Every major site with social elements has a community with profile linking and supported commenting. They encourage usage, debate, feedback and even to platform these sites for your own ventures.
How much of it is a gimmick and how much of it serves practical use? I can't say. All I know now is that it's completely exhausting. I'm tired of combing through personal photos for profile images but I suppose the more you do it, the more you start to develop a mind for it.
I've begun writing a "scary" story about a young girl who's being encouraged by a mysterious being to push people in front of trains. I haven't committed to writing fiction in a long time and wow, this s serious business. The amount of time I've spent staring out of the window, pacing in my room and doing just about anything else, including writing this blog entry, should have really made for some progress but getting through just the first page of world-setting was like pulling teeth.
In my distraction, I veered off to twitch.tv again (which is probably why common advice is to turn off the internet and the electricity if you can manage it). I decided to look more carefully at how streams are growing. There's a lot of styling and branding that has to be accomplished. Certain sayings become memorable, certain colors become iconic of the player, and a look is usually immortalized via cartooning or digitizing of the player.
I doubt I can do a proper drawing without first putting a major investment in training myself in that craft but maybe with some more photoshop tutorials an short term and doable idea will come to me to place-hold until I can get some help. In the mean time, just improving my commentary is about all I can focus on during the show.
Additionally there's this highlight business which allows me to export clips from my cast and then put them on youtube. What I haven't figured out yet is the best way to pull a voice-over or what images I want to bookend the clips with to better brand what I'm offering.
On top of that I'm still sorta slacking in putting in serious editing time on my movies and my crafting my opening video introducing the "Build-It! Transmedia Project" which is pretty much this type of information but visual and more entertaining.
I'm learning lots and progress is really slow at the moment. But one thing is for certain: there are no shortcuts.