Next up on day two of seven during mYinsanity’s mod appreciation week is our second guest Patrick “Partouf” Quist. Patrick has been a long time moderator for BaseTradeTV and can provide some insight into growing a channels chat style.
Please introduce yourself, and tell us a bit about you.
I’m a 30 year old software developer from The Netherlands. I work part time for a software company closeby, live on my own, and am extremely susceptible to addictions like working and watching things on the Internet. I have spent a lot of time watching StarCraft 2 streams and tournaments since the game’s release. The time I spend watching has decreased over the years, but I think I can consider myself still to be a big and positive supporter of the SC2 scene.I used to observe a bit of SC2 for BaseTradeTV back in the day, and still do sometimes on Friday’s for FridayNightBM. Currently, I’m primarily a moderator for BaseTradeTV along with a friendly bunch people who are way better at their jobs than I am. I’m a mod for a couple other channels, but due to timezone and work restrictions I’m usually not available for most of them.
What inspired you to become a mod and how did you get started?
The motivation to be an active mod came relatively late after I was actually made a mod. I’ve been with BaseTradeTV since its inception in 2012 and was modded very early. I’ve made a lot of online friends in Twitch chat, and the more popular the channel became, the more people tried to undermine and ruin that experience. In 2013/2014 Rifkin, other mods and I became aware we needed to step up our game and get an actual game plan for moderating the channel.
What was the biggest challenge when you began and how did you overcome it?
The biggest was and still is probably being able to follow an active chat and judge quickly, without letting yourself trigger on things that you personally dislike. It’s hard to consider that sometimes less intervention is better as long as people aren’t crossing a line.
Why do you do it?
I want to help create an environment where people can feel comfortable in being themselves and get enjoyment out of talking to people and watching the stream together. To maybe even set an example to younger people that you can have fun and normal conversations in life that do not include insulting or demeaning other individuals or groups of people.
…happiness is attractive, this goes for your chat too…
Are there any advantages to being a mod?
Banning misogynists is very satisfying. If you see it anywhere else on the Internet, there’s often very little you can do about any kind of hatred except for hoping next generations will be more civilized, but as a mod in Twitch chat you can at least try to make a difference.
How important is a good chat to the success of a stream?
It depends on the type of stream really. For eSports tournament streams it usually doesn’t matter what kind of chat there is, people have the option to close chat or view the channel through hosting. Specific niche streams like Kaceytron for example, thrive on an active “bad chat”.For streams like BaseTradeTV and individual streamers, I personally think the more inviting the chat is, the lesser the inclination is to leave the stream. The more enjoyment you get from a channel, even if its just through the chat, the higher the chance of coming back another time.
Who has the best/worst chat?
I don’t think it is for me to say who hosts the worst chat, each channel has their own type of community. If I don’t fit in, someone else might. In terms of best chat, for me this is BaseTradeTV, but I’m obviously biased.I can say however that generally the bigger tournament streams are really bad. I don’t mean in terms of spam or other nonsense, but the things people say about women casters/hosts/players on stream, other minorities or the spewing of hate, makes me have little hope for humanity.
What are some suggestions for streamers to grow a good chat?
Get a non-generic set of rules you would like to enforce, and let new mods know what to do when rules are violated. Happiness is attractive, this goes for your chat too. Even if you can’t interact with your chat, having chat itself be positive will attract more people wanting to join in on the fun. Don’t argue with chat, just use timeouts and bans. Out of experience I know there’s very little to no chance someone will positively respond when talking to them, and it will only get you and everyone else down, which will in turn get rid of viewers you want to keep. If the banned people in question message you afterwards in a way that indicates they might not be total scumbags, you can always undo and apologize.
How much do streamers interact with their mods?
For BaseTradeTV we have an active mod chat on Skype using a semi-democratic way of coordinating and handling our modding decisions. When there’s no stream this chat is also just a general social gathering of all our mods together with Rifkin and Zombiegrub, and we usually get along well.I know in other channels these things are lacking a lot, and if I happen to be mod in one of these channels I often feel lost and unsure what to do. I think the streamers should always keep a direct line of communication open to their mods to streamline as to how they want their modding to be handled.
What is one chat feature you would like to see implemented in the future?
I’m not sure. There’s a wide range of tools possible with Twitch API’s and IRC interface which makes modding a lot easier.But I do think the option as a mod to check who timed out or banned someone would be helpful in keeping fellow mods accountable for their actions. Preferably through the API so you can also check older permabans, which is currently only available to the streamer.
Any advice for someone looking to become a channel mod?
Don’t be anonymous, be the best version of yourself. Be active participant of the chat and a regular visitor of the channel. Message the streamer you want to get involved, don’t spam chat for attention and recognition.