I Recently Spent Some Time In "Lurk-Communities"
A new fad among the streaming communities seems to now be a lurking based point system, I recently spent a week in two different communities (fortnight in total) to have a closer look at exactly what was happening in these groups and what their effects work, if they're beneficial or if they should be avoided like the plague, personally, my original thoughts were in the latter.
To begin I'll go into a little detail about what these groups are all about; using a discord bot or third party URL/App you gain points for lurking, these points in some cases are higher depending how much "support" the person you are lurking gets or, a base level. You then use these points to climb the ranks and be worth more when people lurk your stream or, you spend these points to appear on the multi-stream app so people can lurk you. There is a caveat that you gain more points if you chat and raid other people within the server.
Since I've started using these groups I've seen my viewer count grow exponentially inside the 2 weeks, starting at an avg. of 12-13 and now sitting at ~30 with no change to my standard advertisement and planning other than joining these groups, I've even started a new game I've not formally played with a small audience on Twitch to keep results clear. Within the discords themselves, group A were very cold and weren't very interactive with newcomers. Group B were more welcoming and warm but within their Stream Chat section there was a general air of people wanting the best results with the least work.
With the gateway to entry now being minute when it comes to streaming I think there is a definite upside to groups and websites like this. Since games like FortNite arrived every console and platform has its ease-of-use through the rough when it comes to streaming simply needing a single button press. Groups like this push you up the first couple of rows and into the limelight, do these people deserve to be thrust further into the limelight? Debatable. Do many take it for granted? Definitely. Alongside this it is certainly another place to network, however, I don't believe there are many relationships that can come from groups like this which aren't incredibly fickle.
Finally, one of the major upsides I feel is to motivation and mental health when it comes to streaming. Streaming is hard work, if you put in effort and get nothing back it can be fairly cutting. Using groups like this is a sure fire way to circumvent any ill feelings such as those but, it's a fickle way of doing it.
Basically, this is the next follow for follow, a completely hollow attempt at gaining a foothold in a market thats moving faster than any raging river at the moment. While I saw my numbers almost triple, I saw my chat dwindle. Second to this it becomes very apparent that these people are basically pseudo-view bots, not a single follow or conversation, just that little red number ticking up. The discords lack a community feel with very little relationships growing, I found myself having to mute mentions as the arbitrary "thanks for lurking" tags.
The mentality shown within the discords of these communities feels very, clinical, while the hundreds of members and few chatters is pretty common, the ratio here is ridiculous. Second to this most people are dong the bare minimum to have a competent stream, however, lurk 24/7 to gain the most points to be visible by other players. I had the URL open for 4 days straight on multiple devices and was able to amass enough points to be within the top ten's of the group. Not a difficult chore, your skill as a streamer means nothing.
I would not recommend getting involved in these groups personally, with their recent appearance it is the next in the line of "follow for follow" tactics or "Like this post and lets grow together" bullshit which is becoming paramount among Twitch and its influx of new streamers who want a lot for doing very little. I'm seeing a lot people slam these sorts of communities on social media but wanted to find out first hand exactly whats going on with it. The bottom line is if you want easy numbers but a hollow experience with a viewership that consists entirely of what is basically bots but with less scripted conversation pieces, then this something you can use. Perhaps a helpful tool in the world where streaming is becoming as mainstream as youtube but, I cannot in good faith recommend these groups to anyone with any sense of hard work and pride.
The insidious Nature of "Twitter Support"
One of the longest evolving trends on social media platforms is the infamous X4X, whether this be: sub4sub, follow4follow, lurk4lurk etc. I’ve only been part of the content creation sphere for over 2 years or so and I’ve seen it more often than not and it echoes back to another reddit post I made recently here; I Recently Spent Some Time In “Lurk Communities”.
Since the post I’ve become very aware people aren’t learned about these sort of things and are taken advantage of daily, whether this be through naivety or a vain attempt to “network” but regardless of the reason, it’s disgustingly exploitative. While some blame can be placed on the users getting involved in this for whatever reason, others are completely unaware of what's happening so I wanted to outline some facts clearly for the uninitiated.
There are a large amount of posts across multiple social media platforms regarding this but we’re going to focus on Twitter throughout these examples as I personally feel Twitter is, at this current moment in time, the most influential platform to be on.
Many of the posts I write about fit a similar outline as the one below;
Hey there #smallstreamers! Let’s all grow together!
1. Retweet this
2. Follow me (Not necessary but would be nice )
3. Comment your Twitch/YouTube
4. Follow who you like
5. Grow and support!
Outwardly, that’s a pretty inviting message specifically to the addressed audience “smallstreamers”. 5 simple steps to grow your engagement and meet other like-minded individuals! And it has plenty of traction already so why wouldn’t you want to get involved? It clearly states in the last point you can grow from this! Perfect! Sounds a little too good to be true, doesn't it? Well, that's because it is …
The only person you are helping throughout all of this is the person who posted the original thing, and you’re not just helping them a little, you’re effectively giving their tweets free access to your Twitter. Maybe not quite as insidious but the principle is similar. Not only will you now see more of their posts after the fact, but all your followers will see you liked it. For one like, depending on your following, you have given this person an insane amount of viewership. What do you get in return? F*ck all!
Growth like this will never help anyone but the original poster and while this may come across as a surprise to some of you, the original poster doesn’t care about you. They have little to no interest in helping you grow! If you’d like to grow, why not find some meaningful content out there? Be it memes, wholesome videos, crazy kill streak videos, twitch clips or more! But in no way should you be falling for this trap and allowing your following to be abused by someone who wants a following, all from your hard work.
Social media is one of the most important factors when creating content. Keeping your friends, community members and viewers up to date with whats going on and when you're going live is an absolute must! In the past I've been using the following images;
Yet this creates a need for me to constantly update and this also means, the links etc start being removed from their SEO due to spam filters etc. Algorithems are a fickle beast after all. Instead a better idea I've found is simple to create one post which is constantly avalible when pinned and gives just as much accute information which you can build upon using more eye catching images such as my comic book covers. The new image now looking like so;
Not only does this look better, it also fits the Twitter image process better meaning we get a higher resolution picture which to me, is something which definately needs to be adhered to, meaning you don't get a series of blurry images when people take a closer look!
Prefer the old one? Love the new one?! Let me know! How do you advertise your streams?