‘World’s Tallest Geek’ Shaquille O’Neal Talks Social Media with Brian Solis At SXSW Panel

Shaquille O’Neal considers himself the “world’s tallest geek,” and made the case for that while on the hot seat at an SXSW Sunday panel moderated by prominent media strategist Brian Solis.

In comical Shaq fashion, he entered the stage by carrying Solis on his back, and many who attended the panel laughed at his opening antics. During the panel, he also kissed Solis on the cheek and sang that “he liked it” — an ode to one of Katy Perry’s earliest hits.

But of course, Shaq’s comedy act wasn’t the only draw to the event. Mekanism’s Monica Fineis attended the legendary NBA giant’s event and noted that he broke down his social media strategy into three things: 60 percent to make people laugh, 30 percent to inspire and 10 percent to promote.

Shaq said he started his Twitter account because of an impersonator who used his identity to make a Twitter account. Since then, he has embraced social media and told the audience that he is heavily involved with Tout, a microblogging and video-sharing service. In fact, he made his retirement announcement in 2011 using Tout because he wanted his fans to hear from him first.

Despite his public persona as an intimidating yet comical guy, Shaq didn’t want people to think he’s dumb. In fact, he told the panel that social media and technology is easy to use and made him realize he wasn’t dumb after all. He joked about telling his kid that he had no excuse for not doing a good job on a book now that there’s cliffsnotes.com.

Shaq told the audience: “If they’d had this technology when I was your age, I’d have been valedictorian.”

A valedictorian he is not, but Shaq said that he’s always wanted to educate himself despite the fact he didn’t do well in school and now he an MBA and a PhD. He believes that the best way to be successful as an entrepreneur is to be around people smarter than them, just like he did when he was in high school and passed a computer class with the help of a student he befriended who was knowledgeable in that field.