We have prided ourselves in building an amazing community. When we first started streaming, we made sure to remind ourselves that what we did, we did for ourselves. As we’ve grown, we’ve learned that so much of what we do for ourselves has so much to do with the community we built. In our short time with live streaming, I feel like we’ve grown together along with those we’ve met through our chat. People are becoming parents, getting new jobs, moving to new places, doing great things– and we’re so lucky to be able to hear those things and be a part of your lives. So despite our initial intentions, to stream for ourselves– to ensure that we’d only continue so long as we, ourselves, were enjoying it– so much of that is thanks to the community.
At Twitch-Con, I was able to sit in a session about how to build a better community. I want to be able to share the tips that were passed along to me for both streamers and their communities who are seeking it, but also let our community know that we’re working to make hanging out with us a great time.
Make sure that your community members feel welcomed. That goes beyond the first few hellos in chat or in discord, or wherever your hub of communication is. If someone is feeling uncomfortable for some reason, that needs to be addressed. If someone doesn’t feel comfortable talking to *you*, then that’s an even greater problem. Eliminating negative people from your community is the fastest and easiest practice to ensure your community is a great place.
The Broadcaster is as responsible for the community they cultivate. Because of this, they broadcaster should establish 3 things in their channel:
- Clarity of Intent
- Clarity of Role
- Clarity of Standards
The transparency will deter a lot of the drama.
It’s important to maintain a flat hierarchy. Broadcasters are not bosses, they’re not paying anyone, and therefore cannot expect anyone to act in any way. This works vice versa as well. At the first instance, a community is born, it stops being about the streamer and transitions into “We.”
If there is a slight hierarchy, it’s that the streamer serves the mods who in turn serve the community.
Confronting with negativity is difficult. One panelist suggested to “play with your food” (as she called it) by using humor to change their behavior. Changing the conversation or the tone can give the chatter a chance to redeem themselves before you drop that ban hammer.
Ultimately, by setting up boundaries and creating a structure, the community is able to live and thrive on its own. Because a strong community will survive for its own sake, the broadcaster should not expect some sort of payout from the community.
In order to deserve a community, you have to genuinely care about them. Ask modes if they’re still happy being mods, establish real talk or a venting channel on discord so people. Use your social media channels to keep in touch with members of your community and show them who you really are. It’s a symbiotic relationship.
The broadcaster and the community need each other.