I was talking to a few of my friends in our Discord chat who happened to stream on Twitch. They were discussing how they are having issues getting new viewers and are unsure how to improve themselves as streamers. Full disclosure, I am not a streamer but I have lurked in enough live streams to eventually be recruited to be a Moderator or Mod for one of my favorite people. So while we were chatting I told them that maybe they should get a moderator for their channel to help them out until they start a community.
A moderator, in its basic form, is someone who assists the streamer in whatever way is necessary and agreed apon. So I wanted to share with yall a few things I picked up. Mind you, this is in no way a comprehensive list and because I’m not an actual streamer there are probably a few things that I am leaving out from that perspective. Please feel free to share your thoughts if you are a streamer and/or a moderator for a stream.
1. The Streamer and Moderator should understand the expectations for the stream and chat room.
This should probably go without saying but communication is key. I don’t let my personal beliefs get in the way of what is happening in my Streamer’s chat. But depending on what the Streamer stands for I may refuse to moderate for them because we don’t agree on things that would really grind my gears. Some people see Mod status as being “favored” by the streamer which may be true in some respects. However, because the Streamer has formed a relationship with you, they will depend more on you so be careful before you accept.
2. It’s your job to keep the chat in line by upholding the streamer’s rules.
This can be interpreted a few different ways based on the rules your streamer has. For example, if your streamer doesn’t like political conversations then if you see one brewing in the chat you should probably start trying to shut it down. I’ll usually throw a verbal warning out there first and as my Streamer is watching chat, he will probably support what I said by restating his rule. If the person continues on they can either get timed out for a few minutes or banned out right. If your streamer trusts you, they probably won’t mind if you ban people but if your just starting out you may time them out first with hopes of retaining them and getting a follow. Also, trolls are a no go. Everyone knows what a troll is so don’t let them harass you, your chat guests and most importantly your streamer. Be liberal with the ban hammer XD.
3. Make sure you try to make every stream that you can.
This could actually be grouped with number one but I wanted to pay special attention to this. Before you even accept Mod status you should probably make sure that you can attend the stream when your streamer is actually live. You should discuss this with your streamer in the beginning of course so that your status doesn’t get revoked. At the end of the day, if you can’t be there then you should let someone who can be have your spot. If they don’t have anyone in mind then I guess you can do the best you can until they do. Depending on time zones and IRL responsibilities you may be able to work out a schedule that works for everyone but remember communicate it.
4. When your Streamer cant’t engage chat it’s your job to keep them “entertained”.
I used air quotes because once again that is kind of hyperbole. Basically if your Streamer is fighting a hard boss or raiding in an MMORPG sometimes they need to concentrate and can’t engage chat so that makes it your job. That means you’re fielding questions about the game, what content they are doing, what level they are and any other things that chat room visitors come up with. In this respect, you want to keep them there long enough so the streamer can re-engage them. Twitch Bot Commands are very useful at this point because you can simply type a key word into chat that will answer various repeated questions like gamer tags, systems that the Streamer uses, social media names, etc. I even made a command that quickly stated that the streamer was raiding and couldn’t immediately greet new viewers to the chat room.
5. Understand how to use the Bots that your streamer uses to moderate chat.
There are soooooo many Twitch Bots XD. They can all do different things to enhance the stream and depending on which one you have, how it works can vary. The most common one is Nightbot but as your streamer becomes more informed they may change it. Your job is to stay up to date on it so you can use them properly in case your streamer is engaged elsewhere. Also, some bots can let you do really cool things like create polls or award stream currency. If you know how they work, you can help make your streamers chat more dynamic and a fun place for people to hang out.
6. Treat all new viewers as if they are old friends.
This is probably another one that doesn’t need to be said but, I make sure that I greet every person who comes in to the chat. Period. I will usually highlight their name so that they can see that I’m talking to them specifically. A lot of times that encourages them to engage in the chat with me. Sometimes we will get a follow and that person hasn’t spoke in chat yet but I will still greet them and welcome them to our Twitch family. Also as a side bar, respect the lurkers in chat and don’t call them out. It may be the online space but a lot of people still feel awkward and won’t appreciate it.
7. When no one else is in chat it’s your job to encourage and engage your streamer.
As you can imagine it’s probably really easy for your streamer to fall into silent mode if its only you with them in chat and you aren’t saying anything. Even if you don’t know anything about the current game they are playing, which can happen, you still want to keep them talking just in case some people wander in. No one wants to see a streamer being quiet and staring blankly into the camera. Even if you’re asking them stupid things, they can practice talking out loud when you aren’t there. Encourage them to keep going even if they think they sound stupid or silly.
These are the main things that I can think of at the moment. Like I said earlier, I’m not the guru at being a Mod and I’m learning new things all the time but i figured this would assist people who don’t really understand what a moderator’s job is or what they are supposed to remember as a new Mod.
Does the community have any more to add? Have you guys come across some bad Mods and what made them not appealing to you as viewers? Please share in the comments section. This will not only help the community but it will have me improve to.
Until Next Time,
Edited on 8/10/16 because I was way to liberal with the bold font in this article XD.
I do not own the Twitch logo at all.