Tag Archives: comments

The Problem with Patreon

I recently launched a Patreon specifically for my YouTube channel. I’m a huge fan of Patreon. I think that people making money for their work (even if talking about games is a hobby, it’s still a lot of work) is a good thing. I currently support a dozen creators who I particularly enjoy – video makers, podcasters, writers. For me, it’s a way to say thank you for providing me with hours of entertainment, keep up the good work.

Of course, not everyone feels this way. There’s a lot of backlash against Patreon, specifically (at least that I’ve noticed) in the gaming sphere. Some people consider it begging, some people think “well you’ve been doing this for free for this long, why ask for money now?” and some people, as far as I can tell, are just dicks who are offended at the very idea of people making money off a hobby. I’ve seen this come up in forums, on Twitter, on YouTube videos and in comments.

I had debated starting a Patreon for a while. I wanted to do it, but I was also aware of how it is perceived among some people and didn’t really want to deal with the extra negativity. Eventually, I decided to just go ahead with it (thanks in part due to the push provided by this excellent breakdown of the gender imbalance in games Patreon and its followup over on Go Make Me a Sandwich). I posted the link on Twitter once or twice, and people were really supportive and RT’d it a bunch. That was nice. I again hesitated about posting about it on my YouTube channel even though it’s specifically for my videos so that’s where an announcement should go.

On Saturday I posted a 2 minute video on announcing the Patreon along with some details about it. It was the first (and only) time I mentioned it on YouTube. This happened.

YouTube Subs

The first time I’ve ever lost more subs than I’ve gained in a day. I actually lost 17 subs the day I published the video (and gained 5 new ones), and 10 the following day.

I posted two videos within a couple hours of each other because I wanted to give people real content as opposed to just a Patreon ad for the day. Here’s how they were received.

Video dislikes

In 2 days my Patreon video is 1 dislike away from being my most disliked video ever (that’s honor still belongs to my Fallout 4 video from November – people are just as mad about Fallout no longer being a CRPG as they are about people making money on their videos).

And then there are comments like this.

Patreon comment

Also comments that bash other people’s crowdfunding efforts. Sigh.

Now, it’s not all bad, obviously. 11 people have supported me and many people have boosted it or wished me luck. Those people are awesome.

Still, the negative reception makes me wonder – what exactly is the problem? I really don’t understand the backlash for a service that is completely optional. It’s really no different than a Twitch streamer having a subscription button (except on Patreon you can choose the amount you want to give). I’m not really into the streaming scene, but is there as much pushback against the existence of Twitch subscriptions? How about people having a PayPal donation link on their sites?

People run their Patreons in many different ways. Some give exclusive content to patrons, some send out physical rewards or spend time on Skype with patrons at certain levels. Some treat Patreon more as a tip jar, where there are no different reward levels or ‘goals’. I have my preferences for certain practices over others. If someone runs their Patreon in a way I don’t like, then I just don’t support them. If I don’t think their content is worth any of my money, then I just don’t support them. If I find they spend more time promoting their Patreon then making content… getting the picture?

What is it about the idea of people giving their viewers the option of tossing them a few bucks that offends people so?

Still Alive

Oh, hello there. It’s been quiet around here lately, hasn’t it. Sadly, my focus seems to be on videos now. Well, not sadly. I like doing videos, and the feedback I’ve been getting is great, but I am sad I don’t write as much anymore.

While it’s been quiet on the blog, I myself have not been quiet. In fact, I can’t seem to shut the hell up. I’ve been a guest on a number of podcasts lately, 3 of which are out for your listening pleasure.

First, I was on the Rocket Pants Podcast. I talked to Alex, Chris and Jon about what I’ve been playing, tried to answer some really tough trivia questions and we had a discussion about whether retro or modern gaming is superior.

I was also on The GameEnthus podcast, for the second time. I talked to Aaron, Mike, and Tiny about a ton of things. Deadpool, XCOM2, MAGfest, the X-Files, the list goes on.

Last, but not least, I was on the RF Generation Collectorcast. My boyfriend Will and I were both invited on to talk about the SegaCD with Duke Togo and WildBil. This was cool, as it was really the first time Will and I have collaborated on any content creation. Also, I got to talk about my love of FMV games.

I also recorded two other podcasts which should be coming out shortly. I’ll let you know when those are out.

Video-wise, I’ve put out a few things. A couple highlights are my top 5 games on the PS1. It was hard to not just pick 5 JRPGs.

Also, I also just put out a funny/sad video where I read a bunch of mean comments people have left on my channel. It seems to be pretty popular so far, because who can look away from a car crash?

Also, I’m working on a secret mystery thing, but that’s not ready to be revealed yet. (Oooh, mysterious)

That’s it for now. Hopefully the writing bug bites me again at some point.

 

One Girl Gamer to Rule Them All

Walk with me, if you will, into the mire that is YouTube comments…

Well, that’s a shitty invitation if I ever heard one. Are you still here? As my YouTube channel has been growing, so has the amount of terrible comments. I guess you can say that’s to be expected, though that’s really fucking sad. Some comments are so awful they can be immediately brushed off as coming from terrible, sad, angry people, such as “Fuck this dumb hoe” or “Die you cam slut whore”. Though, I would ask everyone not to refer to these kinds of comments as trolling. “Die, bitch” isn’t trolling. It’s harassment. I share the worst comments on Twitter because I like to call out this stuff, but it’s kind of losing it’s novelty. Can you believe at one point I thought to myself “Hey, my first harassing comment, I’ve made it.” The Internet is gross.

Anyway, those aren’t the comments I want to talk about. There’s another kind of comment, a more sneakily sexist kind. It intends to be complimentary to a woman but it does so by putting all the other women gamers down. Things like:

“You’re the first girl I’ve seen review video games, and you’re great at it!” This one is puzzling and makes me assume you live under a rock.

“It’s nice that you don’t get too much into gender politics and focus on content.” As back-handed as it gets. I like you, because you don’t talk about things that try to make me see the world from someone else’s perspective. Also, it assumes that anything outside of gameplay mechanics is not real content and makes me want to talk about gender politics more.

“Nice to see a female gamer  who is about something more than sex appeal.” I suppose that if I were to wear more low-cut tops (of which I own many), my credibility would fly out the window. Everyone knows that being interested in games and wanting to look hot are in direct opposition to one another (just as these kind of comments are in direct opposition to the ones I receive that focus solely on my looks and ignore what I’m talking about).

“It’s so nice to find a female YouTuber who’s actually a fan of gaming” or “Wow, a girl who knows about games!” Because all those other women talking about games (which don’t actually exist according to commenter 1 above) are faking it. Hours and hours dedicated to videos and streams on a topic they don’t even like, those liars.

This last one is the one that bothers me the most. A compliment that depends on comparing you to other women and putting those women down isn’t much of a compliment at all. I’ve gotten it on my channel, I’ve seen it on many other women’s channels. A man will decide that this woman is the one true female gamer, to be put on a pedestal. This woman knows what she’s talking about, she really loves games, she doesn’t spend too much time talking about things they don’t like. She stands head and shoulders above all the other women, who pretend to like games for attention or to push their social agendas. She’s real, and the rest are fakes.

This kind of thought process is really sick and kinda scary. Women gamers aren’t some special fucking unicorns.  They’re everywhere and what they wear, or the games they prefer, or whether they’ve been playing games for 1 year or 30 doesn’t make any one of them better or more real than any other. If you like me because I talk about retro games, shitting on the women who don’t doesn’t make me feel special, it makes me think you’re an asshole.

There’s this pressure to respond positively to these kinds of comments because hey, they like my stuff, they’re trying to be nice. But these really aren’t compliments, this isn’t nice. I mean, at least they’re not calling me a whore? That’s a pretty fucking low bar, because comments like these are indeed sexist. What if men on YouTube were treated the same? What if each viewer felt that there could only be one true male gamer, and the rest were garbage? There would certainly be a lot less content to chose from. Want to see more women talking about games? Stop making it a competition. Of course, I don’t think that seeing more women in games is really the desired outcome from the people who make these kinds of comments.

Tips for Commenting on YouTube

  • Stay on topic. If you’re watching a game review, a comment about the presenter’s appearance is not necessary. Also, unless the video specifically mentions your penis, never bring it up in a comment.
  • If you want to compliment the YouTuber, tell them why you like their video or opinions. Don’t compare them to other YouTubers, or put other people down.
  • Don’t send a private message when a public comment will do. It creates more pressure and is kinda weird. You can’t force a personal relationship.
  • Watch the whole video before commenting. If you’re going to ask a question or try to teach the video maker something about what they’re talking about, and it turns out that gets mentioned later in the video? You’ll look dumb.
  • If you want to insult or threaten the YouTuber, just go take a fucking walk instead. 

The bloggers who make me think

In the spirit of Listmas, I’ve been thinking about all the blogs I follow and the ones that most often make me think or want to comment and share my opinions. If you don’t already follow these blogs, you should check them out.

A GREEN MUSHROOM

Void at A Green Mushroom has some eclectic game taste and shares first impressions of the games he’s playing. This can be quite handy for getting a quick look at games I haven’t played and deciding which should move up on my list of games to play. When he’s not reviewing games, Void asks interesting questions like Do you use the default character in games? or Is there a popular series that just doesn’t connect with you?

HERDING CATS

I think Liore‘s blog might be the one I comment on most. She doesn’t constrain her blog to games, and also talks a lot about movies and other pop culture. From thoughts on why she’s not watching your stream, to the occasional calling out of nonsense, to lists of the best horror movies, her posts are always interesting and welcoming of other people’s opinions. She also does TWO podcasts, which you can check out on her blog.

MURF VERSUS

And then there’s the progenitor of Listmas himself, Murf! Besides all he does to encourage blogging and participation in the blogosphere, Murf writes a lot of great posts and isn’t afraid of controversial opinions like MMOs are boring or DPS is dumb. He also makes a lot of cool little games and things like this MoviexGame mashup quiz and words gamers use.

IN AN AGE

Azuriel manages to get out solid blog posts multiple times per week. I wish I could do that. Recent posts on Gameplay and Pacing in recent big budget titles have particularly resonated with me, and I enjoy reading reviews of popular games that aren’t afraid to point out their (sometimes considerable) flaws.

STAR-FIRED BEEF

Dahakha‘s Steam challenge is a series of posts that particularly interests me, and occasionally gets me to post more about my own Steam backlog. Though I don’t always share his opinions on games, I like reading other thoughts on the games I’ve played like Mirror’s Edge or Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery.

Blaugust Complete

This is day 31 of Blaugust.

Well, I did it. 31 posts in 31 days. It was easier than I thought it would be, except for one point in week 4 when I never wanted to look at another blog again.

Let’s look at the positives fist. I learned that I can put out content much more frequently than I usually do. Of the 31 posts, there are only 5 that I really consider filler that I never would have posted if not for Blaugust. That’s not too shabby. This was a really good writing exercise. Another positive is that I found more blogs to read and tried to comment more often than usual. I also got more comments than usual here (at least at the beginning of the month).

Most of the negatives of Blaugust have to do with oversaturation. After a while, the challenge was not only putting out my own posts out but also reading other people’s posts. A post a day on 50-100 blogs is a lot of reading especially since I don’t tend to read on weekends, so they pile up. I read and commented less as the month went on, and I in turn received less comments. My post links on Twitter barely got shared at all, likely because there were so many of them. Likewise, I did very little retweeting myself.

Traffic-wise, this month I received less views than 10 of the 12 previous months. So posting daily didn’t really drive traffic. My post viewed post was Breaking News, Women Play Video Games, while a number of my posts got only a handful of views (especially the ones where I just embedded a video). There were a couple posts I really liked that didn’t get much attention, I’m sure at least partially because they got buried under everything else.

Overall, Blaugust was an interesting exercise and I’m glad I did it. I won’t be making an effort to continue to post this much though.

I’d ask you how Blaugust was for you but I’m sure everyone is writing this post today.

Give Comments a Chance

I’ve written about this before. Others have written about it before. But time and time again, I see the same problem cropping up on new (and old) blogs.

Blogspot users, please, please make commenting easy.

This week I found 2 blogs I wanted to leave a comment on, but didn’t because after I wrote out my comment and had to choose who I was commenting as, I was met with options like these:

 

 

 

 

  • Google Account – This links to a completely useless Blogger profile page (useless because I don’t use Blogger).
  • WordPress – Thought this might be usable, but no, it’s for WordPress.com users, and I use WordPress.org.
  • LiveJournal – Seriously?
  • Typepad, AIM, OpenID? I don’t even know what those are, but I’m pretty sure I don’t have accounts with them.

So I left without commenting.

I’m sure that people aren’t making commenting difficult on purpose. If they didn’t want comments, I think they’d just turn them off. So I can only assume that people don’t know how difficult they’re making commenting for their readers.

Any Blogspot bloggers who are unsure about their comment settings, please do the following:

1. Log in to your blog Dashboard and go to the Settings tab.

2. Under settings, select comments.

3. Next to ‘Who Can Comment?’ select Anyone.

 

 

 

4. Save your settings (down at the bottom of the page)

Tada! People can now comment easily on your blog, with the fantastic name/URL option, allowing them to put in their own user name and link to their own blog, without having to sign up for accounts they’re not interested in having.

You can still use a captcha, moderate comments and your spam filter will continue to do it’s job, but this one little change will make commenting a whole lot easier for your readers and will likely increase the amount of comments you get. Who knows how many people have wanted to leave you comments but have been put off by the lack of options given to them?

Please spread the word to any Blogspot users you know.

*This message has been approved by the Bloggers for Easier Commenting Alliance*

Bad Blogging Habits

I subscribe to and read a lot of blogs. I really like being part of the blogging community but there are some things (which I’m sure a lot people don’t even realise they are doing), that just get under my skin and make me less likely to read a blog. Here are some of the things I consider bad blogging habits:

Only showing excerpts in your RSS feed.

I know I’m not the only person who is bothered by this one. Zelmaru featured this prominently in her post about Things Every Blog Should Have. A lot of people read blogs from work through a feed reader, myself included. When I see only an excerpt of the post and am forced to click through to the site to read the whole thing, most of the time I will skip it. A lot of sites are blocked in workplaces (tumblr is completely blocked for me). Do your readers a favour and let them see the whole post through their reader.

Making it hard to comment

I’ve been to a few blogs that only allow you to comment by signing in with Google, OpenID, Facebook or something similar. This is a giant pain. If you want comments on your site (and who doesn’t?) make it easy for people and allow them to link back to their own blog is they have one.

Posts consisting entirely of Twitter updates

These really aren’t interesting. If people are interested in your Twitter updates, I’m sure they’ll follow you.

Just another WordPress site

Seeing this as your blog’s description does not instill a lot of confidence. It’s not just another blog, it’s your super-awesome blog that everyone should read! Here is how to fix this in WordPress if you don’t know how:

  • Go to your blog admin interface
  • Under Settings, click General
  • Change your tagline to something that describes your site
  • Ta da! No more generic description.

Anyone else have blogging pet peeves?