Extra Life & Twitch Stream Teams: How They [Should] Work & Why They Fail

With around four weeks left until our Extra Life 2016 Twitch marathon, we’ve been thinking a lot more about online teams, communities, and tribes.  You see, we know they work and that they’re the only way to cut through the noise and unfair advantages huge brands have..  Yet the comfort people find in anonymity and lurking has become a major barrier.

Every week, we receive hundreds, if not thousands, of solicitations from folks that want to advertise with us, hire us, sell us a product, or join our stream team.  The latter has become particularly prominent, which is great, but folks think all it takes to join a team is a quick tweet or comment.  On Twitch, stream teams are essentially the following:

  • People join to siphon viewers from others.
  • They name drop when it’s convenient for them and makes them look good.
  • Individual team members rarely interact or acknowledge each other.
  • The people at the top get richer while the folks at the bottom continue to struggle.
  • You wouldn’t know they were a team if it weren’t for the “playing as” text.
  • Everyone is too busy promoting their own stuff to share and play nice.
  • The rich get richer, the poor get poorer (hmmm, that seems to be a recurring theme).

The Rich Get Richer

This is a terrible model and we are setting out to fix it, whether we’re partnered with Twitch or not.  The first phase is education.  We’re growing awareness about the abuse and ignorance that keeps us little people struggling.  Meanwhile, we’re identifying the best practices to make us as efficient as possible – so we have more free time to nurture relationships and do the little things you can’t automate!

Of course, we can create tools, systems, and SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) but it still falls upon the individuals to live out those values and do the work.  I know I’ve been on the soap box a lot lately but I hope that I impress upon everyone just how important what we are doing really is.  It’s a long road ahead, certainly, but we’ve had big wins and will continue to push forward.  Let’s briefly look at what we hope to accomplish as we head into 2017 and beyond!

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