Kickin’ it with George Kiel III

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Jon Zmikly interviewing George Kiel III during the Digital Media Entrepreneurship Speaker Series. Photo by Dr. Cindy Royal

By: Jennifer Alvord

Texas State alumnus George Kiel III spoke to students during The Digital Media Entrepreneurship Speaker Series about his career at NiceKicks.com and non-profit organization Kiel Colon Cancer Foundation.

Kiel graduated from Texas State University in 2008 with a degree in journalism and was extremely involved during his time here. While taking 19 hours his senior year, Kiel wrote for the University Star, played basketball for the university and interned for the FOX affiliate in Austin.

Kiel is currently Editor-in-Chief of NiceKicks.com, one of the Internet’s most comprehensive sneaker-themed sites, and is the co-founder of Kiel Colon Cancer Foundation. Kiel founded the foundation and the Kick & Roll Classic 3-on-3 Basketball Event as a promise to honor his mother’s name and extend her legacy through his love for basketball and sneakers.

Since Nice Kicks is solely online, Kiel said that pushing content through social media is essential. “Social media can be a big engine as far as who sees what and how they see it,” he said. “Social media is key.”

Kiel also believes that what sets companies apart from each other is content. “Content is king,” he said. “Having exclusive content is what makes you stand out.” At Nice Kicks, Kiel helped create a series called Kicks on the Court, which is a daily feature with exclusive content about shoes worn by basketball players.

 

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Burnie Burns of Rooster Teeth visits Digital Entrepreneurship Speaker Series

Michael Justin “Burnie” Burns visited Texas State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication as the seventh and final speaker of the Digital Entrepreneurship Speaker Series on Weds, April 22. Burns is the co-creator of the internet video series “Red vs. Blue” and co-founder of the production company Rooster Teeth.

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Digital media professor Jon Zmikly began the Q&A-style discussion by asking Burns to give a history of his career in digital production. Though he started as a biology pre-med student at the University of Texas in Austin, he switched his major to computer science during his senior year, due to his interest in the rise of the Internet in the mid-90s.

Burns also became interested in filmmaking. But instead of taking classes to learn film production, he grabbed and college buddy and decided to learn as they went.

“It took us 13 months to shoot and edit our film,” said Burns. “And that was just the beginning. The real challenge was the distribution, like getting the film into an independent film festival. You send your film in, and a committee of eight or nine people determine if your film can be screened in a room full of 200 people at a festival. We got a lot of nice rejection letters.” Read more of this post

Peabody Award-winning video journalist visits Digital Entrepreneurship Speaker Series

Peabody Award-winning video journalist Whitney Shefte of The Washington Post visited the Texas State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication on Weds, April 1. The Q&A discussion was facilitated by Dr. David Nolan, professor of visual communication at Texas State, as part of the Digital Entrepreneurship Speaker Series.

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Whitney Shefte answers Dr. David Nolan’s interview questions for the audience
Photo by Dale Blasingame

From Internship to Full-Time Position

Nolan opened the discussion by asking Shefte to describe her duties as Senior Video Journalist at The Washington Post. She explained that she and her team of writers create documentary-style stories, as opposed to traditional broadcast media. Her duties include shooting and editing interviews and B-roll, traveling, and some writing. The opportunity to work with The Washington Post came as a result of a summer internship, which Shefte secured with her skills in editing audio.

“At the time I was hired as an intern, audio slideshows were the hot new thing in web journalism,” she said. “And my audio editing skills blew them away.”

Read more of this post