You’ll never believe what this guy did for viewers on Twitch!

When it comes to Twitch, which sort of Livestreamer do you prefer: Someone who entertains you, or someone who interacts with you? Because – especially when it comes to the big streamers – it seems most people want to watch streamers doing their thing, and interaction is a secondary consideration.

… Unless it is a small streamer, that is.

In the almost two years I have been actively streaming on Twitch, I have noticed that many viewers not only prefer, but expect small streamers to interact with their viewers on a regular basis. Even if said streamer is actively doing something else, such as reading quest text out loud, or fighting a battle, many viewers want you to essentially ‘drop everything’ to respond to their comment or question in Chat.

Now then, that’s not normally an issue, because let’s be honest here – How many people are actually chatting in a small streamer’s channel, most of the time? Unless they are a Troll, super demanding, or just otherwise being a jerk in Chat, there really isn’t that much of a problem with responding to their message. It all comes down to how you handle it.

Personally, I don’t mind interrupting what I’m doing to chat with my Red Panda Brigade, because that’s what I’m on the stream to do. I’m working to build a community, while I play games. If I didn’t want to talk to my viewers, I would just not stream when I’m playing games. But I have watched other streamers who are trying to do something a bit different, and it can be an issue for them.

For example, I know of a MMORPG streamer who likes to read every single bit of quest text they receive, so the viewers get the full story going on at the time. But they routinely get viewers who ask questions or make comments while the streamer is reading said information, and often seem to get upset when they don’t receive an immediate replay.

Would they treat a big-time streamer like dirt for not immediately responding to their comment? No, of course not. Why? Because the big-time streamer would just block them, or ignore them, or have a Mod kick them out of the chat.

But small streamers don’t have those luxuries. We don’t have Mods monitoring our chat for us. We can’t just go around blocking or banning viewers who are chatting with us – even if they are being disruptive – because every single viewer counts. Small streamers basically are at the whim of their viewer base. If we want to make it to Affiliate, or someday maybe to Partner on Twitch, then we have to do everything we can to not only cultivate a community, but do everything possible to be nice to everyone.

Obviously, that doesn’t include the worst offenders. I’ve had Trolls in my chat who were perhaps the only person watching my stream, and I just laughed at their attempts to disrupt the stream. You know the kind… Those with names that would be very offensive, if read out loud. Those who badger you to do something or play something you don’t want to do. Those who abuse features like Text-to-Voice, if you use it (I don’t, for this very reason). The list goes on and on.

My point is this: If you are trying to entertain your stream, and someone is demanding you interrupt what you are doing to respond to them, there are a few ways you can handle this.

  1. Set a Rule for your chat, asking viewers not to interrupt when you are busy with something, such as fighting a battle or reading something to the stream.
  2. Politely let the Chat know that you will get to their comment as soon as you can, then continue doing what you are doing.
  3. Simply ignore the comment/question until you are able to address it. Maybe take a quick break every few minutes to catch up on donations, questions, and comments?

Really, it isn’t that hard to deal with demanding people in Chat. The way I see it, if someone is in my Chat and being disruptive or demanding that I respond to them to the detriment of my entertaining everyone else, then I don’t feel that person really wants to be a part of my community. If I lose them as a viewer, I won’t lose any sleep over it, to be honest. But your mileage may vary.

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