook and Twitter for the world to see.

What’s the biggest danger facing digital teens & their families today?

You can so easily publish whatever you want on any given day and it be there permanently (whether you delete it or not, it is up there forever!). That alone is both an incredible advancement, but also something very dangerous and must be handled with care. Before I post something either as an article of even a Facebook post/Tweet, I think of potential repercussions or if I will regret it later. Would my family approve of me posting this? A future employer? A potential college? If the answer is even a maybe on any accounts, I don’t post it.

What are you going to talk about at the conference?

How Digital Media is an incredible tool that allows you to get your name out there exponentially easier than before.

What’s next for you after the Digital Family Summit?

My author’s page for MetsMerized: http://metsmerizedonline.com/author/clayton Please follow me on Twitter for any updates on what I’m doing, I post all articles there as well as links when I am broadcasting a game: @Clayton_Collier

Anything else you’d like to tell us?

If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 Adam Gertsacov is the co-founder and co-organizer of Digital Family Summit.  He wears many hats, including those of a professional clown, an author and publisher, an artist/educator, a non-profit administrator, a P.T. Barnum impersonator, a flea circus impresario, and the esteemed hat of the Clown Laureate of Greenbelt, Maryland.  

In his copious freetime, he blogs at http://www.clownlink.com and http://www.dadapalooza.com, as well as a few other places.
You can find out more about his clown work at http://www.acmeclown.com

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