I was on facebook just now and you all know the feature where it shows old post your did XX amount of years ago and you can reshare? 8 years ago i started livestreaming my gameplay using xfire. That was mainly the one and only livestreaming service that worked well with games. Pretty much before Justin.tv aka twitch.tv was born. I was really into Guild Wars and if anyone has followed me over the years you knew how much i was into that game that i wanted to show off competitions in PVP. I would dedicate a time slot of when i played from like 11am to 2pm cause I had to be at work at 3pm so cutting off at 2pm was perfect and i had enough gaming in my system to feel good the rest of the day. This snapshot alone shows how much i enjoyed livestreaming as a hobby
I still treat livestreaming as a hobby and only do it when i feel it’s right. It might not be guild wars or minecraft but any game is worth streaming as long as you have an audience that enjoys the content that is provided. I learned to stream for people who are out there that want to see fresh content of games that may already be out there but want to see someone play the game casually and not in it for the views. I don’t wanna be a pewdiepie or pretty much anyone that has thousands of viewers flocking in to see what you are doing. With my personal experiance of watching people grow on twitch or beam or even youtube is you start to see a core audience come by and enjoy hanging out with the caster and the caster enjoys them being there. LethalFrag for example! He had his 2 years challenge. While it started out as people who only were there for the 2 year challenge ends up people still coming by after the challenge! Heck it’s getting close to year 5 for him and i been supporting him since month 3 when i first learned about him! Streamers like him are a perfect example of a community that grew without any special gimicks even though the 2 year challenge was a gimick you gotta think about what it was like as both the streamer and viewer that been around for the longest time. You get to know the caster and the caster gets to know their audience. Everyone is on the same mindset and when a troll comes about they are cast away real easily cause the community presense is that strong that nothing can bring it down!
Now there is my community that has it’s ups and downs. I started on xfire aka livestream and had maybe a max of 5 viewers where some lurked and never talked to me but i knew they were there to see me grow in experiance and help me when they felt it was time to help which i understood. Now in all honesty i do not recall there being any type of public chat like twitch and other streaming platform had. If anyone watched from xfire they had to comment in order to interact with me and i probably would not see it until after the cast cause it was not instantly updated unless i refreshed the page every once in a while when streaming.
Streaming on twitch made me rethink on how to interact with my audience. Like i mentioned before there was not a true chat feature on xfire but with chat on twitch I had to relearn how to livestream. People were talking to me in real time even with a 2-10 second delay. I remember my 1st regular that stopped by almost every stream for at least 3 months. He would stop by and give me pointers in minecraft cause I was still new to the game. We would argue on what is better Guild Wars or Guild Wars 2? He liked my channel so much he wanted to support me by hosting a server for me for about a month. Stuff like that makes you feel good cause someone came out of their way and used their own money to help grow a channel and it did! I went from maybe 2-3 concurrent viewers up to 16-24 in a matter of weeks. It all started on day 1 when we did a 48 hour livestream of a bot creating a castle on the server he hosted for us.
After that i did a series of builds of houses and pixel art that people would come on by to check on the progress. It was good to know people were enjoying the content. I then changed games cause I could not stick with Minecraft forever. I started playing Battlefield 4 and numbers started going down on regulars and number of trolls started going up. People were coming in trying to figure out what server i was playing in and then would come in to ruin it for me. Where that is entertainment on their end that is not good for the caster. Now there are casters who enjoy that kind of thing like Sodapoppin for example. People would find out what server he is in and try to take over the cast by being all over his POV in game and then there were the trolls that would donate money just to have some crazy message pop up on the video feed. While stuff like that was fun to watch it got old real quick but he kept on doing it. I can’t stand other people trying to get attention like that. That is what you call a toxic community. I prefer channels like LethalFrag, BaconDonut, CrankyCanuk, Boogie2988, MetalManiacMat, OldManShorty, just to name a few. Those are prime examples of channels that grow and continue to grow due to proper entertainment and nothing fake like Pewdiepie, sodapoppin, swifty, goldenglove and others like them. There are those who are there for the numbers and there are those who are there just to be there! The ones who are just out there to be there are the kind of channels/community i love and want to be a part of. I may not be as big as LethalFrag or BaconDonut and will never be as big as them but as long as you enjoy streaming and people keep going back even if it 4 people or 4000 people at the end of the day as a caster you enjoy doing what you do and know you made someone elses day.