Kyle Niblett – Social Media Superstar


Niblett. What an appropriate name. That’s a picture of Niblett – the “gerbilcorn” creature featured in Abby’s Flying Fairy School of Sesame Street.  It steals the fairy’s wands and wrecks havoc on their fun. That’s exactly what Kyle Niblett, MSU baseball SID and social media director, is all about.

This morning I found out that our baseball specific twitter feed, @MSU_baseball, had been reported as trying to impersonate the official Mississippi State baseball twitter account. Also, the widely popular @MsStateBaseball twitter account, which has nearly 8,000 followers was also reported by Mississippi State to be impersonating the official account. We both have less than 48 hours to change the name, avatar and twitter description before being permanently suspended, despite the fact that both account are clearly marked as unofficial.

Your immediate reaction may be, well MSU must protect their brand. That’s fine, and I completely understand if they view this as something that distracts from what they are trying to accomplish on social media by creating confusion as to what is actually the official account. But to go around our backs without any notice to report us to twitter?

I (plus the entire M&WN staff) and @MsStateBaseball are not your regular run-of-the-mill fans. I’m not saying I am better than any MSU fan out there because I am not, but if you have a social media account dedicated to one specific sport with 8,000 followers or a blog with over 100,000 page views each month you cannot be considered a random fan. Before reporting us to twitter, why could Kyle Niblett not ask us to change our accounts?

A few weeks ago I sent a cordial e-mail to Kyle Nibett asking him if he would assist me in covering MSU baseball this year. I simply asked for a subscription to HailStateTV so I could watch games that I could not attend. I thought it would be mutually beneficial since I would be writing extensively on the baseball team (thereby indirectly promoting the baseball program) and he could help me out by foregoing the $40 fee. While I was at it I opened the lines of communication to say that if he needed anything at all to please let me know. Not only did he completely ignore my request (despite also asking for a return e-mail multiple times on twitter) but he ignored my invitation to contact me about things such as this – wanting to remove our baseball twitter account.

I don’t think I deserve anything. Not at all. I have paid for the subscription and that’s fine. I thought it was a shot in the dark at best because I know athletic administrations are leery of dealing with blogs. But to completely ignore someone, and to have complete lack of respect to ask people (“super-fans” who promote your school) to change something like a twitter account is shady at best.

This isn’t the first time Niblett has attempted to undermine me. For our story regarding Rob Hataway’s road dawg streak he took to Facebook to publish a quote without naming the source he got it from. This is no big deal at all for any reader, however when your job is media relations you should have at least some type of knowledge to know that is inappropriate.

What’s more, he went on to send Rob a care package for his loyalty to MSU. That’s just fine and dandy and a nice touch. However, he failed to mention where he heard about such a story. He doesn’t have to – that’s not what I’m getting at – the point is his compete ignorance for us when it’s something he knows about and has received information from. I don’t need credit every time someone gets an idea from M&WN or me, but to act like we don’t exist in an effort to put us out on the street is pathetic.

What’s the point?

You may think this is just a personal vendetta against a MSU employee that is doing an adequate to good job. Sure, I am not happy personally, but I also don’t think Niblett is always looking out for MSU. He claims to be all about #HailState but he’s a Florida fan looking out for number one. He thinks he’s a social media superstar and needs to squash all the little guys around him to show who is boss. Him ignoring me is exactly that – he is trying to send a message that he is too good for me.

That’s fine. Play it your way. But M&WN is not going anywhere. While Niblett does a good job handling the social media, he’s got a long way to go as far as actual human interaction. Hopefully improvements will be made from trying to throw MSU’s most hardcore fans under the bus to actually showing them an ounce of decency.

P.S. – our new baseball handle is @mwnbaseball.