BibleThump Theater TwitchCon 2016

For the complete list of panels, check out the main TwitchCon 2016 panel recap post.

Charity Gaming Marathons ft. Zeldathon

VoD link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconbiblethump/v/93324447
Moderator: kampyDK
Participants: SuperMCGamer, GreatScottLP, Shado_Temple, Mojo, BushelofChewyGoodness, BlueHairIRL

  • It helps to involve other people, especially other broadcasters in your charity marathon stream. They bring in extra energy and exposure.
  • If you’re just starting a charity event get it is smart to do this at home or another place that is free. When you just start out you don’t want to have to spend a majority of your funds on a venue.
  • When you outgrow the house don’t instantly go for a big venue, there are plenty of places where you can host a bunch of people, have space and have a decent enough connection to stream. You just need to look a little. If you want to get a bigger venue you can look into sponsors.
  • Marathon charity events should not last too long. Especially if it’s you and 1 other person it’s smart to not go for longer than 24 hours straight. The more people you get the longer you can extend the time.
  • When looking for sponsors you want to keep it realistic. Twitter is a good way to contact people. When you are smaller you can look for local companies to help out.
  • If you just start out you should not ask for money, it is always better to ask for products.
  • You can offer them ad space on your stream in return for the sponsorship you receive.
  • The best way to get your event out there is: any way. Contact your local newspapers, do a press release. Send info to websites related to the theme of your charity marathon, in the case of Zelda contact Zelda-related websites. Of course the easiest and most important way to get new people to your event is social media.
  • When it comes to technical needs you want to start with a decent microphone, a blue yeti for instance. When you start to grow get an audio mixer to support multiple microphones. Get a few webcams to take care of the video, when you start growing you can get more or switch to hdmi supported camera’s.
  • If you are speedrunning, you need to practice! You want to set a good time, know what you’re talking about and also have a sense of humor. You can have notes to glance at but make sure you’re not staring at them the whole playthrough.
  • One of the coolest things to do to get people to donate is give people challenge related incentives. For example, playing on insane difficulties, upside down, blindfolded etc.
  • Incentives with food are popular as well, doesn’t always have to involve eating them you can also throw them!
  • Giving away free stuff is a great incentive for people to donate. People give to a charity and as a special bonus they have the chance to get something in return. There are pitfalls when it comes to giveaways on Twitch:
    • Make sure you have in writing that said item is being sponsored and given away. You don’t wanna say you give something away and end up with nothing.
    • Consult your local laws when it comes to giving away items, the same rules don’t apply everywhere and you can get in trouble for running your own raffles. Do not rely on other people to tell you if it is legal unless they’re a lawyer (in your state).
    • Check with the charity you are representing if they are comfortable with giveaways and your specific giveaways.
  • You don’t have to be online all the time, make sure you switch out and people get enough rest and food, especially late at night.
  • If you’re tired try and hype things up together with chat. Get a goal to hype them up for!
  • Keeping your stream at a high quality is difficult. You want someone to keep an eye on especially the audio throughout the marathon. Different voices sound differently on stream. Microphones are unpredictable. Don’t be afraid to keep checking with chat for feedback.
  • Keep things fun for everyone there. If you’re taking a break make sure you keep people busy with something.
  • Choose good friends. You’re going to be working closely with people a lot so you need to make sure the vibe is positive.

QnA:

What is the best memory of a charity event you have?
BushelofChewyGoodness: The first time he showed up at Zeldathon, he looked into MC’s eyes and he knew right at that moment they would have a friendship that would last an eternity.

How do you handle charity organizations that don’t get back to you when you are trying to raise money for them?
SuperMCGamer: Keep trying with a charity, if they don’t end up responding move on to another charity that does want your help.

Has Twitch as a platform done anything specifically to aid charity streamers?
Shado_Temple: Absolutely yes! It is a little rough when you first start out but as soon as you are established, Twitch will notice you and be willing to sponsor. They also give you screentime on the frontpage. It is a great place for a charity stream to be! They help you out with discovery. Always reach out to them!

What is the craziest/wildest thing you’ve done when a charity goal has been met?
KampyDK: Got a tattoo!
SuperMCGamer: Had ice water poured on me!
GreatScottLP: Drank an ultra cool aid.
Shado_Temple: Smashing a kiwi with a 5 gallon jug of water and then spilling said jug on the floor.
BlueHairIRL: Drinking hotsauce, eating crickets, and jumping in a pool with a prom dress.
Mojo: Cried when someone donated $25,000.
BushelofChewyGoodness: Got to marry his friend MC to a Pikachu and also held a funeral.

!permit: Tips and Tricks for Better Chat

VoD link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconbiblethump/v/93325795
Moderator: Rhoulette
Participants: AnnaProsser, Brian, fancywindow (Zach), Ellohime

  • What does your ideal chat look and feel like?
    • AnnaProsser: Having substantive discussions with memes on top
    • Brian: Fan of Copy-Pasta, problem is bad ASCII-Art which is not nice
    • Fancywindow: Conversational chats, people forming relationships and recognizing each other
    • Ellohime: Interaction in general
  • Biggest challenges in making an enjoyable chat and how to face them
    • Chat is no longer a conversation if too many people attend it
    • You have to have mods to cultivate community. Choose regular, helpful viewers
    • Establish simple, reliable rules
    • Stick to your ruleset, don’t let it slide away
    • Don’t be afraid to put somebody out of the room if they don’t follow the rules, just because he is a viewer
    • In event chats, let people do what they want, but draw a line, when it comes to racist, sexist, … comments
    • Chat delay feature a very good way for event chats
    • Remember that there are human beings behind usernames
  • What are the values in your chat? How did people do a good job of cultivating these values?
    • Have a thick skin. Don’t take offense on a personal level
    • If a community polices itself in case of insults, you’ve reached a point where you established a good climate
    • Let the chat rules pop up as fast and prominent as possible
    • Have a reason for rules, which should be what people in the community actually want, don’t let the rules end in themselves.
  • How do you communicate with your moderators, how do you choose them?
    • Put all mods in a chat group, and communicate with them regularly
    • Game with the mods or people who want to become a mod to get to know them better
    • Approach somebody if you think they would be a good moderator for your channel
    • For event chats, teach your mods how to moderate huge chats
    • Discuss issues with your mods, to get to know their opinion on things.
    • Hesitate to mod your biggest donator. Let the mod badge be a sign of a worker, not a reward.
  • Why is it still important to moderate large chats, if your business is growing anyhow? How to handle big huge crowds?
    • Welcoming space is good for businesses. People might leave if they do not feel welcomed
    • Event chat: People might watch the event on another platform, people might just watch another CS:GO match elsewhere.
    • In an event chat, if things get out of hand, start a “game” (build a ladder, everybody Type Kappa 123), Do Emote-only mode for like 5minutes
    • Use tools like slowmode, submode
  • Personal messages:
    • AnnaProsser: No one fixes the community alone, get people to think of the community and chatters as real people.
    • Brian: Don’t relegate chat to “it’s just Twitch chat”. If there are 100k people, you have a chance to make an impression and you can make it or break it really fast.
    • Fancywindow: Chat is a reflection of you, it’s a part of the show, its the reason why people watch you. Cultivate the values in your chat
    • Ellohime: It’s your channel! Have confidence in your content and yourself. Don’t allow the chat to control the show, you are in control of your content. If you are getting into a depression because of your chat, you have to change something. Make the chat a healthy place for you.

Product at Twitch

VoD link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconbiblethump/v/93329649
Moderator: Eric Barnett
Participants:Shameen Browarek, Cheng Cheng, Alexander Ronalds, Bobby Scar

  • A product is how things get broken down into smaller pieces on Twitch. There are also product areas and these get broken up into individual products.
  • Few of their product areas are:
    • Broadcaster success
    • Website
    • Community and social team
    • Developer success
  • These product areas can be broken down into:
    • Videoplayer
    • Chat
    • Subscriptions
    • Mobile apps
  • A product is being worked on by many people
    • Product managers
    • Designers
    • Engineers
    • Product marketing managers
    • Data scientists
  • A product manager works with the internal team, broadcasters and viewers.
    • They respond to wishes broadcasters or viewers might have.
    • They keep their team moving forwards at all times.
    • They analyze and weigh data from many different inputs to make informed decisions about what they are going to build.
    • They say ‘no’ alot and then explain why.
    • Product managers are very analytical people, they don’t keep emotion into account so they can’t be biased towards one thing or the other.
  • An example for how a product gets made at Twitch:
    • Step 1:
      • Generate ideas: you generate these by broadcaster/viewer feedback, market analysis, expert opinions, or company visions/goals.
      • Example idea: Red buttons grab more attention, we should change all the buttons on the website to the color red.
    • Step 2: Analyze ideas, several ways to do this:
      • A/B testing, ‘half of our users see red buttons and the other half doesn’t.
      • Small experiments: Change one button in an obscure menu to various colors.
      • User/broadcaster feedback: Why did you change buttons to red, that hurts my eyes.
      • Engineering feedback: Changing all of our buttons to a different color would take 2 weeks of engineering effort.
      • Example analysis: Orange buttons increase engagement by 5% and do not hurt the viewers their eyes.
      • Step 3: Execution and launch
        • Product specs
        • Design Mocks
        • Engineering effort
        • Marketing plan
        • Example execution: All buttons on twitch.tv are now orange in color.
      • Bonus step: Start back at step 1.
  • Some of the products at Twitch that are being worked on right now:
    • Social:
      • New ways for broadcasters to communicate with their audiences. Example, the Channel Feed which allows broadcasters to share gaming content with gaming friends.
      • Unannounced asynchronous communication tools
    • Commerce:
      • Bits
      • Cheering
    • Creator business:
      • Broadcaster dashboard
      • Non-dashboard tools to help the broadcaster
      • Broadcaster onboarding
    • Discover and watch:
      • Watch product: Video player, Channel page redesign, Closed captions
      • Discover product: Discover page, Recommendations, Browsing updates

QnA:

When Twitch talks about their products, like subscriptions and bits, they tend to not talk about anything finances related, is this on purpose?
When people are subbing or cheering it’s not about the transfer of goods, it’s about supporting the broadcaster. Making money part of the message cheapens what the transaction is.

How do you guys communicate with each other?
Twitch is a relative small company, this allows communication to be pretty flat. There are weekly Product Manager guild meetings, this is where Product Managers share feedback about each other’s Product Managers.

What is the next step if you just managed to graduate and want to become associate product manager?
Product Manager is the worst job to apply for, every listing requires experience so you need to be really lucky. What works is to contact a Product Manager and see if you can create a unpaid internship spot. What helps is to apply to a big company for an associate PM position where they have programs to help you and create experience. Start up companies are a great spot to look for work because they have nothing to lose and would likely try you out.

A lot of the new features coming out are based around partnered streamers and viewers, both groups who generate revenue. Will they be focusing more on non-partnered in the future?
All broadcasters have started out as non-partnered streamers. A lot of tools to make you successful are indeed for partnered streamers but this is not on purpose. They do work at Twitch to try and help out smaller broadcasters with things like the Discover page, meant to help viewers find your page. The addition of more transcode options for non-partnered streamers is another sign they are trying to help out non-partnered streamers. Their end goal is always to try and get more broadcasters and content on the website.

Livestream interactivity is something that is always being worked on. The main tool for interaction on Twitch is the chat. Is Twitch working on new ways to improve interaction?
It is definitely being worked on, there are many things on the roadmap for next year being worked on to help improve interaction. The question should not only be how to create more interaction, but also how to make interaction easier.

With the addition of different sections for creative, the charm of finding random creative streams has sort of disappeared, is there a way to bring this back?
Earlier this year the search function got reworked. A lot of people found their content by just browsing the website and not using the search option. They understand this is a concern and it is something that is going to be looked at.

Is there anything in the works for Bits that has to do with funding a tournament prizepool through bits?
Yes, this is something they have tried out with EVO last year. The results for this were promising but it’s not how they want it yet. They want to make tools so that this comes available for anyone that wants to run a tournament in this way.

Do you guys consider the API a Product?
They do, a lot of the developers who have built products around Twitch have greatly helped Twitch becoming what it is now. There is a team that is called Developer Success and they are there to help developers.

Is there anything in the works at Twitch to make advertising more targetable to a specific demographic and filter out those that aren’t part of this demographic? For instance, a liquor company wants to advertise a tournament but requires 71% of the audience to be 21 or older.
It is definitely something that they have been thinking and heard about, in the current state it’s hard to contact sponsors with metrics. It inhibits the business development of partners.

You guys do a lot with experimenting and science. Do you guys talk about mirror neurons at all?
We do talk about science and experimenting but mirror neurons are not part of that. They do in their labs have a way of tracking people’s eye movements. This is used to monitor where the viewers attention goes to subconsciously.

What kind of demographic information can I see as a streamer? Like, who is my most dedicated chatter so I can reward him.
Currently there is not much in terms of that information so it’s definitely something they are looking to improve. There are third party analytic tools that can help with some of this information.

If a broadcaster has a question about a product, how do they get ahold of someone to ask these questions?
Product managers are open to to answer questions through DM on Twitter. If its more general feedback you can always send it to feedback@twitch.tv. Twitch itself is also a good way to contact them, find their channel page, add them to your friends and send them a whisper!

Are there product roles in the creative section of Twitch, specifically music on Twitch?
All the job openings are on their jobs page, they are not sure about specific creative section openings but there are definitely general ones.

In 2013 Twitch added the inherent delay. Are there any plans to take this back off or have it as an opt-in option?
Twitch was hitting such a large scale that they needed the delay to scale up. Everyone in video cares about the delay so it is something they keep in mind.

Will Twitch (viewer) stats ever be open to the public?
There are a lot of third party options that you can go to for this, they use the Twitch API for this so technically they do already but it’s not a priority for Twitch.

Twitch Partnerships FAQ

VoD link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconbiblethump/v/93330802 & https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconbiblethump/v/93331333
Moderator: Pluto
Participants: InTheLittleWood, TheNo1Alex, Broomsweeper, Hassan

  • General summarization: Networking is #1 key for success
  • When should you apply for partnership?
    • A human looks at every single application, not an automatic process, they reply with a handwritten message
    • Think about it as a TV show, if you cast regular and consistent it is good
    • You should be interactive with Chat
    • Purpose: you should not do it because of the money, you should do it because you want to develop the community
    • They watch your VoDs
    • They look for people being consistent for 3-4 weeks, where you should stream regularly and have a triple-digit viewer count
  • Personal experience with applying for partnership
    • TheNo1Aex: First application because the community encouraged him to do so, got rejected immediately. Took 4 Attempts for him
    • Broomsweeper: Networking is important, go to events like PAX or TwitchCon, that might blow your channel up
  • Tips from Pluto
    • As soon as streamers are partnered, some streamers are like: I am partnered, I can do whatever I want now. Don’t. People might not like you anymore, because you change your games or style of streaming.
    • Don’t abandon your core game. Play the game you used to play and you became successful with at least sometimes, even if you hate it now.
    • Engage your subscribers. Notice your most regular viewers.
  • Hassan talks about possibilities you can do as a partner:
    • You can launch a TeeSpring T-shirt with the Twitch logo
    • Bits, Emotes, Alerts
    • Direct support line
  • If you have issues with Twitch, please let the guys from Twitch know directly, going to Twitter is not a solution

QnA:

When applying for partnership, all the response I get is I need better numbers. How do I achieve that?
Evaluate yourself, improve your weaknesses, do networking, keep working hard and success will come.

I started getting hosted a lot. Who should I host back, should I just randomly host back, or might it be an insult to just host other streamers randomly?
Don’t shout out your name everywhere during a raid. Look for streamers your size, don’t raid a 50k viewer channel with 100 viewers.

What can you do as a small streamer to protect your intellectual property, what should you do, if someone is imitating you?
You can’t copy an Idea. And if someone does it, you can’t do anything. Don’t get frustrated, take it as an honor.

My content is not family friendly. I drink, I cuss a lot, is that a factor in becoming a partner?
NO. But please enable the mature filter ;). Go for drinking and cursing if that is your style.

You talked about stream teams, is that limited for partners?
Yes, a partner has to start that team currently. We might open it up.

How do I network as a small streamer? I feel between a rock and a hard place as a small streamer.
Have business cards, every conversation you make is a good conversation. Don’t be aggressive. Don’t say things like, “please host me sometime”, just have a normal conversation and even big streamers might remember you.

I have applied 4 times for partnership, I only got automated feedback, can I get direct feedback?
Reply back to the denial mail and ask questions.

I stream tournaments. A big issue is that I can’t have tip alerts in the middle of a tournament match, so we kind of have a wall there to get new subs. How can we handle such a problem?
When there is a downtime of the event, you can read the list of people who subscribed.

Diversify Twitch

VoD link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconbiblethump/v/93331918
Moderator: RyogaVee
Participants: DeejayKnight, ChinnyXO, Terrmiller

  • Diversify Twitch is intended to be an in-depth discussion tackling issues affecting people of color in the online game streaming community.
  • The panel aims to in part discuss the harsh realities that come when people of color present themselves publicly on Twitch. Which unfortunately includes personal attacks, racism, and under representation. Which in many cases can prevent Twitch from being a more inclusive environment.
  • In 2015 the first TwitchCon took place. The guestlist consisted of mainly white males, some females and 1 or 2 black people. When on the grounds there were people of color attending, but they weren’t represented in the guestlist at all. After an article about this issue, RyogaVee took action and printed out tiny flyers, sent out a tweet, and had a discussion with a group of about 12 people about these issues. Now a year later they are a panel at TwitchCon.
  • One of the biggest issues people of color have to deal with is the toxicity in the chat rooms.
  • Terrence Miller competed in a Hearthstone tournament competition at DreamHack Austin in 2016. He managed to get 2nd place but sadly this got overshadowed by a barrage of chat trolls that bombarded the official tournament stream with racist comments. The moderation team was unable to control the situation.
  • After this he got put in the spotlight. The racism doesn’t necessarily affect him much, but there are a lot of people of color who are affected by this and this is why he decided to speak up.
  • One of the main problems was moderators not doing their job, people were banned for racism and they were getting unbanned, allowing the negative atmosphere to continue. One of the fixes is that at the very least for big tournaments there should be a professional moderation team who deals with racism as a unified front.
  • When DeejayKnight was front paged he banned the TriHard emote in his chat. Not because he didn’t like the emote but 9 out of 10 times the emote was used in a racist manner. A possible solution on Twitch’s end would be to diversify the emotes. Right now TriHard seems to be the standard emote to display a person of color, whereas there are dozens of emotes with white people on them.
  • Harassment is an everyday occurrence for streamers of color. Over time it lessens the enjoyment of broadcasting and if nothing is done it will lead to people leaving Twitch.
  • When Diversify Twitch was dreamed up, one of its core issues revolved around a lack of women of color broadcasting on Twitch. We’re at the 2nd edition of TwitchCon and we have still yet to see any represented in the featured guest list. There has been an increase in women of color becoming partnered on Twitch. We are not seeing this reflected at TwitchCon at all, at the convention or in other forms of promotion throughout Twitch.tv.
  • A lot of people were asked for the panel, but a common reason to not join it was that they didn’t want to alienate their fanbase. They were afraid that speaking out about racism would end up costing them subscribers for instance.
  • Where do we go from here? It is time to take action and there are several ways to do this.
    • A more diversified guest list for TwitchCon 2017
    • A strong public stance against harassment
    • Press Twitch to release a diversity report (viewers, broadcasters, employees)
    • Support each other
  • Streaming can already be a very stressful job, having the added stress of having to deal with racism on a daily basis is not helping when it comes to having more people of color stream.
  • It’s important to find strength in the fact that you are not the only person dealing with these problems, try and find help and support from people who are in the same situation as you.
  • Twitch sees the issue and wants to help deal with it but they sadly don’t have all the answers.

POLE: How to TwitchStart Your Creative Endeavor

VoD link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconbiblethump/v/93333959 & https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconbiblethump/v/93334855
Moderator: StefWoodburn
Participants: Danoba, Heather West, Natasha Kermani, Tim Wu, Charlie Hicks

(link to the actual movie: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconbiblethump/v/93334855?t=43m26s)

  • POLE is the first movie crowdfunded through Twitch. It’s a 10 minute short movie funded over the course of 10 streams in 20 days.
  • The movie is co-written, co-produced and acted in by Stef Woodburn.
  • It is about a financial analyst who joins her best friend in a pole dancing competition.
  • The inspiration for POLE came from when Stef got a groupon for a pole dancing session at Heather’s studio. She was looking for a form of dance that wasn’t intensive on the feet because she had just had foot surgery.

Top 5 strategies on how to ‘TwitchStart’ your creative endeavors:

  1. Make sure it is something you are super passionate about

Streaming is hard and can take a lot of time and energy so make sure it is spent on something you are passionate about. Stef herself had a passion for statistics. She found an article in 2014 in the Times where statistics showed that women were highly underrepresented in the movie industry.

2. Tie it to a cause greater than yourself

In line with her wanting to champion female voices, she donated half of her stretch goal to WriteGirl LA. WriteGirl LA mentors and empowers teen girls in underprivileged communities. Any girl can join, it is entirely free. They meet once per month. 100% of the senior girls make it into college. When fundraising, it is easier to champion other people than yourself.

3. Be transparent with your budget

They came up with a low but feasible budget. It was also a reasonable budget considering it was the first time it was raised on this platform. When they created the budget for this project they made a website that showed exactly where what money was going.

4. Have a strong team online

To use Twitch as a platform to raise money you need a strong mod team. They create a nice atmosphere so that people will even want to donate money.

5. Have a strong team on the ground

Make sure you have a good team to help you with your project because it stands or falls with these people. When you are looking for a team, you are looking for people who are willing to bring the project in as a part of their life, not just people who shoot the project and then are done.

QnA:

What are the distribution plans for the movie?
The goal originally was to go to film festivals. The purpose of this is to get publicity, accolades or possibly funding. They are open to to investors to make a feature out of the movie.

What was more demanding about this project, the mental or the physical aspect?
Stef:The project was definitely physically demanding, leaving bruises etc. but the mental aspect definitely outweighed this. But because it is a passion project it is relatively easy to do this.
Charlie: Physically, it is hard work with such a small crew. There was a lot moving of props. Mentally it also takes it toll but he got used to it from previous projects.
Heather: The 12 hour shooting day was a bit much because she was not used to it, so it was definitely both physically and mentally draining. There was a lot of repetition, to get the right shot.