UNO senior Alex Kuklinski started Techno FYI after his instructional tech videos increased in popularity.
For 20-year-old Alex Kuklinski, perhaps the most important question was: “How do you convert a .mov file into a format that works with Windows Media Maker?”
When a high school friend posed the question in 2007, it led to Kuklinski's first instructional YouTube video.
"The video quality's terrible, I had no idea how to shoot video,” joked Kuklinski, who is now a University of Nebraska-Omaha senior. “Looking back at it now, I've come a long way.”
Kuklinski was surprised when the first video took off––it now has 150,000 views––so he decided to make more instructional videos and posted them to his previous YouTube channel, HuskerMania.
“I didn't know it was going to turn into a career,” he said.
But over the years it has. In 2009, after one of his videos was posted on Apple trend blog MacRumors, Kuklinski began monetizing his tutorials with Google AdSense.
“I woke up and I got 10,000 hits overnight,” he said. The video, which now has over 2 million views, taught users how to make phone calls using an iPod Touch. Since then a number of Kuklinski's videos have been featured by news outlets like the Omaha World Herald, The Wall Street Journal, and National Public Radio.
It wasn't until 2012 when he took a trip to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that Kuklinski realized how to turn his passion into a full-time profession.
His latest project, a tech blog called Techno FYI, turns one year old this week. The site features gadget reviews, instructional videos and other news from the consumer electronics industry.
At first, Kuklinski says he was nervous about starting the blog because he had never taken any journalism classes. But soon after starting Techno FYI he switched majors to focus on communications and new media.
Kuklinski used some of the money he earned from his YouTube videos as well as an investment from his parents to start Techno FYI. And since publishing its first article on January 5, 112,000 unique visitors have perused Techno FYI.
But Kuklinski says there is one critical factor to his success.
"I try to make it so easy that my grandma can follow along," he said. “It's kind of silly, but it's a good rule for me."
Video and website analytics showed Kuklinski that the majority of his viewers were over the age of 30––meaning this demographic was looking for simple, easy to follow information. And while Techno FYI now offers more than instructional videos, they’re still the site’s bread and butter.
“With my how-to content, the reason why I continue to do it is because I think a lot sites make things a little too hard to comprehend,” Kuklinski said.
So far Kuklinski has published 157 articles and for the most part, Techno FYI remains a one-man operation. But that’s proven to be no problem for Kuklinski because at the end of the day, the work is still fun.
“That's what I love doing, I love technology, so writing about it and reviewing stuff is awesome. I love doing what I do."
Watch Kuklinski's video tutorial on how to make phone calls with the iPod Touch:
Credits: Alex Kuklinski photo courtesy of Kuklinski. Video from YouTube.