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TwitchCon: Opening Ceremony

Day 1 of TwitchCon ends with the aptly named Opening Ceremony. While I wasn’t able to watch the ceremony in person, Twitch announced changes to their site that will affect everyone from the streamers to the viewers. Here is a quick rundown on each of the changes in no particular order.

Mod View

There was only one update for moderators but it’s an interesting one. Now people who are given the moderator role will be able to access an exclusive page that will operate like the Twitch Dashboard. Mod tools can be moved around and adjusted on the page, and moderators can view each viewers chat history to make determinations should they need to delete the message time out or ban a viewer.

A very important step forward for moderators as effective moderation often now requires using multiple tools that require accessing multiple websites such as accessing exclusive messages from individual users.

Advertisement Changes

Advertisements was oddly enough one of the bigger announcements for TwitchCon’s opening Ceremony in terms of changes for the business of streaming. Here is quick list of the changes that will be happening with ads.

  • No ads on affiliate and partnered channels
  • Volume on ads will be normalized in line with channel audio
  • Affiliates can now earn ad-revenue
  • Affiliates and Partners can disable pre-roll ads on their channels
  • Affiliates and Partners will now how much they will make when playing ads on their channel
  • Picture in Picture will activate when ads play on stream letting viewers to keep watching stream while ads play.

Subscription on iOS

Twitch finally found a way to let people who watch Twitch using iOS to let viewers subscribe on their mobile devices.

Channel Points

Viewers will soon be able to earn channel points by watching partnered and affiliate streams. The one benefit that was demonstrated was being able to unlock emotes for 24 hours and other customization rewards set by the streamer. Signups are currently available at https://www.twitch.tv/beta/channelpoints

Twitch Studio

Twitch is currently developing Twitch Studio, a streaming application like OBS, Xsplit, and other streaming applications. The application is currently in closed beta that will enable more people to be able to stream. Not too many details were shown during the ceremony but there will be a dedicated panel towards Twitch studio. So expect more details soon.

New Channel Pages

TwitchCon 2019’s theme is giving Twitch a facelift. More than just the logos and fonts but also the channel pages. Soon Twitch channels will now allow streamers to post their own trailer page, description of themselves and content, and posting a schedule so viewers know what your channel is about rather than seeing what is being streamed when the stream goes live or using panels to post the schedule.

While none of these changes are game changers compared to previous TwitchCon announcements, they are certainly quality of life improvements that benefit both streamers and viewers in a market place where live streaming is becoming a competitive market.

TwitchCon: Day 0

Twitchcon Day 0 is over and while there wasn’t too much to do in terms of events, one of the best things about Day 0 is that you get a chance to meet people you never expect to see.

Before that, acquiring your badge was quick and easy regardless if you were a Twitch partner, affiliate, vendor, or community member. What stood out however was the number of attendees that had the Affiliate badge. What makes this interesting is that TwitchCon originally looked like they were going to try and become a fan convention for people who love streamers. With the sheer number of Twitch Affiliates attending, indirectly TwitchCon has become a conference where anyone interested in learning how to stream or take their business to the next level can learn more about the industry. I’ll be sure to report what the show floor has tomorrow to see how much TwitchCon has become a conference as well as a fan convention.

The swag given by TwitchCon was also really good. While the Magic the Gathering starter deck, pins, starburst candies, and a 100 twitch bits voucher. The best swag they gave was the G-Fuel shaker cup. While I don’t personally use energy drinks, the shaker cup that G-fuel handed out at TwitchCon 2017 is easily one of the best items given that I still personally use to this day.

The best part about Day 0 is being able to meet people from all parts of the industry. Day 0 was great being able to meet people like Brossentia and LiamSixx and go out to dinner with them and get to know the person behind the streamer. Even walking through the streets of San Diego, all sorts of people from all walks of life and parts of the industry are open to talk to anyone about the convention or what role they have in the industry.

Day 0 has already made TwitchCon a worthwhile trip and I look forward to report all about the panels, events, and people that will be there for the official start of TwitchCon.

Build A Better Discord Server – Interactivity

After reading some posts on Twitter, I noticed that many streamers come across this problem with their Discord server. They create their discord server and build up their community through streaming but as time goes on their discord loses all activity. They are left to ask themselves where do they go from here.

It’s important to understand that if you are going to start a Discord server that you need to invest as much into the server just like streaming. You need to show the people that join your server that there is value in being active. You need to design your Discord server to not just be a place for your friends and community to chat and talk but also be designed to give people something to do to allow everyone to get to know each other. The value of any great Discord server is to know that there is a community.

To help you build up, or rebuild your Discord server, here are a three channels for your community to be active on your server and interact with each other.

Let people share their talent with you!

Creative Channels

Everyone has their talents, so why not give your community a place to share their talents with each other? Creating a dedicated channel for people to share their creations, talk about each other’s art, and post their commission info can give your community a place to constantly be active with each other. Many artists will often create art or content about the streamer or the games they are playing so give your artists a place to share their creations.

Take the time before you create any dedicated creative channel to set guidelines for your community as well as rules for your moderators to enforce. A positive guideline to set is if you will allow or restrict NSFW content on your Discord server. Setting the limit early on ensures creators will know the limits of what’s allowed and not allowed.

Remember to let the creative channel be about people sharing their creations with each other. The goal is to let people who create art, music, videos and anything else to share their talents to their peers.

Google Forms is your friend for sharing community content!

Community Content Channels

Passionate about a game that just came out that lets your community create their own levels? Don’t just hog all the levels that your community created for yourself! Share them with your community and let them play each other’s content.

For example, if you stream a lot of Super Mario Maker 2, create a google form for community to submit their own levels but also on a dedicated channel post the form and spreadsheet for your community to try out each other’s levels.

Google Forms and Sheets are useful tools to for any game that allows people to create levels or mods. Even if you’ve moved on from a game, your community will always have a place to share their creations and try each others levels because you’ve created a place for them to share their passion for that game with everyone else.

Hobby Channels

The goal is to always offer your community a place to talk and share with each other what they like and don’t like. Dedicated channels towards hobbies that you are passionate about like music, television, and sports for example lets people get to know each other even when you aren’t streaming.

Sharing songs or the talking about unknown video games create opportunities for people to learn more about each other’s passion and interests.

So take the time to design your Discord server that allows your community to not only have the chance to interact with you, but also interact with each other every time they log on.

Be A Better Mod – Twitch Mod Tool Settings

Twitch has come a long way to support streamers and moderators to better manage viewers actions. But to be a better moderator, it’s important to know the fundamental tools that Twitch provides you to personalize how you view chat to become an effective moderator.

These tools are overlooked compared to typing commands in chat or automating moderation to Auto Mod or a chatbot. Knowing what each of these tools are and what they can do will help you be a better moderator.  The tools we will cover are available when you click the gear icon in below the chat window.

Show Mod Icons

When selected, the icons for ban viewer, timeout viewer, and delete message will appear for every message posted in chat. Having access to mod icons can make moderation for chat can make moderation easy.  Many consider Show Mod Icons a double edge sword for moderators having ban viewer, timeout viewer, and delete message on display. 

When you have an active chat room or get flooded with messages, a simple misclick can result in suspending or banning a viewer that you didn’t mean to moderate.  Thankfully, as of late there are now tools for moderators to help prevent this. 

I recommend having this tool activated especially since the implementation for moderators to simply delete messages.

Followers-Only Chat

Need to limit the ability to chat to viewers that follow the streamer?  This is the option for you.  Viewers who want to chat during streams must follow the streamer.  However, you must also set how long viewers must follow the streamer before they can chat. 

To allow any viewer to chat the moment they follow, set the option to 0 minutes. From there your options are:

  • 10 minutes
  • 30 minutes
  • 1 hour
  • 1 day
  • 1 week
  • 1 month
  • 3 months

While the last four options are a bit extreme, the follow time does count when you aren’t streaming as well.

Followers-Only Chat however comes with some upsides and downsides that you should consider before implementing.  The upside is that using this feature can prevent bots from posting malicious messages in your chat. The downside is that using this feature will prevent raiders from posting their raid message letting you know you’ve been raided by another streamer.

This is an option that I would recommend leaving this setting in the hands of the streamer as this option comes with pros and cons that should be considered before implementing.

Slow Mode

Easily the most well-known moderator tool across Twitch. Slow Mode prevents viewers from posting another message in chat based on a time interval selected by the streamer or moderator. 

When accessing slow mode from the chat settings you can choose the following intervals:

  • Off
  • 1 second
  • 3 seconds
  • 5 seconds
  • 10 seconds
  • 20 seconds
  • 30 seconds
  • 60 seconds
  • 120 seconds.

There are many effective ways and good reasons when to use slow mode.  The most common reason and effective use of slow mode is to prevent individual users from spamming chat.  However, slow mode can also be utilized to get feedback from individual users such as when the streamer gives his viewership a choice on what to do. 

Show Moderation Actions

It’s always good to know when someone deletes a message, times out a viewer or bans them from chat to know who did it. When Show Moderation Actions is enabled, you’ll always know which of your fellow moderators of when the streamer moderates chat and what specific action was taken.

I recommend always keeping this on if you are a streamer or moderator as it is good to know who is acting when moderation needs to occur or be able to act should a moderator makes a mistake.

Show Messages Caught by Auto Mod

Auto Mod, this chat tool allows moderators to decide should a message be allowed or not allowed should Auto Mod decide the message requires moderation. 

The higher the level the streamer sets Auto Mod, the more likely Auto Mod will request from moderators and the streamer to allow messages from viewers to be displayed in chat. 

When Auto Mod catches a message, the streamer or moderator will have two choices, allow or deny.  If the message is allowed, the message will then be posted in chat as normal and the term or phrase picked up from auto mod will be added to the permitted terms list.  If the message is denied, the message will not be posted, and Auto Mod will add the word or phrase to the banned terms list for a timed duration.

When this option is turned off, Auto Mod will still be active and will catch and prevent any phrases or terms being posted as deemed controversial by Auto Mod. 

However, the moderator or streamer will not see Auto Mod’s request for the message to be allowed or denied.  This means that any message caught by Auto Mod will not be posted in chat, but it also means that Auto Mod will not be adjust to the messages that the streamer will want to allow or not allow in chat.

Probably the most interesting chat tool option Twitch has on the list depending on how much you want to rely on Auto Mod to prevent messages from being posted in chat. 

While it is important to make those nuanced decisions to allow some messages to be allowed to be posted in chat if you encourage people to speak freely. Turning off this option if you adjust Auto Mod to what you don’t want posted in chat can be beneficial allowing moderators to focus on interacting with viewers.

Deleted Messages

While viewers see the classic <message deleted> when a viewer’s message is deleted, or their entire chat history is erased if the viewer is timed out or banned. The streamer and moderators have a few options on how they want to view deleted messages. 

The legacy option as described, shows any message deleted with <message deleted>.  Should the moderator want to see the message that was deleted, they can click on <message deleted> to reveal the deleted message. 

The next option Brief hides all deleted messages from chat and is replaced with a minimal log message stating how many messages have been deleted by moderators. 

The final option way to see deleted messages is Detailed.  All messages that are moderated will still show the content of the message that was posted.  Detailed is also the only option that will show what action was taken and by which moderator.

If you don’t rely on other chat tools such as bots or logs, then I would recommend using detailed when you need to be actively monitoring chat and see what actions have been taken by other moderators.  If your role as a moderator isn’t to actively moderate chat, then using legacy or brief is there to sum up how much moderation has been taken during a stream.

Pause Chat

If you’ve ever watched a charity stream or have seen a raid, you know that the chat will be spammed by viewers making moderation extremely difficult when you see a viewer taking advantage of the situation posting messages that goes against the rules. Thankfully, there is the pause chat option that will stop chat messages from scrolling allowing messages to be reviewed for moderation. 

By default, chat will always pause when the moderator or streamer scrolls through chat using their mouse wheel.  Should your mouse not have a mouse wheel to scroll through chat, there are three other settings that can be used. 

Mouseover will stop chat the moment the mouse is over the chat pane.  Hold Alt Key will stop chat anytime the moderator holds down the alt key. Finally, you can enable both mouseover and hold alt key to stop chat.

Having chat paused is critical when you need to read through multiples messages to moderate chat and is a welcome edition.  What action you want to take to pause chat is a personal preference.  Know that chat will always pause the moment you start to scroll through chat and will take precedent over scrolling over chat with your mouse and holding the alt key.

See Recent Raids

Finally, it’s great when other streamers want to raid chat and for streamers who don’t use overlays or alerts, this is a great tool to see if a raid is the real deal or made up to get your viewers riled up to spam chat. 

When the See Recent Raid option is selected, any recent raids that have happened during the stream will show the streamer’s name and the option to block or ban the user.  You can also manage your raid settings should you want to limit raids to friends, teammates, and followed channels or block all raids.

This is a great tool to confirm if chat is being raided or if the streamer doesn’t have notifications or alerts active. 

Blog Posts

TwitchCon: Opening Ceremony

Day 1 of TwitchCon ends with the aptly named Opening Ceremony. While I wasn’t able to watch the ceremony in person, Twitch announced changes to their site that will affect everyone from the streamers to the viewers. Here is a quick rundown on each of the changes in no particular order. Mod View There was […]

Read More
TwitchCon: Day 0

Twitchcon Day 0 is over and while there wasn’t too much to do in terms of events, one of the best things about Day 0 is that you get a chance to meet people you never expect to see. Before that, acquiring your badge was quick and easy regardless if you were a Twitch partner, […]

Read More
Build A Better Discord Server – Interactivity

After reading some posts on Twitter, I noticed that many streamers come across this problem with their Discord server. They create their discord server and build up their community through streaming but as time goes on their discord loses all activity. They are left to ask themselves where do they go from here. It’s important […]

Read More
Be A Better Mod – Twitch Mod Tool Settings

Twitch has come a long way to support streamers and moderators to better manage viewers actions. But to be a better moderator, it’s important to know the fundamental tools that Twitch provides you to personalize how you view chat to become an effective moderator. These tools are overlooked compared to typing commands in chat or […]

Read More

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