NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal comes through the Samsung Blogger Lounge at SXSW 2013 to talk with Shira Lazar and Burnie Burns about his new YouTube Channel, “The Comedy Shaq,” earning his doctorate, and pitching projects through the social video platform, Tout.
Here at SXSW, Shaq says he feels like a kid in a candy store. Specifically, he’s been trying to get his hands on some Google Glass, “but they’re not budging.” C’mon, who wouldn’t want to get a peek at the world through Shaq’s eyes?
“I’m a true geek,” he’s proud to say. Web entertainment guru and Rooster Teeth founder Burnie – today’s co-host – even cites the sports legend as his inspiration for joining Twitter!
“It gives me a chance to speak from my perspective to my friends. I don’t really call them fans. I call them friends,” Shaq says of the social platform. “The way I use Twitter is different from most people. It’s 60% to make you laugh, 30% to inspire you, and 10% to sell product.” For this, Burnie coins the term “twit-life balance.”
To give back to the tech community, Shaq is also working with Tout.com, accepting 15 second pitches from people launching their businesses and startups. Shaq offers his criteria for making prospective investments: I’m looking for something that’s very simple that everyone can use, something that’s inspiring, and something that’s going to change people’s lives.”
“Simplicity always wins,” he says, referencing Twitter as a prime example. “Early man, when they wanted to communicate with each other, they would write on the wall. That’s Twitter.”
In the digital landscape, Shaq also launched his own YouTube channel, The Comedy Shaq. “To me, laughing and being humorous relieves stress,” he says. “I just like to make people laugh.” Regarding the YouTube platform, Shaq says, “A lot of entertainers and celebrities are getting smart. They’re trying to create their own space and put their own type of information out.”
Speaking of comedy, Shaq has also had recent experience in the viral video scene. Remember when Will Ferrell posed as a security guard and threw Shaq out of the Staples Center? We might even expect Shaq to make an appearance in Ferrell’s highly anticipated “Anchorman 2.” But he’ll definitely be in Adam Sandler’s “Grown Ups 2,” which hits theaters this summer.
Finally, he gives his own advice to entrepreneurs and content creators in the online space that they can share with an audience. “First, you have to be genuine,” he says. “Believe in your product […] because if you believe in it, then the customer will believe in it.”
Subscribe to The Comedy Shaq on YouTube and follow Shaq on Twitter.
We’re streaming LIVE all week at the Samsung Blogger Lounge on YouTube.com/WhatsTrending, bringing you the hottest interviews and updates from SXSW 2013!