I recently discovered live streams on Youtube. As any “creator”, I would like to grow my channel. I’ve been ticking along at 1-2 subscribers a week and as of a week ago, I was at 123 subscribers. Having had my own channel for 4 months, the slow creeping was kind of dragging me down; I thought it was time to get a boost.
A FaceBook via Youtube friend told me that she was able to grow her channel by entering at least one live stream each day. I didn’t even know where to find a live stream except for the one I had been participating in on Saturday mornings for 3 months with Blake Kirby and his channel: “Daddykirbs Farm: a Homesteading Story”.
Now, this is a very constructive, helpful, interesting and inspiring live stream where everyone encourages one another and comments on each other’s- not just videos – but goings on in LIFE. The focus of this live stream is on homesteading and really bringing our individual stories into the light. Blake Kirby’s mantra for us each week is: “My Story Matters Because I Matter”. Literally, we do this pledge every week. We empower one another to GO FORTH and SHARE OUR STORIES with others. Really, it is all pretty tame, family friendly and my goodness, I look forward to it every week.
But then… someone in the Youtuberverse found my channel and invited me to their live stream. I was thinking this was very sweet and I thought, “cool another Daddykirbs experience where everyone keeps it clean and we build on each other’s success”. Boy was I in for a rude awaking.
Can I just tell you PEOPLE ARE STRANGE!
When I entered my first stream on a Tuesday afternoon at 3:15 pm I was bowled over by a large man shouting at the camera:
“COME ON GUYS! GIVE SOMEBODY YOUR LOVE! GO TO SOMEONE’S CHANNEL! CLICK ON A VIDEO! SMASH THE LIKE BUTTON! LEAVE A COMMENT AND BY THE TIME YOU ARE DONE LEAVING A COMMENT, YOU WATCHED ENOUGH OF THE VIDEO TO MAKE IT COUNT! SMASH THE SUBSCRIBE BUTTON AND THE BELL! THAT’S ALL YOU HAVE TO DO! THEN, COME BACK AND FIND SOMEONE ELSE TO GIVE SOME LOVE TO! AND REMEMBER NO SUB 4 SUB! WE DON’T DO THAT HERE!“
Within 2 minutes, while listening to this ranting and raving, suddenly “New Subscriber” pops up and 2 seconds later “New Subscriber” again, and again and again. I was shocked. Why were these people subscribing to my channel when they had maybe watched 1 minute of my videos. And funny thing, many of these subscribers were not the demographic I had imagined would be interested in my videos. I mean, I do fermented foods, gluten free recipes, I create recipes for new cooks and make toxin free DIY products. What on Earth do I have in common with a larger bearded white male in his late 30’s to mid 50’s hailing from Alabama or Louisiana? Wait… my husband is a larger bearded white male in his late 40’s. Hmmmmm …
I thought, though this is weird, it’s kinda cool. That is until I saw what was happening. This was a kind of a subtle “Sub 4 Sub” (but remember, “NO SUB 4 SUB! WE DON’T DO THAT HERE!“) where people were in a stream and found me, the NEW person in that stream, and quickly jumped to my channel and followed the live stream instructions:
“GO TO SOMEONE’S CHANNEL! CLICK ON A VIDEO! SMASH THE LIKE BUTTON! LEAVE A COMMENT AND BY THE TIME YOU ARE DONE LEAVING A COMMENT, YOU WATCHED ENOUGH OF THE VIDEO TO MAKE IT COUNT! SMASH THE SUBSCRIBE BUTTON AND THE BELL!” and do it all over again…
The “New Subscriber” didn’t watch my content, didn’t care about my content and … probably wasn’t going to stick around to find out what my content was all about. This held true in the numbers:
That first day, I went from 123 subscribers to 160 subscribers. But, by the next morning many of my new “subscribers” dove off the cliff and I was back to 130. Yes, in one day I gained 7 subscribers – as compared to 1-2 a week previous to this strange experience – but what would it matter if they didn’t stick around or watch my content?
Perhaps it is a different kind of crowd than I expected, but it has also given me the opportunity to learn about some really cool people that I otherwise wouldn’t have met (virtually) had I NOT stepped my foot into the arena of the live stream. So far, some of them have stuck around and my watch minutes are increasing. But I am not going to depend on the craziness of the live stream scene. Here from another raucous live stream:
“LET’S EVERYONE LOVE ONE ANOTHER! LET’S GET SOME LINKS UP IN HERE! COME ON COME ON COME ON! SMASH THAT LIKE BUTTON! HEY MODERATORS POST MY PATREON PAGE SO I CAN SEE SOME “G”s COMING MY WAY! POST MY PAYPAL! WE NEED TO GET PAID”
This person’s whole agenda was to get folks to give him some money. I listened and I watched while he shouted at the screen like a Fire and Brimstone Tele-Evangelist. There was something very unnerving about it.
All the while, I am watching the feeding frenzy as people scramble to get noticed in the chat of these live streams: “Shouting Out ” to one another, announcing their numbers, begging for subscribers:
“I’m at 675 – can I get some love?! All I want is 25 more for 700”.
– or –
“Oh Man! I’m just 30 away from my 1K! Can I get some love here?”
All I have to say is WOW! In these streams, you see a kind of desperation, a pattern of attention seeking behaviors that I see in 14 and 15 year olds at a high school. It’s just sad.
Today as I was writing this blog post, one of the women I follow on Youtube posted a video called “Content Matters Children” and she is so right:
I love every word Joy is saying and it is a reminder to me that CONTENT MATTERS, not the numbers. Yes, my Youtube audience is growing, but I think I rather it grow organically than to depend on the live streamers shouting out my name and telling folks to give me some LOVE because, that isn’t love; it’s desperation.
As always, thank you for coming by to read this. I’d like to grow my readership. If you enjoyed this blog post, add a comment and share it with a friend. 😀 Please visit, subscribe and like my YouTube channel Kickin’ it with Karen: Beyond Sauerkraut to find more things I’ve made.
Steward, Joy, director. YouTube. YouTube, YouTube, 19 Feb. 2019, youtu.be/CWBO359sg5U.