#TwitchBlackout and how I handled it

Just recently I wrote about #TwitchBlackout and my issues with it. On Wednesday, the 24th, I actually went live and talked with my community about different issues and, here’s how that went. 

So, at first, I thought I’d talk about the issues that are currently in the focus and why I think talking about it is better than not streaming for one day to my three to four regulars. My stream would start with the usual Just Chatting and would then slowly move into a discussion with information and the links I provided and all of that.

I was fearing that a few things could happen:

  • 1. People might not like these “heavier topics” and would just leave, resulting in us not really spreading awareness. 
  • > This wasn’t the case. In fact, a lot of people new ones and regulars talked about their experiences and shared a bit of stories. One viewer, in particular, mentioned that he’s from Romania and how there’s still a fair bit of racism against “gipsies” (don’t like the term) and how being LGBQTIA+ isn’t acceptable at all. 
  • 2. I feared that the discussion would drag on and people wouldn’t like it too much or wouldn’t appreciate my input or other people’s inputs.
  • > This wasn’t the case… luckily, everyone took part in it and most people agreed with my views that staying silent is stupid and that Twitch won’t take that much of a punch when a bunch of small streamers stop streaming all of a sudden for ONE DAY. 
  • 3. Someone would be offended that someone as privileged as me is talking about those issues, being male and white.
  • > I talked about racism in Germany and that my parents were refugees, too. I talked about the fact that you’re always “the different one” and that people don’t necessarily accept you for who you are but always see you as “that other guy”, and a lot of other people talked about that as well. So that was nice, actually. 
  • 4. This would become a One-Time-Thing and would never happen again on Stream…
  • > I’m going to continue the discussions in the future. But more about that later.
  • 5. People would make it about me, suddenly. 
  • > This did happen at one point. Someone said that it’s good that I’m doing that, so I instantly refused to accept that. It’s not about me. It’s about discrimination, harassment, assault and abuse victims and survivors in the Streaming and Gaming industry. More about that later as well.

So, the discussion was rather fun and quite enlightening. We shared experiences and opinions. We talked for about an hour in total before heading into Children of Morta, a game I’m revisiting shortly for a post. During the gameplay, we still talked about it, so that worked out fine. And in the end, it has been a lot of fun and the links I shared were copied by other people to use on their streams as well. 

Spread awareness. Don’t go silent. 

Now, regarding my 4th point from earlier:

I don’t want this to be something that I do only once. I’d like to discuss these things more often in the next few streams and then see what days are the best to talk about issues like that and about discrimination, sexism or socio-critical stuff like toxic masculinity, TERFs, and other stuff. I feel like that would be the better way to handle this. We could talk about heavier topics on Wednesdays for instance while having mediocre gameplay in the background. And if the demand is there, I’d maybe have it twice per week where we talk about that stuff, discuss different point of views and try to spread awareness on other things. 

And, regarding the 5th point: 

I don’t want this to be about myself. I’m not constantly getting harassed by people. I’ve seen people creeping in female streamers’ chats so often, asking for silicone moulds of the shape of their feet and videos of them pumping the pedals or donating bits or money to get other advances. Usually, they get made fun of but I’ve also seen people not react too well about that. At the same time, there’s also a ton of people of colour on Twitch that get harassed for being PoC. I can’t say that I get sexually harassed on Twitch or that I get harassed for being German with a migration background. I can’t say that I’m getting bullied or attacked by people. I didn’t get assaulted or catcalled or even attacked in public yet for being male or “looking pretty”. 

I’m not a fan of the “other people suffer more” or “kids in Africa are starving, so you shouldn’t complain” mentality. I don’t think that people should necessarily do that. I don’t think that that’s the right thing to do at all. But in this case, it really isn’t about me. I don’t want to spread awareness because “I’m such a nice guy” or “because I’m white and need to help others”. I just want to take part in spreading awareness and talk about it, hear other people’s views. 

So, that’s essentially why I hate that “thanks for doing this” that I got there. No. Just don’t. It should be normal for people to talk about that stuff. And sexism and harassment isn’t exactly something new either. The important things jut tend to get put into focus over time. 

People forgot about the locust plague in Africa after COVID broke out. People forgot about COVID when the riots in the United States happened. People forgot about BLM and the riots when people came out with their stories now. And I know that right now people are shitting on me and others for going live. I get it. But in three weeks nobody is going to give a fuck about it since Trump will have done something stupid again. In Stuttgart there’s riots as well right now and people will forget about it once the AfD has done something racist again. 

So, that’s what I’d like to do differently in my streams. I’ll try to talk about more serious things every Wednesday and we’ll have discussions while playing Hollow Knight or some Roguelike or something. Idk. 

And I feel like the stream went well overall and I’m happy that the people in my community actually cared enough about the topics and didn’t flame me for being a white male (being bi or migration background doesn’t matter in that case, I’ve heard), so that was nice. 

And I’m thankful for that. It worked out well and all the anxiety I felt right before the stream… just vanished in a go when I saw the usual faces participate in the stream and actually engage in the topic… and well, just yesterday we had a bit of a discussion on racism and discrimination based on being a muslim or, in the case of a viewer, being arabic.

It was really insightful and I could share my fair bits on how Europe is also shitty in that regard with all kinds of “right-wing parties” spreading in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and other countries… parties that are not good at all and that always paint a bad picture on certain groups of people… and it was a lovely discussion. It didn’t turn into something one-sided or anything like that. We were able to talk about negativity and later even got into relationship stuff and, honestly, I don’t even know how but we got really deep into all kinds of topics and that’s something I’d like to turn into a more common thing.

Thanks a ton to my regulars there for actually caring about the topics and helping me with actually spreading awareness. This is not going to be a one-time-thing. I want to spread awareness on a lot of things and I wanna talk about these things without anyone having to fear their opinions, as long as they don’t harm others.

Thanks a lot.

Cheers

Going silent to spread awareness? Thoughts on #TwitchBlackout

In this post, I’m talking about why exactly I feel like the blackout-movement isn’t exactly working and what would be better. Sadly a lot of the things that I wanted to say were already put into less words in a lot better way by Lowco, so I’ve linked her video down there and tried to talk about something else in this post. 🙂 Please check out @Lowco2525!

It’s a small movement with little to no force behind it. A view thousand people stopping to stream is not going to bring down the bad guys. There are demands that are being heard but I am not a fan of the “silent protest” treatment that we’re supposed to give to Twitch. 

Be loud! Be angry! Make yourself heard!

Spread awareness!

Don’t go silent. 

For anyone who doesn’t know, the TwitchBlackout “trend” was a movement in support of #BLM where you don’t stream on Tuesdays and essentially try to host/support POC on Twitch. I didn’t participate for the same reason that I’m not participating in the movement now. 

made by @badluckbuddha

Right now, it’s to make ourselves heard about the harassment and bullying as well as the sexual assault and the abuse of power that is happening in the Streaming/Gaming industry. Women are sharing their stories once again talking about their abusers and the predators that haunt them to this day. And now people won’t stream today (the 24th of June) because… that spreads awareness? 

I’ve read plenty of these stories and it’s saddening and sickening to hear about what these victims and survivors have been through.

What a movement like this needs is for people to SPREAD AWARENESS by NOT GOING SILENT. How does one spread awareness? Well, talk to people, educate them, spread resources and links about the issues. 

Twitch-streamer Lowco summarized the issues that she has with the movement quite well in a recent video that I’d recommend checking out as well. She also put out a google doc with all kinds of important resources, links and information, so check that out as well.

I’ll set up a command with this doc so that people can educate themselves and, if they want to, support charity foundations that help assault victims. I’ll talk about it. I’ll try to show my support with a logo on the screen. That’s how I’ll try to spread awareness. By not being live I’ll just mess with my viewers. I won’t be able to spread anything. I won’t be heard. I’d be silent. 

Don’t go silent. Be heard. Be loud. 

That’s my opinion at least. And while I think that a movement like that is alright… I don’t think it’s perfect. 

There is no force behind it that pushes forward.

The tweet by @SirKatelyn that I could find was from two days ago, so there was barely any time to organize it and from what I’ve seen most “bigger streamers” that I follow don’t take part in it either. 

So overall, I’m not a fan of it. I feel like it’s pointless and harms any movement more than it helps.

I’d rather spread awareness for a longer period of time while making sure that my viewers (that possibly could get harassed somewhere else for being female or lgbtqia+ or whatever) have some place to return to where they are safe. I’d rather have that going for me than a silent, black screen with some information or whatever and no context.

How to not-promote your channel on Twitch

So you created an account as well now, eh? Welcome to Twitch! It’s a lovely platform with a bunch of issues but you haven’t heard about those yet since you’ve only been viewing people from afar or you’ve heard about all those big Twitch streamers before, so you’re trying to be like that! Maybe you’re also just new to all of this and thinking about trying it out yourself… and alas, you end up setting up OBS, hitting that “Go Live” button and playing a game… by yourself… while nobody is there. 

And alas, you’re wondering: Why is nobody watching you? 

Clearly, it can’t be you as you’re awesome! Clearly, it can’t be the category as Fortnite is popular with a ton of streamers playing it and a market that seems to be as deep as the players’ parents’ bank deposits… and clearly, it can’t be your settings since you watched plenty of tutorials before even creating a brand or anything like that!

Pet picture provided by the lovely MuddChi! Check her stream out 🙂

So you decide to watch other streamers and ask them what you’re doing wrong… and you got banned! Uh… what? Rude! Screw you! Guess we’ll go somewhere else and ask about the best obs settings for your stream and… oh, weird… you can’t chat anymore for another…. 8 HOURS?! WHAT?! It must be a bug! Let’s try somewhere else… you say Hello and have a nice convo going and before you get to ask about your initial question, you see that it’s time to go live again. You drop a follow to that streamer and say your farewells. “Going to stream now myself! See you another time!” – and BAM! The banhammer has spoken, for you’ve done the verboten! (forbidden… in German… I tried!)

So, this post is about Twitch Etiquette and promotion/networking. The Do’s and Don’t’s! The way to go and the way to not go! That kinda thing! 

First of all, that person up there… could’ve been anyone! I once mentioned my stream somewhere by accident as I was super excited and while I didn’t get banned, I received a warning that people consider that as “self-promotion” which people don’t like to see. I wasn’t aware of that at all at the time and while it wasn’t my intention to self-advertise myself, I can see how it could have very much come across like that! Alas, I’d say that people should never mention their streams in other streams unless specifically asked about it. 

Streamer: “Do you stream?” – You: “Ah, yes, actually, I do!” – […]

You don’t want to be the person to bring it up… in another person’s stream. Just like you don’t bring a sub from SubWays to BurgerKing! You just don’t do that kind of thing. It’s considered rude and you’re most likely going to get kicked out for so blatantly promoting a different store. 

“But, Magi,…”, you may interrupt, “what if I actually want to ask a streamer about something?”

Well, then, new Twitch-Person, I’d recommend DMs to you! Chat with the streamer in their chat, get to know them. Ask them questions about their stream (also quite helpful) without bringing up your stream (again, nogo!) and then you later message them on Twitter or Discord. If it’s a smaller streamer, with less than three digits of viewers, they will reply to you and probably quite fast as well! Off-stream they won’t bite off your head or whatever. I’m sure they’ll provide you with links, guides, screenshots, etc. 

Sunflower – picture provided by Threadandbearit! Check them out!

A while ago someone came to my stream and asked something about his streams and while I initially thought of banning that person for self-promoting, I thought it’s an easy topic to talk about and that it may be quite interesting for others. The person ended up not only donating money to me (which I didn’t ask for but he did it anyways while I was away) but also joining our community and they even raided me once with their community, which is lovely. In the end, helping them helped me but usually, they’d get banned for that kinda stuff. That was also the first advice I gave to him: Don’t ask about your stream on other people’s channel. People consider it rude and quite often get rather pissed off about it. Quite often they ban people for that even if it’s not meant in a harmful way.

Now, so far I’ve only talked about the less rude people that have good intentions and don’t want to promote their stream… but some people just suck. Sometimes people come into your chat and ask for followers and whatever. 

Person: “Hey, I followed you. Please check me out as well now.” – Yup, banned. 

“Follow for Follow” aka “F4F” is not only incredibly useless but also highly bannable as it violates Twitch’s Terms of Service (also known as TOS). Followers are a good indicator of how big the community is, nothing more… nothing less… People that follow you will get notified when you go live and they’ll be able to see you being live on the left side of the screen. When people follow, they become community members enabling them to get community-gift subs that are not directed at anyone in particular, which can be quite neat now and then… 

But followers don’t decide how successful you are on Twitch and it doesn’t matter in terms of view count or quality of the stream. If that was the case then you could just buy followers or set up a bunch of fake/bot accounts that follow you and suddenly you get a ton of viewers or fans or money or whatever you’re after. While you need to have 50 followers to become an Affiliate, that is your smallest problem considering the other goals. 

When I see F4F-people, I instantly ban them. I don’t want them in my community as they violate TOS openly and as they probably will start to bother my viewers as well. 

Sophie – also another lovely cat picture provided to me by TabiHastings! Check them out on Twitter/Twitch! 🙂

And then there are people that backseat your stream or that are only there to start a fight. Don’t just come to a channel and correct people on the way they’re playing. Don’t spoil their games. Don’t tell them off. Don’t make them do things for you. It’s their stream, not yours. 

Last Saturday, I did a 25-hour-charity stream for the Trevor Project. We were able to raise a total of 140.20$ with the help of some very generous viewers of mine, which I’m grateful for, and in the end, we got to unlock all the milestones in one single donation, resulting in a bunch of giveaways for the community. I was going to give away a bunch of different games from Moonlighter to Hart’s Island to Felix the Reaper to other titles. I was excited to see all of these different people get their games after we reached certain milestones and hence I put “Giveaways” into the title… but that naturally also attracts people that only are there for the giveaways…

And there he was… some guy called “madafaka” with some number at the end of his name whose literal first message in the chat was “!giveaway”. 

….

Yeah,… no. Obviously, I was already tired and sleep-deprived at that point so maybe I’ve overreacted a tad… but at the same I paused everything while telling him off as I thought that it’s a prove that has to be made clear.

I told him that it’s bullshit to go to small streams only for the giveaway and to be so bold about it that you don’t care at all about them but only care about that giveaway. One of my viewers (a lovely regular at this point) agreed with me while that guy was actually trying to defend themselves, talking about us “going to the zoo to visit the monkey” and not to “buy the monkey” or something like that. I don’t know what he was on about or if he was on drugs or whatever… but it was hilarious for anyone who saw it and “!giveaway” has become a meme on my channel now, which is lovely. 

When he then told me to “stop bitching about it”, I told him that he can tell me that again at a later time. The stream would have continued for eight and a half more hours so I timed him out for exactly eight hours. It would have been funny if he had returned… but he didn’t… which is for the better.

Jynx again, MuddChi‘s lovely cat

So, let summarize the Don’t’s of promotion:

  • Don’t promote yourself openly. 
  • Don’t mention your stream in other people’s streams unless asked about it or unless you know the streamer/unless you’re a regular.
  • Don’t bring your stream up on your own.
  • Don’t do F4F.
  • Don’t be a dick by backseat-gaming, spoiling, or by telling the streamer/moderators off.
  • Respect others and treat them like you want to be treated.

And lastly, you’ll want to ask how you promote yourself properly, right?

Well, honestly, there are a lot of ways. So, that’s going to essentially be a whole different post on its own, but to be frank I guess I could say that there are more Do Nots that are essential for that…

Just be careful and:

  • don’t beg for hosts or raids.
  • don’t expect others to do the same for you. They are not obligated to!
  • don’t make friends for the sole purpose of getting “twitch famous”. There may be a whole post dedicated to just this one topic, so look forward to that.
  • check the streamer you’re raiding out BEFORE you raid them. Best case, they’re cool and your community loves them! Worst case, it’s some bigot that offends and insults you and your community while traumatizing everyone so badly that they won’t watch you ever again!

Overall, I think that this might be a nice little series of posts that I could do. I just don’t know yet in what category to put it or if I should create a whole new category for Twitch stuff (Edit: Done! New Sub-category in the Gaming Journal!)… If you’re completely new to this kind of stuff and want to learn more about streaming or ask any questions about that kind of thing, then I highly recommend CastorDie, which is a wonderful little Twitch Community full of streamers and uh… people… of sorts… and among them is also MrGoodHand who’s running a blog as well, so check him out over here. 🙂 

I hope you enjoyed this little “guide” of sorts. It’s a bit rambly and chaotic, but overall, I’m sure that I can create some useful informational posts like this as well in the future that might be quite nice to read through. I’m sure I could also feature/recommend streamers in this Twitch-Category or whatever… I feel like that might be quite cool. ^-^)

If you have any questions, let me know and I’ll write something about it or put something together out of a lot of different opinions and stuff! 

Either way, have a nice day and see you another time!

Cheers!

Edit: Changed the title of the post from “New to Twitch, what now? #1 – Promotion” to “How to not-promote your channel on Twitch” as the earlier title was misleadin and as I don’t feel like a “series” of posts would be the way to go for this. Instead I’d rather enjoy having posts here and there on the topic of channel growth, activity on your channel and my journey on Twitch without having them correlate to any sort of over-arching category, like it’s the case with The Stray Sheep.

Unofficial Stream Teams

Over time, I noticed the existence of stream teams on Twitch and I thought that they are rather cool. It’s a great way of learning new things and supporting each other or being there for a certain idea and hence, I was looking forward to someday being able to create my own (if I ever plan to reach Partner) or to join one myself (if I find one that I wanna join).

As of now, I’ve applied to one stream team so far and it’s one that I’m generally excited about that a lot of streamers that I enjoy watching… and I love their communities and stuff, so I hope that I get accepted and if not, I’ll just apply another time haha.

Earlier in March, I was still part of an unofficial stream team, though, and alas I wanted to talk about it and tell others about my experience.

So, essentially, I ended up in an unofficial stream team for a while that required me to have a certain logo on the screen, have the founder’s banners in my channel-description, auto host other people from the community, be active in her community and have a hashtag in my stream-tweets and the title.

I thought it was a great way of helping each other grow and get some collabs with other streamers and learn new things but over time I noticed that I probably was streaming the most out of everyone there and that nobody was as excited about possible collabs as me. There were also moments where I’d notice that others wouldn’t be as consistent with the rules. Some streamers would end up not using the hashtag at all while others would essentially never host me. And while I personally didn’t care all that much about the growth, I was feeling like I’m getting taken advantage of and hence I left.

The inconsistencies between streamers could have been fixed but nobody enforced the rules. Nobody got a penalty for not doing it and hence, I could have just enjoyed the hosts that I received while not caring about others… but I’d feel bad about it. Hence, I just decided to message the founder of that team and leave the team as I wasn’t bound by a contract or whatever. It was an unofficial team, to begin with, and I asked them beforehand if I was allowed to leave the team at any point if I don’t like the experience.

I didn’t learn much from my time in that “team” and I didn’t grow all that much either. The only collabs that happened were collabs I initiated and essentially, I can get those collabs with other streamers either way if I just ask them. I don’t need to be a member of some team to work with others and I don’t want to be part of a team that only funnels viewers into one stream while taking advantage of others with the founder essentially doing nothing.

Solaire is love, Solaire is life! Enjoy my drawing here!

So, I left eventually and made this post to essentially tell people to be warry of certain conditions that may take advantage of them and stuff…
I mean, Blaugust and Blapril are communities or teams of sorts, too, where people are supporting each other and posting new posts together. Hence, Blaugust/Blapril is a great example of a great community/team. There are no drawbacks for being in there and nobody profits from it more than anyone else. There are no requirements apart from blogging and you don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to (apart from signing up and maybe using the hashtag to link to the other bloggers). Overall, it’s a great way of showing others that you’re blogging and it helps everyone and not just one person. And if you’ve got questions, you can ask others for advice and they usually answer super-fast!

So, Blaugust is lovely and I’ll stick around for sure and aim for the stars while at it! 😀

And as for the streamer who created that team, I’m still friends with her (kind of) and this post is not meant to be a rant of sorts or some kind of shit-talking-post or whatever. It’s just meant to be informational and I didn’t mention her name or stream because of me not wanting that people go over there and hate her (not that I think that I have that kind of power but safe is safe, eh?).

And either way, that’s it for today’s evening-post.
I hope you enjoyed this little rambling-post.

Have a nice night/evening/day/morning! Stay safe! Stay healthy! Luv ya!

Cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!