Oh you didn’t know In Third Person has a Twitter account? I don’t blame you.
When I first started the blog in 2009, I set up a Twitter account to take advantage of being able to post from the blog to Twitter automatically. From then on, it was nothing more than a content-posting robot. For that handful of people that have subscribed to my Twitter feed over the years in spite of this, thank you. Also, why would you subject yourself to that?!
It’s emblematic of how I’ve handled external platforms until fairly recently. External platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitch were afterthoughts. Nothing more than platforms with functions that could help enhance the experience on my site. To a certain extent, I still don’t know how engaged I want to be on those, as external outreach isn’t necessarily a priority for me. However, being a spam machine isn’t a good look regardless.
Twitter was the bare-minimum I could do for promotion. My first YouTube videos were awful clips I filmed with a webcam pointed at my TV. I did this just to have some specific visuals in support of blog posts. I initially gave up on Twitch almost as soon as I started. Finally, my initial warmth for Facebook cooled off dramatically as soon as I realized my positive results were fueled by snake oil from Mark Zuckerberg as a means of enticing me to buy advertising on the platform. It was awful and I’m sorry if these experiences disappointed you at all.
In trying to focus all of my efforts into the website, I failed to see that this all matters. As long as it’s under the In Third Person name, it’s a reflection on me and my work. Doesn’t change the fact that being a writer, streamer, host, producer, video editor, graphic designer, and social media manager all at once across five different platforms is really hard, but it’s all the same to you as a consumer of the content. If you discover me through one of my external channels, why would you bother checking out the site if your introduction to who I am and what I do is sub-par?
And it’s not like these platforms haven’t helped me, even at my worst. Without Twitter, I never would have popped up on Splitkick’s radar. That experience connected me with a group of passionate content creators who helped me improve my writing, gave me the opportunity to experience the launch cycle by giving me access to pre-release games for review, and a platform to podcast with Jason and Mat. Splitkick no longer exists, but I still have a great deal of respect for that crew and what they’re doing now.
I still have a long way to go before I have a full grasp on…well, any of it. For the website, I’m struggling to find the right balance between written and video content. For Twitch, I don’t know if I can carve out time in my life to stream during more ideal time slots. For YouTube, I have ambitions of producing content that isn’t just highlights from the stream, but that requires ideas, a lot of time, and probably more video editing skills than I currently have. On Twitter, it can’t be a blog robot forever. On Facebook, I have to decide if it’s a platform worth supporting at all, though it’s the platform of choice that most of my close friends and family follow my work on. With Instagram, I have a long way to go before I figure out if it’s a platform to drive people to the site, to the Twitch channel, or as something people can enjoy independent of my main work.
On top of all of that, I have to figure out how I make all of this happen as a one-person operation with a full-time job and a life outside of content creation. I go to bed way too late every night because there’s always something to work on. Heck, finding time to play video games at all is tight because of how time-consuming everything else is. At this point, my time gaming on stream is essentially all of my time gaming, but I’m almost never gaming solely to enjoy the game. It’s now also becomes part of the content creation process, as the live streams help me build and interact with an audience, while the clips from those streams act as supporting material for my blog posts and social posts. I like playing video games. I like making content about video games. But the balance to my work flow is all off. Gaming for content creation purposes is fine, but I need to find time to play just for fun as well.
Being a content creator is hard. I’ve had almost 10 years to figure that out first-hand. Just finding the time to write posts is difficult for most. Add to that all of these other factors, such as streaming and social media, it becomes an even bigger challenge. I could simply walk away if I wanted to, but I don’t think that time is now. I still love doing this! Whether I’m spilling my guts on how much I love a random game in a blog post, hosting the Boss Rush show, chatting with others while they watch me play a game on stream, or seeing fighting game guides I made years ago continue to work their way around the internet, it feels like the struggle is ultimately worth the effort. I just need to take a minute to breathe and adjust my workflow to something more manageable.