I am Strike.
A good week ago, on a whim, I asked Twitch Partner Help whether I could rename to «Strike». I wasn’t even serious about it; I knew, that the account was taken, but had been inactive for long, and being used to the harsh Twitter rules for getting better handles of old inactive accounts, I expected the answer to be «nah, fam».
And initially, it was.
To comprehend the process better, I asked the rep (@Limealicious, btw. She’s a wonderfully sweet individual, her Twitter is full of cute ferret pictures, and she has the perfect voice for voice acting. Seriously. Watch her stream.) how it was determined whether a Partner can get a sought-after name or not. The answer was: «I can’t tell you that, but upon review, ‹Strike› is free after all!»
Lying on my sunbed at a really nice beach in Forte dei Marmi, Tuscany, Italy, my jaw dropped down and hit my 50SPF-suncream-covered chest.
I could be «Strike» on Twitch.
Why could I though? The account of «strike» has already been an active account. Yet it had showed to be inactive for a prolonged period: No activity, no profile picture, no graphics, no followed accounts, like four follows (all by other people who had a «strike» in their name; I’ll assume they wanted to see when they could get the name. Technically it’s a stolen name, but the long inactivity shows it wasn’t really being used.)
Sliding out of the DM: Like, why?
Now, you might think «So what? It’s just a name, two characters shorter, it’s no biggie» and I’d understand why you think that. Still, you’d be questioning your General, which means you’d get the dirt road and at least 50 push ups. Anyway, the point is that simple, quick names have a few advantages in terms of marketing, some of which are specific to my situation:
- A URL like Twitch.tv/Strike looks cool, it’s incredibly easy to memorize, it looks somewhat OG if you consider the millions and millions of accounts on the site
- «What’s your Twitch name?» – «Strike.» Boom. No more “strikeDM, DM like Direct Message» or something. Just Strike. Kinda like Ninja. Just marginally as popular.
- Everyone always calls me «Strike». No one says «Oh hey, strikeDM!» It’s always Strike. We’re the Strike Force. The DM is mostly silent anyway.
Of course, for a channel that is so heavily branded and focuses on cohesive over-the-top brand communication and structure, there are a few disadvantages, some of which were brought forth by brave Strike Force soldiers when we discussed it during a mission this week:
- The DM ain’t silent for everyone. Some people think dropping it would mean loss of personality. Someone actually said: «I think I’d miss it a little.»
- I have costly metal business cards (yeah. OH yeah. Business Dog Tags, baby.), other high quality cards, all of the different thank you cards I send say “strikeDM”, I have to change the signature, a lot of graphics, designs … that’s time and, more importantly for my student budget, money.
- I can never go back. Partner Help do name changes once, then, that’s it.
So I thought about it a lot. I had two sleepless nights over it. Limealicious told me that Twitch can’t reserve a username so I could switch in, say, a month, and have enough time to rebrand in the background. If another partner were to come up and want «Strike», they’d get it and I’d lose a huge chance.
I asked my Command Staff who mostly stood against the change. I spoke to befriended streamers with more reach than me, those who have rebranded or changed names before, for their insight (they all instantly went «do it or regret it later»). The topic commanded my thoughts for a good while.
Then I remembered something I swore to myself when I had hours and hours of chill time at the beach to rethink my content:
«The last year, all of my stream decisions were fundamentally based on the question: ‹Will this be popular? Will this get me views?› And then when they views didn’t grow, I got frustrated, angry, jealous. I’m done with that. It makes streaming not fun for me anymore. From now on, I’m gonna go with my gut feeling, do what feels right, trust myself more, make this my bitch instead of the other way around.»General Strike, at the fucking beach, yo
And so, on Tuesday, I decided to do it. I sent an e-mail to Lime, asking her to change it.
I am now Strike. General Strike. Strike the General. See the potential for stupid word jokes? I love it already.
From here on out
Dear #strongestforce soldiers, there will be a transitional period now. I decided to overcome my constant hunger for perfection and still use the old cards, buisness dog tags and cards etc. that carries «strikeDM» still. I’ll probably cross out the DM, and I’m sorry it’s that unprofessional, but I can’t shell out like 3 to 500 bucks to replace everything right now.
To those who were skeptical towards this change, or even hate it: I’m sorry. I hope you understand that everything I’ve built so far, the content you (hopefully) love, the community you are a part of, started as a whim themselves, and basically every single little feature I use was a gut decision to begin with. I believe that in the long run, the «DM» will be fine with being silent forever.
I am Strike, the General and Supreme Commander of the Strike Force. Onward we go. Thank you for reading.