How to stay Optimistic While Streaming

It’s easy to go live these days.

Facebook does it.

Instagram does it with a time limit.

Twitter…sorta knows it can?

YouTube is experimenting with subtle differences here and there. Plus there are new apps appearing almost daily to cater to this new medium.

But, streaming as a beginner can be a little overwhelming and high expectations too often meet a wall. I started my own channel just last year and while  it hasn’t been easy, I’ve made a handful of friends through it.

So, here are my tips for keeping the passion alive while developing your corner of the streamy-hood.

Disclaimer: These tips are more from my experience as a beginner ‘variety’ channel. But, can apply to other Streaming formats as well.

Don’t Sweat the Follower Count

I know, it’s mind boggling to not look at how often that follower count goes up or down with each new cast. In the beginning, that view count will be zero to two to zero.

Unless you happen to have a large following already, chances are high that no one will be watching you … for a while. This is a good time to get comfortable looking deep into the black hole of your webcam and thinking about your posture.  When the follow count is low, this is the best time to develop your online persona.

Continue to play your favorite game and narrate what you plan on doing as the stage progresses. Bonus points: if you can mention any developer history or facts about the game.

I find it helps to pretend the camera is a good friend that’s asking a question about what I’m doing or how my day has been every minutes.  Don’t worry, you’ll get use to it soon.

Focus on a topic rather than a task

Each time you go live, you should have a topic in mind.

To stand out in a sea of other gaming channels, you need to come at your audience from a new angle.

One thing that seems to boost channels in categories for a game is the stream title being a “question of the day” or  “motivation of the day”. Take a moment to look up a few deep, insightful questions to ask a stranger. This also helps get the chat moving along and you can repeat the question/answer it each time a new viewer pops in.

Practice your stream ritual

What’s your signature move everytime you go live?

I’ve had to think about this for a while too. Do I want to greet my channel members with a high five and a welcome back then recap what we did last week? Or do I jump on, chat for  a bit about plans for the month then jump into the game?

Honestly, this should be a habitual thing that occurs when the channel is live. Followers  will begin to chant the motto as well if you do it right. Just don’t steal someone else’s thing. You can borrow inspiration, no blatantly copying.

Plan out your outfits for each broadcast

They say a new pair of shoes can change a person’s whole mood.

So, why not pick out an outfit that makes you feel Ahhh-mazing every time.  This could even be a signature look for you later on. For now just have fun playing with your looks.

I know for me, I love to do my makeup and pull out a fun wig most days.

Share a Broadcast with friends and family

This is probably the hardest thing to do if your shy or not confident about your current channel focus.

So, I suggest when sharing a link to your stream to mention, “Hey, I’m trying something on [X]. Feel free to take a peak and let me know what you think about it.”

Building a channel takes time, especially if you don’t have a large following on another social platform to feed from. Take this time to think about what sort of value*  you can give to the community and how you can boost your personality from here on out.

Ashnichrist is a Stream Coach for both Twitch and Mixer. Her video on that very topic is a golden rule to stand by.

Make a dedicated stream playlist

This one is a bit tricky as some streaming services have to be careful of copyright strikes for licensed music.

So, if you have a spotify account or a source for royalty free music, why not try having that playing in the background while you stream.

It can help set the mood and theme of every stream. Just be sure you can use it otherwise, the past broadcasts audio will be muted.

Curate your offline Feed

Last, but really first, I guess? Think about starting a social account dedicated to your off stream activities.

I can already hear the eye rolls. So, hear me out on this.

Unless your a drafted Professional Gamer or a host for an eSports network, your feed shouldn’t be flooded with games all the time. There should be a balance between a few selfies and actual activities you enjoy doing outside of gaming.

Share plans for events your excited to attend. Snap a few pictures of the cute dog you ran into at the park. Share that fantastic new meal you created out of boredom.

This shows your fan base that not only are you a human that ventures into the public from time to time. You also have an interest in food, shopping, collecting comics, and more. Share what you feel comfortable with being on the internet for all eternity.

And those are my tips for staying optimistic while streaming.

Let me know what some of your optimising boosts are in the comments below. And if you’re looking for more help with streaming, check out Ashnichrist’s new book and her coaching options over on Patreon.

Denmark in Micro 4/3

For my first trip overseas, I met my sister in Copenhagen, Denmark for Thanksgiving.

Traveling with a passport wasn’t as bad as I’d imagined it. I’ve watched too many tv dramas and seen too many news reports of foreign travelers getting lost, kidnapped, or misdirected to the wrong gate due to language barriers.

Pro tip: Most of the world is starting to speak English, so communication is not as difficult these days. It is useful to have patients, mime what you’re trying to say, and do try to speak slower while enunciating your words (in any language). It shows that you are trying and sometimes that’s all it takes.

Thank goodness, I wasn’t traveling alone. My younger brother was a great comfort in monitoring my stress and frantic schedule ticking.

Royal Garden Walkway

Once I relaxed taking in the sights, sounds, and food was easy.

Oddly enough, it didn’t feel like we had gone on a thirteen hour flight to another country. Until, someone tried to speak to us in Danish or we tried to read the street names.

I actually bought a micro 4/3 camera specifically, to capture moments on our trip. As I start to take on more photography work, I figured it was time to learn a new camera. My Lumix is on the older end, GF2 to be exact, so it took some getting use to.

My trusty, Lumix GF2

Still a wonderful, budget friendly purchase for micro/macro photography beginners.

Too bad, I forgot to bring the charger. So, not too many photos on this baby.

I’ll include what I did manage to capture from this trip further down.

Saving and planning for this trip was the highlight of my 2018. I used the Qapital app to help set funds aside as well as putting away 50% to 20% of every paycheck for roughly… 8 months.

My parents were kind enough to take care of flight and help with accomdations. Again, 2018 was rough towards the end and I am eternally grateful for any help.

If you are curious to see what sort of geeky places exist in Denmark, I shared my finds in another blog.

We visited thrift stores.

We visited the royal palace and garden.

Entrance to Royal Garden

We even attempted to bar hop a couple times.

But, we mostly just brunched our way through Denmark and binged watched a ton of Netflix.

Denmark is one of the most relaxing cities I’ve ever been in. Maybe it had to do with the “hygge” which is a Danish expression for cozy or comforting feeling.

Many of the stores and restaurants we visited used every nook and cranny of space to fill with people along with products. This included the upstairs attic space and basements, like when we went to Fantask Comics. I was especially impressed with how accommodating people were as each person squeezed by a stranger for a seat.

It was wonderful to have all my siblings together again.

We’re older now and going off into careers that has put some distance between us. But, we know we’ll always make an excuse to see each other again.

This trip’s success has me wondering where to go next. But for now, I’ll cherish these memories.

I can honestly say that I’m looking forward to visiting Denmark again. However, may be save a bit more so I can do some serious shopping next time.

And now, a mini gallery of what I could take with my Lumix and some iPhone images.

Beware! Buy your travel passes before stepping foot onto a train or bus. Using the phone app, you just have to swipe your phone on the check-in. Don’t forget to check-out too! It will keep charging for the full day.

You will get a fine if you don’t have a pass punched and you will have to pay it; even if you’re a foreigner which makes it just as expensive.

While Danish was the main language, I was surprised at how quick natives would change to English. You could even communicate with bits of German which I found useful at times. Plus, getting around was easier after a few days of running around.

Denmark might not be on many lists for cities to visit, but I’d suggest it as a weekend trip for anyone in the UK. The flight would be just under an hour for you.

Keep in mind that the Kroner is very strong there. So, save at least 3x the original budget.

Another note, refrigerators are on the tiny side. So, on average we were eating for lunch and dinner each day of our trip. That’s about twenty four times to the local food court. Along with smaller portion sizes in meals, so snacks with filling protein was a must.

Thank goodness for 7elevens with cheap, ready to heat meals.

What are your plans for travel in 2019?

Denmark in Morning Featured

5 Surprisingly Geeky Places Hidden in Copenhagen

While on vacation to visit my younger sister, I managed to track down 5 surprisingly geeky places hidden in Copenhagen.

Even more surprising, I didn’t have to be fluent in Danish to get around most places. However, it certainly helps to know some basic sentences when traveling anywhere.

Where to Find Cheap Eats at Dragon Con

Where to find cheap eats at Dragon Con in less than 10 minutes walk from a hotel.

For a con that draws well over 85,000 attendees both domestic and international, finding a good place to eat can be a challenge.

So, I set out this year with a focus in finding recommendations from locals, veteran attendees and happenstance while wandering between panels.

Here’s a tiny, but mighty list of go-to eateries to try during the next Dragon Con.

Gibney’s Pub

Finding Gibney’s Pub just a two-minute walk from Atlanta Marriot Marquis was a happy accident. My original intentions were to find another Burger Joint but this was a pleasant switch.

A cozy, Irish pub with windows facing the parking garage across the street served up some wallet-friendly dishes. The most expensive dish for the weekend happened to be $20.

I had the shepherd’s pie ($9.95)and a glass of Powerade ($1.45) to wash it down. Added a house salad (lunch special, $4.75) to top it off. Remember to show your D*Con badge for a discount.

My partially devoured Sheppard’s Pie and Salad

The following day, I asked around for other go to places. As I’m also alternating my meals with vegan options, I figured asking some veterans would be great.

Panbury’s Pie Café

Panbury’s pie cafe had vegan-friendly options. However, do read the ingredients as some dishes may contain eggs or dairy. You can find them just a 1 minute walk from the Atlanta Marriot Marquis.

While I did not eat a full lunch here, I did stop in for a cup of coffee ($1.75) and a couple mini pies (per $2.57). The most expensive, one person meal of a pie, a drink and a side would run about $10-12.

Sweet Mini Pies image via Pansbury

Panbury’s specialty pies have won awards for the last few years and with good reason.

If I had to choose a ”must-try” pie, or would be the Spinach and Feta pie and the chicken and bacon pie.

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken was another surprise stumble upon, just another step or so down Peachtree street.

Gus’s Sign image via Google Maps

Despite the name, I actually went out on a limb to try the fried catfish ( the Dinner $6.50) by the piece ($1-2)with a side of okra as suggested by a local.

The crunch of flaky flesh was satisfying for another lunch in. To bad, I didn’t take any pictures of that marvelous dish.

Anytime you find yourself in Atlanta, have a tasty of that soul food.

Publix Supermarket

Then there’s the famously known, but often overlooked grocery store with a mini food court, Publix.

Image via Google Maps

Publix Supermarket at the Plaza Midtown is the equivalent of any Kroger or go-to grocery store for a hot, and ready to carry home meal. Who says, you can’t still cook while on vacation? Also, the Hilton Atlanta offers kitchenette rooms.

This one is a bit further, as in a 9-minute Lyft ride to downtown, however…Still on W. Peachtree Street. You can also order groceries and have them delivered to the hotel, if you wish.

Having the option to make meals is perfect for dietary restrictions.

Amafli Pizza

For lunch time on the third day, Amafli Pizza. Just a minutes walk from the Westin or two blocks down from the Marriot Marquis.

Serving up a variety of pasta, pizzas, seafood and vegan-friendly dishes. The object of my hunger that day, the Calamari Fritti ($13.50).

Image via Almafi’s Pizza

I loved the house-made sauce and seasonings used for this dish.

Pitty Pat’s Porch

Now, we come to the end of the con foodie finds with another Southern Dish at Pitty Pat’s Porch.

Image via Google Maps

Round the corner from the Westin and there you can find the best, old-fashioned cocktails. While I didn’t have time to try an entree, I can say for $11 a large mason jar of mint julep can be yours.

Pitty Pat’s restaurant serves the classic comfort dishes with a slap of Atlanta flare. Just looking at the menu again, the prices may be pushing over $20. The trade off, harty meal, sweet treats and less time waiting to sit down in a two story, house styled restaurant.

Looking at the buffet options alone, it maybe worth a night out and away from the hustle of the con crowd.

And there you have it; Suggested eateries around the Dragon Con that are almost worth the walk.

May this mini-guide help you the next time you’re looking for a good sit down or a brief recharge before that next event.

5 Things I Want To See In Aggretsuko Season 2

As a working adult millennial,  I’m sure that I am not alone in saying the Netflix x Sanrio’s, Aggretsuko really hit the feels. When it was announced at Anime Expo that Season 2 was in motion, I had to catch my breath. Then I got to thinking about what else could Retsuko show us from her corporate life. So, here are 5 things I want to see in Aggretsuko, Season 2.

If you haven’t watched Season 1 yet, don’t look at these theories. Spoilers ahead!