During a recent Paper Mario stream, I received a really interesting comment in the chat from a recent follower.
This may seem mean, I hope you get to be a really big streamer, but I also hope you stay small so you can interact with us like this
I have never been on a stream like this with streamer interacting like this
First off, thank you Pokemaster457 for the high praise and support! Secondly, I totally understand what you mean when you say you want me to stay small.
For years, I only used Twitch to watch fighting game tournaments. Wanting to watch the best players in the world duke it out, I had no expectations for talking to the players or the commentators on the other end of the camera. Also, the conversations moved so fast that it doesn’t even seem possible to hold a conversation with anyone in the chat.
With “personal” streamers, I didn’t see the appeal at all. The combination of watching a stranger play a game, who isn’t one of the best players in that game, and a chat that still moved too fast for anyone to keep up wasn’t something I wanted to engage in. At most, I’ll watch a VOD later at my own convenience.
It took two things for me to understand the appeal in the viewer/streamer relationship. As a small streamer, my chat is slow enough for me to keep up. I’ve always made it a point to read every message aloud as they come in, which has since grown to be a big part of my stream.
Interacting with viewers has grown to become the most fulfilling part of streaming, as I get to connect with gamers the world over and have cool conversations about basically anything. I come prepared with topics to talk about, but it’s been a pleasure discussing what’s on your mind. The types of conversations that occur on my channel vary greatly based on who tunes in, which makes it feel like a different show each time. Being a part of this ongoing global dialogue has truly been a pleasure.
Around the same time, I discovered small streamers that really hooked me in. As a chatter, it’s great to be able to have a conversation with the streamer, even if it’s a weird asymmetrical communication system where I’m typing and they’re talking. Building that connection only builds on my investment in the games they’re playing. Even when it’s not a game I’m that interested in, I’ve hung out in the chat for hours with a streamer I admired because I enjoyed their company that much.
This level of connection and interactivity is possible in part because I’m a small streamer and I’ve been watching small streamers. As much as I want to see my channel and those that I follow grow, the chat would inevitably move at a pace where one can’t keep up anymore. There are settings I could noodle with to allow only followers or subscribers to participate in the chat, but that limits the opportunity for me to connect with new viewers. Even as a viewer in a chatroom that has around five viewers, I can get intimidated to chime in when the conversation moves without me or the streamer is focused on talking to someone else in the chat.
That is a problem for another day. Trying my hardest to grow the channel, but I simply can’t see a world where it blows up to that point in the near future, if ever. Nevertheless, will continue to stream and enjoy the benefits of streaming at this scale! And maybe one day, if I’m fortunate enough to have the problem of the chat being too busy, I’ll have a better solution in place to try and keep the interactivity going.
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