Habits, continued…

I recently touched on my habits around spending and saving money, but I think now is a good time to talk about food and exercise habits.

When you take the time to learn about food and the way diet affects your lifestyle (and vice versa) you also look at the way society pushes different products and it becomes easy to see that not everything thats being pushed at us is actually good. We live such busy lives that we become more likely to choose convenience options when it comes to food and drink. We don’t prioritize getting enough physical activity during the day and wind up leading sedentary lives. All of this can be considered true when you look at the average gamer, and especially true when you stop to consider the activity of streaming.

After taking some time to think through all of this I realized I need to take a better stance on my own personal health in regards to eating and exercise habits. So, I’ve taken all of the information I have already, grabbing more from research, and I’ve decided that there’s no better time than now to make changes. I’ll spare you all of the nitty gritty details of how I got to this point, but I’m going to work on improving my eating and exercise habits. The ultimate goal will be to lose weight, building a little bit of muscle and strength along the way, but it will not be a short journey or a temporary change.

I probably won’t communicate a lot of progress on this journey, but if I do have tidbits to share they’ll likely be over on my Twitter account.

Stay awesome, and stay healthy.

Networking as a Broadcaster

I’ve spent a little time here and there over the last few months just kind of mulling over what it means to “network” as a broadcaster. Quite honestly it’s just as complicated as it is simple.

At a high level, in the simplest form, networking is just talking to people and making connections or friends. That being said, that’s also why it’s so complicated.

Social interaction in itself is not easy for everyone. It comes with its own set of Do’s and Don’ts, taboos, faux pas, etcetera. Do be genuine. Be yourself. Don’t be awkward, or too overbearing. You get the idea. In most day to day social interactions these kinds of things may have very little impact on your longterm standing with people because you don’t see them very often, or maybe only once, and as such you don’t generally care about the result of the interaction. Networking is a little different. I feel like it adds an extra layer of complexity.

When you’re trying to network you have to keep in mind that the people you’re talking to are going to be around more frequently, and that the impression you give does matter. So when you do start looking around for people to connect with, you should be looking at things you have in common and how well you’ll get along. It’s almost like shopping around to find a new friend, or trying to assemble a dating site profile of someone else. It gets a bit tough and awkward, but if you want to succeed at what you’re doing, especially as a broadcaster, you need to do it. Just don’t do it the wrong way, acting entitled like they owe you something for spending your time talking to them. Their time is just as valuable.

Respect can go a long ways.

Changing hobbies and habits

The last few years have seen me spend more time and money than I’d like to admit on certain hobbies and habits.

On the hobby side, I spent a lot of time and money on Magic: The Gathering. My favorite format being Commander/EDH made it more to try and purchase older cards that would end up sometimes being fairly expensive. I also used to play with a fairly large local group who shared the same enthusiasm for the game, but times have changed. While I still greatly enjoy the game, I don’t play it near often enough and as such don’t purchase cards hardly at all.

I’ve since replaced that hobby with streaming. Mostly because for me it’s just an extension of my existing hobby of playing video games. Oddly enough, I’ve probably invested just as much time and money into streaming that I did for Magic. So really, I could just go either way on a whim and not be too upset. However, I don’t want to feel like I’ve wasted all the time and effort I’ve put into streaming.

Let’s jump over to habits. It should be apparent based on the above hobbies that I wasn’t always the best with money. That really needs to change. I’ve done the paycheck to paycheck lifestyle before, and it isn’t fun. Now, although I don’t really live like that anymore, I do need to focus on saving money. I also need to focus on my health, and the two kind of go hand in hand.

If I spend more wisely on things, then I should be spending time on eating healthier and working out. I need to get back to the gym instead of letting my membership go to waste.

But to do the above I need to work on my habits. Need to find ways to be accountable to myself more than anything, and that’s a struggle I’ve always dealt with.

So here’s to hobbies that won’t hold me back, and building habits that will help me improve. Cheers!

Viewer Etiquette is important too!

This entry is a follow up piece to one I wrote about Broadcaster Etiquette, which you can find here.

It doesn’t really matter if you’ve visited a channel with an active chat or slow/dead chat because in my mind the following things all still apply when it comes to viewer etiquette.

There will be some carryover from my Broadcaster Etiquette piece, so bear with me because it could this entry long and repetitive (but I’ll do my best to freshen it up a bit.)

There are a wide variety of ways people, as viewers, can interact with a channel from both a positive angle and a negative one. I like to start off with the negatives and build up to the positives because I feel it’s better to end on a good note. So, to the negative aspects of Viewer Etiquette!

The Faux Supporter Returns

Just as in the Broadcaster version, this individual shows up for only a very brief period before deciding to abandon ship. They usually say something along the same lines as the Broadcaster version, but instead they name drop some other streamer followed with “[name drop] just went live, so I’ll catch you later.” Something to that affect. To a certain extent we get it. We can’t be everywhere watching streamers all the time, so picking and choosing is important. Just don’t go calling attention to it because it has the same affect as saying “I like them more” or “they’re more interesting” which oftentimes stings, and at worst feels like a stab of betrayal. Way to show your support.

A Linker to the Past (and Present)

Linkers, in a negative scenario, like to (you guessed it) paste links in chat and most often without permission. Depending on their intent they like to toss out links for a variety of things. Clips of things happening in other streams, other live channels, troll links, etc. If it’s unwanted or can cause some sort of trouble they’re doing it.

The ‘Notice Me, Senpai’

On the negative side of the behavior spectrum these types often come in two flavors. They abuse the donation feature, or they try to get in on viewer/community games with the streamer. Both with the same intent. To troll the stream and garner attention for themselves while trying to eliciting some sort of reaction from the broadcaster. The method of delivery is straightforward, but the content of the message isn’t always the case. In any case, regardless of the core motivation of the individual, it’s often targetted toxicity.

The Raider

This one goes hand in hand with The Raid Leader from my other blog post, and can be the same individual as The Linker. If the raiding broadcaster in question has built up a toxic community, The Raider(s) are likely going to act in a toxic fashion once they reach their destination. Almost always they wind up flooding the targetted streams chat, and while this behavior isn’t a problem for some communities where chat moves too fast for most to notice, ultimately it can make the other viewers uncomfortable and unable to enjoy or appreciate the stream if they’re not accustomed to the influx. This can also be a struggle for the broadcaster on the receiving end of the raid because they might be pushed out of their comfort zone and feel pressured to keep up with chat, only to see the possible deluge of spam and toxicity.

Okay, enough talk about the negative and toxic aspects of viewership. Let’s get to the positive side of things.

Viewers play an important role in the success of a stream, both on the numbers side and on the behavioral side. The numbers aren’t really important at this point, because what matters is how a viewers behavior and respect impact the mental state of a streamer and their community.

The Gifter keeps on giving

The Gifter can be a generous viewer, and pillar of a community. Just like a broadcaster dropping gift subscriptions, a viewer has the ability to do the same. They can support the streamer and their fellow viewers in this way, and make a difference in being part of the positive forces that keep a stream going. Their generosity also makes regular viewers that are lucky to receive a gifted subscription able to feel more inclusive in the community.

The Donater

Monetary donations are never required, but they help keep the show going. For some streamers it’s also a way for more pointed contact with a viewer who has something to say. On the positive side here they contribute to the stream monetarily and give a mental boost to the streamer, but depending on if they include a message they can help boost the value of the stream by being entertaining in itself.

The Lurker

Last, but definitely not least, is the one behavior that can truly make a difference without always going the extra mile. Under the current setup for discovery on Twitch, The Lurker can oftentimes have the most positive impact. For those that worry about the numbers (when they really shouldn’t) just seeing a number greater than 0 or 1 in their viewer count is a good thing. For those looking to rise up and build their channel, having plenty of people who like to lurk in their channel can be a blessing. Speaking for myself here, thank you to all the lurkers (but not you, chat bots.)

The end result is the same as I’ve said previously. It’s all about respect. Respect the rules of the channel you’re in. Respect the broadcaster and your fellow viewers. Otherwise you get the ban hammer.

Stay awesome out there, dear viewers.

My 2018 versus my 2019 (and beyond)

I figured I should probably write up one of those “My year in review” type posts that everyone seems to make. I don’t know if it will be particularly clever or unique because of that fact, but let’s take a trip through what has happened, and then see what we come up with for what I want to see happen in the future.


The year of 2018 both was and was not especially awesome. Like every other year so far in my adult life it had its ups and downs.

The early part of the year saw a new roommate join the house. I had made arrangements and urged a good friend of mine to move in with us due to circumstances I won’t talk about here as the details are his to talk about and not mine. This brought the total to four guys living in the house. Anyway, moving on.

Not long after gaining the new roommate, he also got a puppy to be friends with The Landlord’s dog. So we have two Great Danes in the house as well.

It had been a long time since I’ve been able to take any sort of vacation, but the month of May was a particularly busy month for me in 2018, because shortly after gaining the new roommate, another roommate (The Landlord as we half jokingly like to refer to him, since he’s the one with the house) and myself had a wedding to attend to out-of-state for another good friend of ours. Hurrah, an excuse to take a vacation! To my knowledge, The Landlord had only ever travelled out-of-state once before (further than a 100-mile radius from where we are since we live near three different state borders, so those don’t really count) and so I got to show him around parts of Colorado where I grew up. Timing was an issue, though, because of our slightly different work schedules so the trip wasn’t as long as we had anticipated. Made the most of it and even managed to hit up a cool D&D themed bar a couple times!

After our return home from the wedding, we saw the departure of the other roommate on his way to trying out a new path in life. We wished him well and stayed in touch because we knew he would he back eventually, as his move was only going to be temporary.

After the first half of 2018 things weren’t really that exciting for me. I stayed home a lot, played lots of video games on stream and tried to think through how I would approach my goals. I started brainstorming and laying out some plans to try new things. I even tried painting tabletop miniatures on stream for a brief period (which I need to return to eventually.)

One of the things I had tried planning out was another vacation. The roommates and I had originally planned on attending TwitchCon ’18 but unfortunately that never happened. The Landlord couldn’t get the time off he needed. So the roommate and I stuck around but still took that time off. Honestly I should have probably saved that PTO, but oh well.

The final ‘major’ thing I did for 2018 was start this blog, and that’s about it.

Friendships were changed, gained, or lost. Small amount of travelling occurred. Tried some new things. Plenty of introspection and reevaluation. 2018 may not have been a banner year for me, but it might have paved the way for certain things to come.

2019 (and beyond)

Now let us talk about what I have planned for 2019.

I want to feel more accomplished. I want to feel like I’ve made an impact. I want to reach out and build stronger connections with the people I’ve already met, and then also make new connections. Expand my network and my influence.

How do I plan to do all that? By talking to people, for starters.

I’ve been discussing with people about doing interviews or segments here on the blog. Who would be the focus? Streamers and other influencers. Getting to know them and helping them share their stories.

I’d also like to actually meet some of the people I’ve connected with through streaming. So the hope is to be able to attend TwitchCon ’19.

Another thing I’ve mentioned previously is writing a novel. I’d like to have at least a first draft written for two different stories before the end of 2019. If I can take it a step further I’d like to make contact with a freelance editor who can help me figure out some next steps for at least one of them while I shelve the other to mull over. I would treat that one more like a time capsule of my early writing skills so I can look back and compare against it.

The ultimate plan there is to have a series of novels published some day. Do I want to be some literary rockstar like Rowling? That would be amazing, but not necessary (or totally realistic.)

Boiled down, 2019 will be all about streaming, blogging, and writing with an emphasis of networking on all fronts. Maybe I’ve bitten off more than I can chew, but I want to see where it all goes. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Let’s all try to be awesome, and keep pushing forward.