I have been preparing a post about my experiences with OBS.Live and SLOBS but something on twitter made me change my mind. After reading a tweet and commenting, something suddenly dawned on me that probably everyone else has known for ages. In short I had a revelation about my streaming!
What was the tweet?
You are not going to think this is major or anything. I always check the Twittersphere when I wake up and get to my computer. I am always interested in what I can reply to, see what has been happening and spread the likes around.
This morning I saw a rather innocent-looking tweet from @Twitch:
As you can probably imagine, this single tweet had attracted some major attention. While writing this post it currently has 6,129 people talking about this single tweet.
I quickly looked at the first couple of replies and suddenly realised how little commitment I actually have to my own stream. People were tweeting about their uniqueness, how they engage with their community and even how much money they had raised for charity.
A safe, inclusive space where you and your friends can come to learn to play D&D and other TTRPGs.— Scratticus Academy (@Scratticus_) January 12, 2020
I have helped over 500 people try it out and have a space on the official @Wizards_DnD schedule
I have raised at least 5k for charity and we are planning more in February
I myself stream on a regular basis and have been part of two charity streams and that is all. I tend to shoot from the hip in these instances and immediately add my reply saying don’t follow me, follow someone who is younger, just starting out and is finding it hard to get noticed. And at this point the penny dropped!
Many people are going to be shouting at the screen when they read this – “AT LAST!!!”. I always enjoy streaming and creating content and would love to make it in the industry to make it my full-time work. But if I removed all the analytics and viewers would I still stream? The answer would be yes and this is when I suddenly realised that I don’t need Twitch to follow me because I have already made it!
I have the equipment, the time and a great community. I have everything which I need to stream. I also have something even more important. I have enjoyment! Last weekend, I finished streaming, got into bed and found that I was still smiling. Yes, I love it so much that even when I am finished I still smile as the euphoria continues.
I would definitely say that it is more fun when people are chatting to you but even when my chat is empty, I still find myself cracking ‘dad jokes’, laughing at things which happen in the game and celebrating when I achieve something. I have finally realised that numbers mean nothing, I enjoy streaming hence why I do it.
And there's more!
When everyone starts to stream, they join a continuum. This continuum stretches from the full time partnered streamers at one end to the once a year streamers at the other. Neither is the best, neither needs to improve. The important thing is that you do what is best for you. You don’t need to be affiliated or partnered to have achieved anything. For some of us, just streaming after a full day at work is a great achievement – even more for me at my age! (Thank heavens for B12 vitamins!). If you are doing the best you can at your level then you have achieved and should be proud!
Being a great streamer and/or channel is not about numbers it is about the person. What they have to overcome in order to stream, their resilience or grit and their dedication. You might stream to one viewer but in doing so you might support one person and in which case, your stream has been successful.
I did go back to the tweet which Twitch had shared and added some more replies. This time, I started to recognise not myself but other streamers. I watch some people who are FANTASTIC streamers and should have greater recognition than what they currently have and these are the people who should get the follow.
They are giving 100% effort at their level and they are continuing to give and will probably not even reply to the tweet. I saw more and more people not promoting their own channel, but recommending others and I joined in. Follow some of the great people on Twitch who are dedicated at their level and are continuously producing great content and building a great community. They might only be streaming once a month to a couple of people, but they have achieved and these are the people who Twitch should follow to recognise the diversity and dedication across the platform.
I can’t actually believe how long it has taken me to have this revelation. I really enjoy streaming and I am doing the best I possibly can at my place on the continuum. We all would probably like to be somewhere else on that continuum but the important thing is until something happens and your place changes, be happy and content where you are and continue to do the best you can. I certainly will and as I do, I will certainly enjoy myself and I hope I bring some of that enjoyment to the people who come along for the ride.