Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Problems of Viewership: A call to arms!

If any of you were to actually meet me sometime, I would hope I would not come across as a conceited prick. I strive not to be just that, actually! This does however create a slight problem with getting my name out there, though.
As any of my regulars know, I took a very extended break from the Coffeecast due to a lack of time, between college, moving into an apartment, and working to pay said apartment bills. Now that I am getting back into this whole casting scene, I am seeing more than ever the difficulty of getting people to recognize my show as a legitimate source of entertainment. (*Pause to refill my coffee) So I have been spending a lot of time thinking (generally that time comes in the wee hours of night when I should be sleeping but am just not tired). So I have come up with a few categories to help myself out a bit. Things you guys can help with, too!

  • Advertising
    • In this category, I am thinking of things such as posts when my show goes live, links over to my youtube channel, special events. As of now, I only advertise on Reddit because, to be honest, I have no idea what other sites to use or how to use them. I suppose I should jump on TeamLiquid, and I think somebody mentioned WellPlayed?
    • In the area of special events, I want to do another tournament style of play. The problem with a 1's tourney, though is that you get a lot of no shows that kill your bracket system, and Spawn will just win in the end because he's stupid good. Here's where you guys come in!
      • I want to do a customs tournament where we'll play a few different custom games. I'll have a unique scoring system for each game, and whoever comes out on top gets the prize. I want the names of some good custom games out there!
    • If you have any ideas as to sites I could advertise on, I would appreciate that as well!
  • Community
    • One thing I have tried to emphasize for the Coffeecast is the importance of the community. I have tried to keep my cast well-mannered (punishing those who get too out of hand... Pure, Sleeper, you guys know which time I am talking about ; ). I have also wanted to keep the content revolving around you guys in a couple of ways.
      • Amateur Attack: A friendly, non-competitive way to get some games cast. Different from some of the bigger casts, like Playhem's BSG and Zeek's dailies, in the fact that I cast every game played in a non-tournament setting, which takes a lot of pressure off of the players.
      • User interactive games: Remember when I played Riven and Myst on stream? One big reason I chose those is the fact that while I played through, I could ask the stream viewers for input or help when I really got stuck. And you know what? It was a stream viewer that helped me beat Riven after 7 years of torture.
    • So keeping these ideas in mind, I want to encourage even more viewer participation, as well as a closer connection between the casters, being myself and Sleepercells, and the viewers / players. I want to make it so that when somebody comes to the Coffeecast, they keep returning to the Coffeecast.
      • The Turnover Rate: As stated above, the only place that I really go to advertise is Reddit. People coming in from Reddit tend to come for one, maybe two shows, and then never be heard from again. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule- Freakboy, who has been an incredible moderator for me, came from Reddit. None-the-less, I want to find a way to take this turnover rate and turn it to a more positive number than 1:10.
      • Greater Viewer input: I want to have the viewers have even more power over what they see and do at the Coffeecast. One thing I would like to do is have a small group of 5 or 6 people act as "community managers" in a sense. With this group I would have a meeting once every two weeks or so to talk about... well, whatever is at hand. An upcoming tournament, ideas for new or improved content, things that just aren't working out.
  • Casts
    • This somewhat links to the interactivity of the viewers stated above. Like I have said, I have been doing my best to center my content around viewers (such as when I entertained the hell out of my viewers by playing Amnesia...)
      • Amateur Attack: Just like above. Take the viewers in from the audience and give them a chance to be casted like the pro players (though with a bit worse of commentary than the pro players get ; )
      • Guest Casting: I'll be honest, this is something that I have begun to steer away from, for a few reasons. 1) Casting is not easy, and any new caster just has to grind and grind away at some games until they get past that awkward stage of not knowing what to say. Guest casting does not give new casters the amount of practice they need to ever overcome that feeling. So, when new people come to the cast and hear, "uh.... well... a, uh... a Pylon was made on 9 supply... or 10, ya, 10", it leaves a pretty bad impression.