ShaqTube Hits the Internet

So if Shaq’s retired, why does it feel like we have more of him in our life than ever before? You may have caught it when the Big 401K (his new nickname, apparently) announced he was hanging ‘em up on Twitter the other day — or more accurately, when he used a new video sharing service called Tout to announce he was hanging ‘em up on Twitter.

It turns out the Big Innovator is an avid follower of the tech scene, caught wind of Tout, an app that allows users to take 15-second videos of themselves and blast them out over the internet, and was smitten. His people reached out to Tout’s people, and voila, deal. O’Neal, now an advisor with the company (whatever that means), picked up a piece of equity and Tout picked up publicity beyond their wildest dreams.

In just the three hours after Shaq’s announcement, half a million viewers flocked to the six-week old Tout’s site. The company had been planning for the day for the weeks, upping their capacity to make sure they could deal with the inevitable flood of Shaqolites (see how I did that?). And Shaq has hardly slowed down since his initial retirement announcement — he’s been posting a steady stream of occasionally hilarious videos on Tout. There’s singing and dancing and in one he even seems to say that he’s taking a job with ESPN. In another, he gets hit in the head with a metal sheet. In yet another he gets slapped in the head repeatedly by his barber. (What’s up with all the hits to the head, Big Fella?) Perhaps our favorite is the one where you see him standing side-by-side with his girlfriend Hoopz — we’re not even sure she comes up to his waist.

This shouldn’t be surprising, though. Ever since he pulled down his first backboard (there’s a Tout video of Shaq watching himself do that too), the Diesel Daddy has been a master of the media. Now that he’s got more time on his hands, why should that change?