New Jersey native Matthew Rinaudo has made a name for himself in online communities under the screen name Mizkif. Today, he’s one of the biggest names on Twitch and maintains a dedicated, cross-platform audience on Twitch, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube. In just six years, he’s built an impressive following of over 4 million spanning across the internet.

When it comes down to it, Mizkif’s approach to networking and collaboration has been key to his quick rise in popularity. Mizkif has never shied away from inserting himself into the middle of the conversation, even if those conversations and the people he talks to bring about controversy. If you’re kicking off a career in the online world, you may take a few lessons from Mizkif’s journey thus far.

The origin of Mizkif

Mizkif began creating content back in 2016. The first few videos he uploaded were documentaries about other creators. These videos gained him enough attention in the Twitch community that he landed a job as the cameraman for controversial streamer Ice Poseidon. At this point, Mizkif already had a small community of viewers, but his popularity grew exponentially while working for Ice Poseidon.

Eventually, Mizkif branched out and began streaming his own content. Mizkif wisely kept his own brand and connected with as many other streamers as possible. From there, he grew his channel to what it was today, now focusing on creating variety-style content. A lot of his content involves interviewing other streamers or vlogging with his friends and guest creators.

Image courtesy: OTK

Networking FTW

Mizkif’s easy social demeanor makes it easy for others to partner with him for collaborations, competitions and cross-promotions. For instance, Mizkif is famous for hosting contests and game-show-style trivia streams. These types of streams are not only entertaining to watch; they also help introduce Mizkif to a new audience every time he has a new contestant on. Working together with other creators and streamers can lead to opening a lot of doors in your streaming career. You might have co-hosts, create fun interactive online events, or develop new business ventures.

Today, Mizkif has ventured into bigger concepts. He and several others combined forces to launch their own gaming organization One True King (OTK) in October 2020. OTK focuses on gaming and holds partnerships with the Chipotle restaurant chain and Mountain Dew.

Mizkif also has an open-door policy for his streams. This means that anyone can come on to his stream unannounced. Over the years, this policy has led to many, on the fly collaborations.

Headfirst into the drama

While some content creators prefer to avoid drama and controversy, Mizkif welcomes it. Popular streamer Disguised Toast described Mizkif as a “drama farmer.” What this means is that Mizkif will insert himself into the drama to create content from his reactions and thoughts to the situation. Though Mizkif’s intentions are often in good faith, some see it as a controversial approach to gaining viewers and clicks. Nevertheless, Disguised Toast says you still “gotta respect [Mizkif’s] hustle.” 

Philanthropy, generosity and future

Mizkif is a big fan of doing cool streams to benefit charity. He’s hosted benefit streams for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, St. David’s Children’s Hospital and others. In 2021, he partnered with fellow streamer and friend, Ryan “Simply” Reeves, for a charity benefit extreme challenge. They rappelled down the side of a 32-story building in Austin, Texas. The event was titled “Over the Edge” and raised over $20,000 for their cause. Not only did this epic stream raise a ton of cash for charity, but it also gained a lot of attention on Twitch, having thousands of live viewers watch Mizkif rappel.

Image courtesy: Mizkif

Also, Mizkif often puts his own money up for the winnings on many of his streams on Twitch. He regularly gives away cool prizes to viewers. Raising money for non-profits and giving away your own cash is more than just nice things to do, though. It creates awareness for your brand and expands your audience. When you do things like this, you may draw the attention of sponsors and create new networking contacts that may lead to your next big collaboration.

Take a page out of Mizkif’s book

What Mizkif has done in just a few years is nothing short of impressive. In just a few short years, he’s become one of the largest streamers on Twitch and has a dedicated following across the internet. He’s collaborated with some of the biggest content creators out there and has helped others grow their streams as well. Collaboration and network have and continue to be stable in Mizkif’s content. While it’s important to network for success, it’s also important to maintain your own brand even when working with others. A little bit of controversy creates publicity, but it should never be at the expense of others’ success and well-being.