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How to Build a Twitch Community

Learn more about streamer communities at Streaming Media's next event.

Watch the complete presentation from Streaming Media West, ESS104. Women, Games, and the Streaming Community, in the Streaming Media Conference Video Portal.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Brooke "Dodger" Thorne: When I came into streaming, I sort of came with a base, because for three or four years I had done a daily vlog on YouTube that was called "Coffee Time," and I sat down with my coffee and I had an unedited ten-minute video where I just talked about whatever. And it actually wound up being a really good foundation for something live, which I didn't expect, for some reason. It wound up being a really good foundation because there are lots of hurdles to get over in terms of your comfort.

So, when you first start streaming, you have to get used to the idea, "I'm talking to people. I'm so alone, and that's a little weird." And then it's something that you get used to, like involving chat. I've talked with a lot of friends who are developers that have done a stream to support the game that they're working on and they were the one who was lucky and chosen to do the stream for that day. And they always say, "There's so much to keep track of." You don't realize how much there is to keep track of until you're doing it. And I think honestly, it's just, I don't wanna say practice, but the more that you do it, the easier it is.

And speaking of community, I think developing and focusing a lot on building up your community and figuring out what the rules are, the longer that everybody's there, they will reinforce the rules. Having a good mod team is of course really important when you have a lot of viewers, but also I've found that even when I don't have mods around, if chat is getting a little squirrely and I'm not paying attention, most of the time if I look back and something's happened, somebody else has stepped in to say, "We don't do that here."

Katherine Bowe: Self-policing.

Dodger: Yeah, which has been really really cool, because my whole thing has just been, I don't want anybody to ever come into my chat and feel like they have to defend who they are, that they're gonna get wrapped up and do an argument that is gonna make them uncomfortable. And I think that it's wound up creating a very welcoming atmosphere. So I do worry sometimes, like if we don't have mods here and somebody is trying to start something, is it gonna be a problem? But it rarely ever is, because everyone is so used to what's okay and what isn't.

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