Broadcasting Meaningful Experiences

LvlUpLulu
3 min readMay 20, 2021

The social aspect of streaming, at least on Twitch, is a very important one. Based on my observations, broadcasters all have different reasons for streaming, but there seems to be a consensus amongst most viewers as to what makes them stay to watch the stream or partake in chat. While a specific game may attract a viewer to click on a stream, it is the personality of the streamer, the atmosphere, and how chat may respond to them that seems to determine if or how long they stay. But to make things more complex, this is not a one-size fits all situation.

Streaming is a lot more than just clicking that “Start Streaming” button on OBS, or whatever software the broadcaster is using. However, what happens afterwards is where it becomes difficult to measure the value of the overall experience. A stream is not just a passive activity for viewers. While some viewers choose to lurk, there are others who actively partake in the stream by engaging in chat. This interaction can also have an impact on what happens during the actual stream, which in turn can affect the overall lived experience — both for the broadcaster and the viewers! An experience can be defined as “Something personally encountered, undergone, or lived through” and “The conscious events that make up an individual life” (Merriam-Webster, n.d.). But what makes an experience meaningful?

As I already mentioned, the social aspect of streaming is very important. Perhaps the most important one, if we consider the needs of the viewers. As explained by Happytalism (2018), humans are social creatures who require connections with other humans in order to thrive, and studies show that people who are truly happy have deep connections with those around them. A lack of social connection is damaging to both a person’s physical and mental health (Kogan, n.d.). The connections and relationships we build and develop create experiences in our lives. This can also explain why the personality of the streamer means a lot for the viewers, as well as how viewers engage with each other in chat.

The authors of Meaning Making: How Successful Businesses Deliver Meaningful Experiences (2006), write that consumers are increasingly seeking products and services that connect with them through meaning and that resonate with their sense of how the world is or should be. But yet again, what this is, will vary tremendously from person to person. However, this is an invitation to get to know your target group better — who are they and what do they find important? And which elements need to be in place for your streams to be meaningful to your viewers?

Prototypr.io (2017) offers some insight in regard to designing meaningful experiences, and it actually starts with identity. Not only the identity of your target group, but also being aware of your own identity. Being able to answer the “who are you?” question about you and your target group will help you in finding the core concept of your intended experience. This is a difficult process which will require extensive reflection and introspection. This is also where a lot of people get stuck.

Besides being a broadcaster on Twitch, I’m an educated Social Innovator with expertise in Experience-, Process-, and Community Design, currently developing a coaching program for streamers who want to create meaningful experiences for their viewers. If you want to learn more about this program or if there is anything else I can help you with, don’t hesitate to get in touch! You’ll find me on Twitch, Twitter, and Discord! Let’s meet and have a coffee!

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LvlUpLulu

LvlUpLulu is a Social Innovator and Content Creator with a passion for people and planet. Come say hi at twitch.tv/lvluplulu!