I always have to be careful that my blog posts don’t come across too negative. Although I am usually a optimist, I have a tendency to be very realistic, and this can often come across as pessimism. As I sit here, blogging, planning radio shows, my next Youtube video and Twitch broadcast – yes I do plan them all – I get the feeling that I was just born far too early for the internet and now, as I age day by day, my opportunity for popularity has long ago set sail and really I shouldn’t be venturing into the world of gaming, Twitch and Youtube…
I long ago accepted that, in those immortal words of the famous ABBA song, that I was nothing special – in fact…well you know the rest. Although I’m nothing special, I am unique and I do think this is something to be celebrated. The LGBT blog at work, asked me to write a piece on a topic of my choice and I decided to talk about the diversity which exists within the world and how this should be celebrated. The internet world has certainly embraced this diversity, allowing anyone and everyone to record, tweet and broadcast. However, within this acceptance there can also be some determining factors which make me think that I missed the boat when it comes to engaging with the internet society.
The average age – I’m old – there comes a time when you really just have to accept things and recently this has been made more apparent to me. I don’t feel old and I never consider myself old, although when broadcasting on Twitch, I’ve had comments about how old I am. There appears to be somewhat of a dilemma when it comes to age and gaming/blogging etc. When I was younger you couldn’t engage with Twitch etc, mainly since it hadn’t been created, but now, when you are younger, you might have the time to broadcast/game but not really the financial backing. When you get older – you often have the cash, but lack the time and, at some points, the motivation. I am very lucky to have some regular viewers on all my channels and for that I am extremely grateful, however, the chances of me becoming an internet sensation or even becoming accepted as a serious blogger/broadcaster is very low. Maybe if I was twenty or even thirty years younger, more handsome and funny then my chances might increase – damn those immortal words of ABBA! (am I allowed to swear on this blog?)
Rather Unique – I’ve never actually fitted into a category. Because of this I think that I have come to dislike the allocation of labels. I think these just lead to stereotyping which I also dislike. As you look at people’s interests, there is often some commonality within groups which allows for the formation of sub sets within smaller groups. I don’t seem to fit into any sort of group or subset. It would appear that there was a whole load of interests left on the floor after the majority have been assigned and these were allocated to me. I’m completely happy with my allocation, although it does make it difficult to find people with similar interests to engage with on my channels. The other difficulty is that I am no expert. It is almost like I have been given not only the crumbs of the interests, but also the left overs of the knowledge of these areas. There used to be a series of jokes that we used at school as I was growing up. Things like -“When God was giving out looks, you thought he said books and asked for a horror!”. I used to enjoy making these up for myself and my favourite one, which actually made no sense, was = “When God was giving out brains, you thought he said trains and said you would wait for the next one.” – told you it made no sense! I think, when it comes to knowledge of things, I not only missed the train, I also missed the last coach, the late train probably the whole network! Yes, I could always develop the knowledge, but short of giving up my job in order to find the time – is this plausible?
Attracting an audience – Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk about how attractive I am – that would make a very small segment! I think my diverse likes/dislikes makes it difficult to attract an audience to my streams etc. I’ve never really found my niche within a game. Often when people start a game, they immediately go for a certain class/role. I’ve blogged about this before, and still I lack that perfect class for my playing style. When we used to play Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, one saying we used to have was – “if you don’t want to enter the dungeon then become a shop keeper!”. This is very apt for me, and I actually enjoy the idea of running a shop – I suppose there is not much difference between that and a Twitch or YouTube channel. I usually stream Star Wars the Old Republic on Twitch but recently started to create a shop in Shoppe Keepe on Steam. Although some of my viewers return to watch me play – many don’t or even leave when they see my playing the game – the same with Rise of the Tomb Raider. This, I think, is the problem with liking a range of games and being quite unique with my selection. I also tend to like less mainstream games – if you have seen my playing Black Ops you would know why! When relating this to an audience for the channels I think it might be completely impossible to find people who actually enjoy the same things as me and, if they do exist, surely ‘we’ are only around in small numbers.
It is only when nearing the end of this blog post that I am beginning to realise that wanting to become an internet sensation is, perhaps, not what this blog post is actually about. Do I really want to be famous and gain all the problems which come with that fame? When ever we start something new, we want to be good at it and achieve some sort of recognition for what we are doing. Often we rely on others for this recognition and, in the internet society, this comes through viewers, comments, ratings and general likes and hits. If these things are not forthcoming, we often judge ourselves and cease the activity. Perseverance is very important in this situation as all of the famous bloggers, gamers and Youtubers will probably tell you they started small and went a long time before gaining the recognition. However, I also think there is another aspect of this which is important for everyone to consider. Maybe recognition and the ‘worth’ of blog posts should not be measured by views etc, but whether we, as the producer of the content, has gained something, however small, from it. I might not have the attributes to be an internet sensation – but I certainly have the attributes to be unique and also enjoy what I do and this, for me, is far more important than being a sensation.
Do you have aspirations to be famous or a sensation? Do you sometimes feel you are heading in the wrong direction? Have you got any tips or support that you can give us smaller fish in the blogging arena? Then let us know in the comments below or via twitter and/or Facebook.