Wednesday, 8 August 2018

5 Things I Have Learned from a Year of Streaming

Today is a weird day.  I feel all excited and giddy about what I can achieve in one day.  I have given myself a goal line and I am going to work my butt off to reach it.  That is exactly what most future streamers or content creators feel when they first start out.  Then the dread sets in. Wait... how am I going to stream?  What am I going to stream?  What if no one watches?  What if I say something offensive?  These questions are some that I had and I researched the heck out of the streaming media platform.  After I had my fill of how to stream and how to start a stream videos and articles I decided I wanted to do it. I wanted to start of slowly.  A webcam, Check.  A mic, Check.  A game, Check.  Here are the things I have learned throughout my journey streaming.

I downloaded all the programs and quickly began to start troubleshooting...  This is one thing that no one tells you about when you start streaming.  You need to be a master Troubleshooter.  All computers are different and some of the experiences that I have had seem to only be experienced by me.  I can get into the nitty grity but lets just say old gear is old gear and sometimes they don't work with new tech.

I didn't have the money to buy new equipment so I worked with what I already had.  A 10 year old Webcam, 6 Year old Computer, and a sound interface that was bought for about $120 CAD that I was going to use for music production.  Google of course is your best friend but Youtube is where I got the most out of my OBS Studio the streaming program that I used at the time.  Things do get frustrating but a cool head can save for problems in the future.  It is also good to experience technical difficulties so that you know how to fix anything if it were to happen again.  You have to live through the issues which may cause a delay in your stream or even a cancelled stream but every streamer will go through this at some point during their lifespan as a streamer.  You may replace older items with newer ones, watch videos to research a certain issue, or even ask your community for help if they had any of the issues you may have been having.  Troubleshooting and technical difficulties are part of the job when you are the one responsible for the tech for your one person stream show.

Out of Your Control:
So you are ready to stream.  It has been a long day of work and family obligations.  You turn on your computer watch a couple of YouTube videos or your favorite streamer.  You get through some trouble shooting and then the phone rings.  It's work and you gotta come in right away.  You're pissed, stressed and sad that you can't stream.  It sucks but you gotta do what pays you.  Other things can happen as well.  Your internet provider and life line to the all the meme's has trouble connecting and you are having drop offs in upload speed leading to frame drops.  You may have a key component fail on you like your webcam or Stream Labs OBS isn't functioning properly.  Things will go sideways.  It is inevitable that set backs will happen.  When it does, I have taken a deep breath and tried to communicate it out to my followers as much as possible.  Send a tweet,  Go to discord and let people know that you are having issues.  Communication is best so that the people who know your schedule and are waiting for you to go live understand there is a delay or a cancellation of the stream.  I don't like leaving people in the dark and there have been a few times that I did not let any of my community know that I was not going to stream.  Everyone always appreciates a heads up.  They can now enjoy more Fortnite streams.

Switching Things Up:
Variety is the spice of life is an idiom that I have heard over and over again.  It is actually part of a poem that a guy named William Cowper had penned nearly 2 centuries ago.  Now this can be so true for what you can do in a stream.  At first I stuck with my schedule playing the game I decided to stream.  Week in, week out the schedule was set and I followed it.  I noticed after the third game I streamed I started to loose interest in the game that I was playing.  How could I?  I was on a journey through the beloved Final Fantasy series.  I should be enthralled!  Nope!  So I had to change things up.  I added another day to my schedule and started to Stream Sonic the Hedgehog games.  It was a great way to break from my slump.  It also opened me up to a new audience that previously I wouldn't have known about.  Let me tell you Sonic fans are very passionate about that spiky blue gold ring eating speed demon, but I digress.  I also did a few different fun streams with my community like a Slenderman play through and a Harry Potter sorting night.  I am a proud Hufflepuff by the way. These changes helped me flesh myself out as a streamer and helped connect me closer to my audience.  Switching up your stream schedule will also help with your mental health.

If you need a break, take a break!  If you are missing streams try to cut down or change the days and you may find that will work better than streaming more.  Consistency is key if you haven't heard already from all the other "how to" stream articles.  When making changes, usually a week ahead of time is good for people to prepare for any changes in schedule you may have.   If you find you are getting bored or stuck in a rut try a new game or a new schedule may help.

Not Everyone Will Like You:
I always want to keep a positive attitude when it comes to streaming.  I love meeting new people and having conversations about our favourite games.  It is a high when there are so many people that think like you and find your stream  There are times however when you can't seem to attract those people. Your chat is dead and nothing you can do seems to keep anyone interested enough to stay and hang out.  This happens.  It is not your fault.  You will not be able to cater to everyone right away.  Not everyone will like the game you are playing.  Not everyone will like your face, voice, mannerisms.  I struggled with this for a little while and it is easy to get downhearted.   However the dedication that you put into the stream will show and there will be a few people who will notice it.  Before you know it you are starting a discord server and hanging out and making life long friends.  Even as I stream now I see people just pass through my stream with passing comments.  I know that I haven't given them a reason to follow me but I have taken steps to interact with those who take the time to chat.  If they like me that's great; if they don't no problems.  As they say you can't win them all.  But you can stack the cards in your favour by trying to be friendly and acknowledge that everyone is different.  Your attitude on stream will bleed through always.

Watch Other Streamers and Yourself:
Watching other streams is amazing.  You get to see why people like streamers and their streams.  You can also see how viable of a medium streaming is.  This is how I felt when I watched my brother start his own nearly five plus years ago.  When I started I would visit other streams to see what I can improve on.  Below is my first setup streaming Final Fantasy 7.  This is already about 3 weeks of streaming.  My chat couldn't be read, my mic covered my face, my webcam orientation was not the best it could be.  I could totally have done so much better.
Now as my experience has grown, I have fixed most of those nit picky things that I'd just said.   Take some time to re-watch some of your own.  The information that you can net when you re-watch one of your old streams is invaluable.  You may find that you did something in your old stream that you don't do now was more effective in getting people to hit that follow button.  You may also find the not so good things that you may still do and you can cut that out.

Pro athletes take the time to review tapes of their play style and their movements, why can't streamers?  A really big change that I got from watching one of my old streams is a comment I got on a stream I had on YouTube.  The person complained that they couldn't see my face and that my mic was covering it.  I, at the time ignored them.  Comments do not have tone and I took offence to what the person was saying.  How dare they complain that they can't see my face.  How was I supposed to speak into my microphone?  These issues were fixed with a couple of adjustments.  I only changed my ways because that comment stuck around with me for a while and it bugged me.  So I re-watched a few of my streams and I totally get where they were coming from.
How was I supposed to make a connection with people if they were staring at Brian McMicFace on the webcam.  There is nothing like learning from yourself.  Take the time to learn from others but self reflection on feed back from your followers and watchers is priceless.

So there you have it.  I hope this article will help you out a little.  Streaming is a strange and wonderful platform for those who want to engage and build a community with their followers.  This is actually my first attempt at writing a Blog post.  Thanks for taking the time to read this.  If you have any comments on what I can improve on please let me know!  If you are a streamer what is something that you have learned from streaming looking back at your experiences!  I would really love to know!

Until the next post I hope you have a great day and be kind to everyone.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Another Night of Normality

February 10, 2016
So it happened again...  I forgot to do a basic task that I should have remembered and went straight home.
I keep forgetting how much my babies eat.  Formula isn't cheap but we have been getting help from my parents so it is working out.  I don't take the help for granted and for every time we receive help I am working to make sure that a little of the money we save is being put away.

Well we ended up at the Chinese buffet again.  I think it was because of the Lunar new year.  Just the facebook posts of people enjoying grandiose meals we felt just a little left out.  It was a fun dinner and Breanna was just cuter than a button.  Can that be even possible.  Who gave the standard of a button being the base line being cute.  Off topic again.

Brian From the Future: Aug 1, 2018
These should have been Twitter posts... LOL.  It is also funny how I ended up saying I am saving money and now I am at a Chinese buffet...  This is how I got fat #ChineseBuffet.  I just started to learn how to use twitter at the beginning of this year properly... I think.  It is fun commenting on these old posts.  Also there were about two more paragraphs talking about work so obviously that need to be edited out.  Well onto the next one!

Monday, 30 July 2018

A Return To What I Call Normal

Feb 8, 2016
Coming off of a sickness always makes me want to do more.  I really don't like getting sick.  It's like a shackle that I can't shake for a few weeks.  Whenever I end up getting a flu or a cold I always wonder what it feels like to be healthy.  The cold meds, pain meds seem to cloud judgment.  Quite annoying really.

I woke up this morning with some remnants of the flu that has plagued me for over three weeks now.  I always feel that when I get better I am going to do more with my days.  But where does this work life balance even come from?  I look at other people and see that they are living their lives to the fullest.  Do they have days like I do?  Days that seem wasted because I couldn't bring myself off of the couch?  What am I really missing in the world?  What is this crappy struggle that I put my self into?

I have found that buying things to make me happy doesn't make me happy anymore.  So I hold off on buying new things.  It's as if I am stuck on this eternal loop on always needing something.  I do all the checks in my head.  Will this thing make my life easier?  Will it make my days brighter?  This is truly highlighted when I bought my HP Stream 7.  It was a $100 tablet.  I could surf the internet I could check my mail.  It could almost do what an iPad could do.  Right now it just sits collecting dust on my desk.  Sometimes I just want to throw my hands up into the air.  Drop everything I am doing and just not do anything.  Why can't I just be happy with what I have.  I am already very happy with my family life.  I love it!  But when it comes down to my possessions I just don't really care.  I used to take care of how I dressed. Now I care about what is the easiest thing to wear when I get up in the morning.  I would rather have my hair cut short and not worry about styling it.  If I had to style it, it should only take 30 seconds.  Any longer and I would hate my hair all day.

Ramble, ramble, ramble.  Does this even make any sense?  What do you do when you have everything you have ever wanted?  I keep seeing these Jim Carey posts about asking the Universe for what you want most.  Once you have reached that point however where you have everything that you need and don't require everything why is it difficult to maintain?  Why are we programmed to want more when we have achieved everything we set out to do.  Are we programmed at birth to always look for more than what we have?  Do I expect answers to these questions?  Why yes!  Yes I do!  It's not gonna happen any time soon but I am hoping I will find some sort of Facebook Share or Youtube video that will give me just a little more insight.

Brian From the Future: Jul 30, 2018
I really don't know where my head space was when I wrote this.  I think what I was trying to write was that I hate getting sick and does everyone have an existential?  Its a couple days past my 35th birthday and I think I felt most of the feelings I talk about above when I woke up that day.  "The more things change the more things stay the same."  That's a quote from some either movie or TV show.  I think it is like a trope of some sort.  I will probably never know... I should google it.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

My little Girl

So a new year has arrived.  It is amazing how quickly things can change and how quickly time goes by.  It's as if I am a sail boat being led by the currents of time.  I look back on 2013 and see that I am a very different person now.  The birth of my daughter changed the way I look at things.

My daughter was born a year ago.

There was no doubt that the baby was coming.  My excitement was high.  My wife's best friend was bringing pizza over to the house so we could wait out her contractions.  Now I had pizza to keep my mind, at least a little preoccupied during the birth of my daughter.  My  wife was already in the bath tub trying to keep the pain from the contractions at bay.

I had just downloaded a contraction app so that we can monitor the contractions.  My wife was getting annoyed as I was more interested in the app than her swimming in the tub.  It took only a couple of hours before we had the go ahead from the mid-wife to head to the birthing centre.

It was a very cold night in January.  The EDM mix my friend had made me was pumping in the smart car and kept time of my wife's contractions.  The trip to the birthing centre was short lived we were the redirected by our mid-wife due to meconium in the fluid after breaking my wife's water.  Scared was an understatement.  My wife was howling like a wolf from pain and yet I had to keep calm.  Meconium meant that the baby was in distress.  We headed to the hospital as fast as my little 89 HP motor could take us safely.

Bitter cold nipped at my cheeks as we reached the hospital.  I got out grabbing everything I could carry.  The pain of the contractions made it difficult for my wife to walk.  I noticed my pace had quickened.  Leaving behind the reason why I was at the hospital in the first place.  I noticed i was walking alone.  I stopped and turned to run back to my wife.  Was this really happening?  Mind and body were trying to get equilibrium.  Heaven knows what she was going through.  Pizza was on my mind too, no word of lie in that. After what seemed like a hike up a mountain, we were in the delivery room.

We were still wanting to have a water birth.  The water was drawn in the tub.  The pain more excruciating than ever.  Low notes emanated from my wife while I took a moment to shove a pizza slice into my mouth.  My wife's best friend was more  level headed than I was.  The mid-wife recruited her to help my wife get settled.  Baby was being monitored and there were fluctuations in the baby's every ten minutes.

The pain was too much for my wife and had to have an epidural started. I propped her up while the anesthesiologist worked.  Baby's vitals were not getting any better.  Before we knew it I was signing off waiver forms and releases.  It was a whirlwind.  I was being dressed in a gown and hair net.  We were going into surgery.  An emergency caesarean section had to be done.

I was brought into the waiting room.  I could see the doctors  prepping.  Many thoughts going through my head.  I had to relax.  I had to breath.  I was called in by a nurse so that I can sit with my wife through the procedure.  A crew of body engineers worked on retrieving my baby from danger.  Before I could blink a short cry came from behind the blue curtain.  A hand  appeared around the curtain holding my daughter.  "It's a girl" the doctor said.

The doctor handed my daughter to the respiratory squad.  They made sure that she was breathing and cleaned her up.  I was called over to the area where she was.  This little life form moving around on the table wondering where the heck she was.  I stared  in curiousity.  I was stunned.  Her beautiful eyes stared at me.
"You can touch her you know."  A nurse from behind me said smiling.
She swaddled my little baby and put her into my arms.

I heard my wife call my name.  "Is she alright?" She yelled across the operating floor.
I smiled.
"She is just fine." I replied.

I carried my new little sweetheart to her mommy.  My wife was worried because there were no cries.  Our daughter was just serene taking in her new environment.  Mommy smiled weakly.  I introduced the two of them to each other.  My heart was filled with joy.  I just loved my wife so much for being so strong.  I loved my little girl just because.  I couldn't really explain it.

I had always known that I would be a dad one day.  It was never a decision that I feared.  There were only questions I asked myself about the challenge.  Will I be as good of a father as my father was for his family? Will I be able to support my family as well as my father did?  There were hard times indeed but my parents pulled us through.  My mom had the role of keeping us close.  My father had the role of bread winner.  I wanted to make sure that I could answer those questions and work hard for my own family.

Being a dad is a little surreal at times.  I see my little girl playing and I just pause in awe of how much she has grown.  It only has been a year but I can't fully imagine my life with out her or even my life before her.  She is in day care now and socializing.  She learns so fast and is still as cute as a button.  I can't wait for the new experiences that parent hood has in store for me and my wife.  Life is just as interesting as it could ever be.

What else will 2014 have in store for me.  I really don't know.  Come back and check in on this blog as I will continue to write the things in my head at 2am.  If you are a more visual person check out my youtube page at

I hope you have a great day!~  Let me know what you think of my blog!


Sunday, 24 November 2013

A change would do me good.

There comes a time in peoples lives when change is inevitable.  There are different situations that call for change.  Sometimes we cannot control these things but other times we can create these changes.  I have worked for various employers through out my working career.  I have done fast food, small package logistic, and worked for one of the largest oil companies in the world.  Each time I have moved on I looked for a change.  I needed something that I did not hate doing.

The work was fine the pay was alright and I put everything I had into those working positions.  I always seemed to want something more, something more worth while. Then about 2 years ago I was given the opportunity to get in to the Finance Industry.  I took the courses to get my Canadian Investment Funds Course (CIFC).  I also studied to become Life Licensed.

I spent the first year in my new profession learning about sales.  I knew what I was getting myself into.  I just didn't realize how much harder it was to break into this industry.  I learned a lot about myself  during this time.  I had bouts of anxiety and depression that I had to control even during client meetings.  I had no previous sales experience nor had experience in owning my own business.

Here I am now,  typing away on this blog.  It has been nearly a year since I left that industry and nearly four years away from oil and gas.  I find myself working in audio and visual.  I own my own business and get hired through out the city by different Audio/Visual Firms.  Will this be the place where I can work and do what I love?  Time will tell.  Only by moving forward I will find my answer.

Crap... It's 4:58 AM already.  Its time to lay my weary head.  I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Monday, 18 February 2013

So another day ends.  It is not 2am but it is getting pretty late.  The time is  11:30 am Mountain Standard time.  I just placed my phone on its charger and hope that my iPhone doesn't crap out due to the new OS update Apple put out.  It has been a while since my last Blog post.  A lot has changed since January 4th 2013.  My daughter was born on that day and boy things have changed.  I thought I had no time to my self to begin with.  Now it litter ally is no time to myself.  I have to sneak away sometimes to get a little peace and quiet.

Now don't get me wrong.  I love my little girl so much and wife is just amazing being a mother.  I just want to try and get a little time to reflect on the days events and just relax.  People always say, "Now that you have a kid say good bye to everything you once knew".  I really don't believe that is the case.  One can find peace even if it is only for 5 minutes.  Remembering to enjoy those 5 minutes is the key.  I will try and keep this thought in my head as I take a breather from work and from home while I am alone in the car driving.  I think it is a good practice to have.

This past weekend I have played the closed Beta of SimCity 5.  I was quite happy playing such an intuitive game.  I spent a few hours playing it while my parents took care of my baby and my wife went out to do some shopping.  Savoring every minute of being on the computer.  I think I will be using SimCity 5 to let off steam and relax at the end of the day.  I have to upgrade the computer but I think that is going to be alright as I have been using hand me down computers for a very long time.

Sleep beckons...  Thanks for reading.  I hope to continue doing this on a regular basis!

Friday, 14 September 2012

When I die...I will be uploaded into the internet

As of this post I am 29 years and a month and a half old @ 2:36am.  I decided that for this last year of my twenties that I would do things that I wouldn't normally do.  Things that I have always wanted to do but never had the drive to do because I always made an excuse.  On my Birthday I started to do a Vlog a day for the next 365 days.  A feat that is usually abandoned after the first week.  I so far am a month and a half into it.  I missed a couple of days due to illness and laziness... but I am still going strong to make sure I have 365 or more Vlog's by the time I turn 30.

I have been contemplating for the last few weeks why I am even doing this.  I don't have millions and millions of viewers and subscribers but yet I still get a video up making sure that at the least is entertaining to my audience(family and friends).  I think I came up with my answer while spacing out at my desk during lunch.  I wanted to leave something for my progeny.  Yes I could leave an heirloom or a picture of me or my estate but in the industry that I work in you realize that life isn't just about things.  Its about leaving a legacy that people in the future can be proud of.

I often wonder if I had a conversation with my father when he was 29 what that would be like.  What was his hopes and dreams.  What were his goals for his family.  Was he even the young man that I imagined him to be.  Now of course I could still ask my father what he was like back when he was at that age but I feel that time and the experiences has changed him.  The way he thinks at this point in time is not the same way he was thinking when he was a young husband and father looking for work around the world.

Right now I record a video a day and I write once every few days when my insomnia starts to kick in.  I will look back at these and laugh at how bad my grammar is.  But what I think is important is that as my children have children and then I move on to the after life I know that I left them something that they can see how I was like when I was 29.  My hopes, my dreams, my aspirations.  Or if none of that is conveyed then at least they get to see what I was like.  How I acted like a fool in front of the camera to show the people of the world that they can have a better day just as long as they have the right attitude.

One day I hope to be uploaded onto the internet before I die.  If the technology is not there before I kick the bucket then at the least I have place a little bit of me online.  I want the people that have descended from me to understand some of the simpler things in life here in 2012.  If I had my way I would make a program that I would be able to download the way my brain works and create a pseudo version of my self so that my great great great grand kids can talk to me and ask questions.  Would they be interested?  Either way I thin kthis train of thought is starting to wane in my brain.  I am hoping one day to complete it (my thought) and have the reason why someone would want to talk to someone who no longer exists.
Thanks for taking the time to read my Blog.  I hope you have a better day!  Cheers!