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.
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.
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.
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.