Talking shop

Not writing shop, this time. Not even parenting shop. I want to talk about my other creative outlet, of late. Sharing video games.

Let’s put aside the question of whether or not playing video games and sharing the experience even is creative, and assume for the moment that it’s been answered in the positive. Let’s talk about hosting and sharing platforms. Let’s talk about monetization. Let’s talk about audience availability.

I’ve been uploading my gaming videos to YouTube because that’s where my vlog went. Everybody knows YouTube, and every social media, blogging, mobile, and console platform bends over backwards to make sure videos play and play well. They’re huge, and despite their roots in small-time producers, they’ve shifted focus to their subscription service (YouTube Red) and their live TV service (YouTube TV). This has, by necessity, changed their attitude toward advertising.

I’d only heard of Twitch in passing, and had considered it a place for more hardcore gamers than I’d ever be. I started watching when a friend (more so since I started watching, to be honest) returned to streaming as a job, and discovered that I’d been really wrong. Twitch has streamers that are at all experience and intensity levels. They have competitive communities, communities surrounding fandom, and non-toxic communities, just to name a few. The only things they lacked were video archiving for viewing later, and an app that was anything other than frustrating. But I had YouTube for that, so I started live-streaming to Twitch, and exporting to YouTube for non-live viewing. And it was working great! I was even bringing in some pennies from ads on my more popular videos.

And then I logged in to YouTube’s Creator Studio and got a banner notification that my monetization had been revoked. They had removed it from all creators with less than 10,000 total views. This would have happened earlier, but there had been a bug and I’d slipped through the cracks. That was all the communication I received.

No grandfathering in of current creators, no heads-up emails, no appeal. Now, this is entirely within YouTube’s rights, and makes sense with the business pivot I noted above. That didn’t make it any less irritating.

So I started looking for alternative platforms, with no luck. Until I took a look at my past videos on Twitch. Some that I’d thought deleted were back, all the way to August. There was a new option for collections, which is their implementation of playlists. The decision came down to this – was I ok with the trade-off of a less well-known platform and a problematic non-browser viewing experience for great communities and a business model focused on sharing gameplay?

Yes, I was.

So, I’m going to be uploading and streaming through Twitch for all of my gaming stuff. I’ll still be putting my vlogs on YouTube, and my blogging will stay here.

Let’s see how this goes!

Local Politics

I’ve voted in the primaries, and here’s a quick breakdown of who and why:

Lansing Mayor – Andy Schor. Not only does he have a plan, he has a downloadable PDF on his site detailing his plan. DETAILS. Twenty-three pages of details!

City Council, 4th Ward – Brian T. Jackson. He wants to focus on social justice. He has a practical, straightforward outlook that appears to me.

City Council, At Large – Kathie Dunbar, incumbent. I like what she’s been doing, and I want her to keep it up. Kyle Bowman. He wants to focus on police relations with the community, and police accountability to the community, including measures like personal cameras.

Writing Journal

Written 23 July 2017

So, there’s a really jarring jump in the first chapter between Susan struggling with her thirst and Adam’s arrival. She just completely drops everything that’s been tormenting her because she loses herself in the bike. I give the shift a half of a sentence and that is just not enough.

It’s got to be more gradual. The forces in her need to duke it out. The thirst vs. The mesmerizing, this Sunday, SUNDAY, SUNDAY!!!

Instead of one defeating the other, they should be neck and neck when he sits down.

This fear is no accident.

The Culture War is not a real thing. There is no army of alt-right Pepes, and there is no army of SJWs.

There are people.

Some people believe that there is finally a chance that their way of life might not be constantly threatened any more. Some people believe that their way of life has suddenly come under threat. Some people are gradients between, or completely outside.

Scared people.

Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is so strong that conversation, rather than shouting matches, is incredibly difficult. It doesn’t even matter where the fear came from any more. We have allowed ourselves to be whipped into a frightened frenzy that rather than hearing what others are saying, we’re repeating self-contradictory talking points that range into objectively nonsensical.

What is happening isn’t noble. None of us are soldiers on the battlefield. None of our clutching of pearls or name-calling or looking down our noses is winning anything. It’s telling others that their fear and dismissal is founded.

Afraid people becoming entrenched in fear.

Fighting fear is exhausting, but important. I want to keep trying.