The Twitch Dungeon Part 9: Suggestions
An unpopular opinion is that being a streamer takes quite a lot of work. I personally didn’t think it through when I started the end of September. Four months later, I can see that it takes dedication and a lot of work behind the scenes. It’s not as simple as adding some panels and commands and having the viewers come to you. It’s not just about preparing schedules and the video games that you will be playing. If you are devoted to being a streamer, you will want to build a community. That means you will need to actively talk to people, but it also means that you need to plan things for them and not for yourself. The stream shouldn’t be about yourself; it should be about your community. You simply brought them together, and therefore your stream should be a safe haven for them and any new viewer that pops in.
There are many things I can discuss in this blog post, such as how to plan events for your events. But that’s not what I want to write about. A part of having a community is that your viewer will request or suggest things. And those requests and suggestions shouldn’t be taken lightly. Your viewers need to be heard and their suggestions should be considered.
Track suggestions in a spreadsheet
When my viewers first started suggesting video games and emotes, it was on discord. I have a specific channel for these suggestions, and it allows me to go back and read through them all. But the suggestions kept piling up. Some were good, others were an instant no as they are against Twitch’ terms of service. But as they kept coming, I figured a spreadsheet could work. I created one that included the suggestion category (Twitch/Blog), the suggestion type (commands/game/emotes), who it was suggested by, the suggestion itself, whether it was approved or denied and the reason for approval or denial. When suggestions happened during stream, I would write it down on a piece of paper. Those suggestions never made their way to the spreadsheet because I would chuck them away or forget all about it.
Track suggestions in a notebook
I also kept a notebook on the side, where I would write various ideas in for the stream, the blog and my Instagram page. Although the notebook works, I was running out of space for stream things. So, I went and got myself a new notebook specifically for streaming ideas. It’s not an impressive concept as I’ve seen quite a few other streamers who keep everything compiled in one notebook. But it works for me, and that’s what matters. What you write in this notebook is entirely up to you, I literally have pages filled with general stream ideas, various event ideas, alert ideas and much more. Including the suggestions. Now I track the suggested game, who it was suggested by and how long it takes to beat so I can properly schedule it in when I do decide to buy the game.
Tip 12: Keep track of any suggestions in a spreadsheet or notebook. Whilst I prefer a notebook for anything stream related, this is something that you will need to figure out as it might not work well for you.
Tell your viewers!
Talk to your viewers. If they have suggested something, write it down instantly so you don’t forget and tell them that you have. If you need to look into it, tell them that as well. But always make sure that they know they’ve been heard, and you will consider their suggestion. If a game is too expensive for personal reasons but it looks interesting, simply tell them that you will play it in the nearby future but not right now. Of course, if they have gifted you the game at the same time, it’s a little trickier to say no but the majority of viewers will not push a game onto you if they are not sure it’s something you’d play. Be honest if they have suggested a game you really can’t get into, or if you’ve already played it. This can spark an interesting conversation.
Tip 13: Let them know you’ll consider their suggestion. If you are not too keen on something, a flat-out no isn’t required. Simply discuss things. Your viewers might have some interesting viewpoints that you haven’t considered yet.
It’s always good to try a few things to figure out what works for you. If a spreadsheet doesn’t work, try the notebook.