My Two Week Journey to Twitch Affiliate

After finagling my way into the VIP section at a loud, crowded Pax East after-party in April, a stranger shouted at me from the non-VIP section. 

“Are you a streamer??” I paused and replied,

“No, but I'm going to be!”

After all, it was my new year's resolution to stream regularly. Up until that point, I didn't make any effort. I would turn on my stream for a few minutes here and there at random. 

I just assumed that streaming was easy and as soon as I found the right time I would just.... start. I consider myself “the comedian,” I love to make people laugh and I also love games. Twitch was made for people like me. I live to love and entertain. But I kept putting it off and making excuses. 

Days turned into weeks, weeks into a couple months and I realized that I still haven’t started my stream. The girl from Pax East would replay in my head. Between my timeline being spammed by “Going Live” tweets, Twitch News and Channel Shares, eventually, I wore down and on a random Sunday in July I decided to turn on my stream.

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I started my first stream with a goal to stream over an hour. Easy right? I chose Fortnite because that's what all the cool kids are playing, smart move. I brushed my hair, checked my setup and went live. Needless to say... it was AWFUL. I was nervous and had no plan. I constantly asked my viewers, “What should I do??” which is a question I should have asked myself before I hit Go Live. My gameplay was disastrous, I didn't know how to properly engage my audience and I was lost keeping up with my chat. It was a nightmare.

But over the past two weeks, my stream changed so much.

As a Black woman streaming I was very anxious to find my groove. How do I fit in into a gaming-comedy community dominated by White males? The trolls came of course. That's a given with all parts of the internet. But it was easy for me to get over the racist comments in my inbox and chats. Though, despite my sudden enthusiasm, I was still directionless for the first week of streaming until I realized that being MYSELF is all I needed to do in order to grow my audience. I did not need to pretend to be myself pretending to be a Twitch streamer. 

As of today, I am a Twitch Affiliate and it took me twelve days to achieve this. My idea of what I want to do has become more focused. How I plan to present myself to Twitch has morphed. As my audience and views grew I became more confident. I realized that if my viewership plateaus or I don’t have many people in my chat that it's okay because I am doing what I love: playing video games, making friends, and sharing comedy with the community.

How many of you are Twitch streamers? Share your links to your Twitch channel and introduce yourself on our Facebook page.

Twitch's BroadcastHER Grant Will Give up to $2000 to Select Female Streamers

In an effort to help more female broadcasters succeed in creating content, Twitch launched the BroadcastHER Grant Program.

It's no secret that women in geek culture, especially within the gaming community are constantly subjected to sexual harassment, body-shaming and trolling. Even with this, there is still the myth that female streamers fair better than their male counterparts. Online Performance Group found that, out of "2500 channels polled, women made up just under 20% of streamers." OPG is  the digital marketing service behind Twitch legends Towelliee and Bajheera.

Another myth is that women streamers get more viewers because of their physical attributes. Research dispelled this, showing that male streamers, on average, also tend to gain more concurrent viewers than female streamers--10 times more concurrent viewers. Women also tend to receive less offers to join eSports teams and for sponsorships. 

The reasons for the widespread myths and lack of sponsorship opportunities for female streamers is rooted in a sexist culture that mirrors that of the offline world. This is why Twitch has partnered with 1,000 Dreamers Fund to offer financial assistance to female streamers. 

Each semester 1DF will select a group of applicants to receive a grant between $100 and $2000 to help pay for travel expenses, equipment and more. By funding more women streamers, Twitch and 1DF are hoping to combat the toxicity of harassment toward women streamers on their platform as more game developers and gaming communities attempt to address and combat the purveying negativity in their respective communities.

Women interested in applying for the BroadcastHER Grant have until May 1, 2018 to apply. For more details, you can visit their website here.