Chess.com Spoke, and I Listened!!!: Heeding Advice On Chess Content
A couple years ago, while working on Chess.com/tv to make some shows and dabbling in my own youtube channel, I reached out for advice from the Chess.com community and dropped a few of my own thoughts about what made commentated chess enjoyable. You can check all that out here.
I must admit, I was a tad nervous asking for advice on the internet about how to improve as a host and as a content creator (honestly I'd be a tad bit nervous asking the internet about anything) but to my surprise people were really creative and helpful! Here are the five pieces of advice I think helped me the most!
1. "YOU SHOULD DO SKITS"
When I first got that suggestion, I was pretty non-plussed. I was all for adding humor to chess, but something about the idea seemed not to fit. But then I saw Danny Rensch's epic PCL promo, and I began to rethink things.
Surely that kind of humor makes anything more watchable, and I think with my show in particular it makes a lot of sense.
2. "DON'T FIDGET SO MUCH"
After I got over a brief bit of keister hurt from this comment (and that was not the only one) I re-watched some of my videos, and Rudimental was en pointe. At times, I was a bunny rabbit on aderall. I still move quite a bit (hard to fight because you're trying to be high energy) but the more chill posture helps!
3. IT'S ALL ABOUT NARRATIVE!
This one is a toughie. My opening knowledge is not always sufficient to follow this suggestion in specific, but at times I can. And more important in the comment is this idea that the story of the game of chess is something important. My story is a small one, a slice of life, a snapshot of one player in a game which has lasted millennia, but that's our story--and I try to tell it.
4. GM GAMES WITH GOOD ANALYSIS ARE KEY
This is another toughie, as I'm not a GM, but that doesn't mean I can't play one. On this season I made sure to record some games with me playing GMs. After getting crushed, they were all nice enough to give some analysis after the game.
5. BE TOUGH, TAKE CRITICISM WELL
The internet is definitely still the internet, but even in sarcastic barrages you can learn a few things Apparently, spelling isn't a strong point of mind.
So here is the net result of this feedback loop between me and you. I'm super super thankful to everyone who took the time to pass on helpful thoughts an comments, and I've taken those to get this season ready. Here's an episode that embodies what I've learned here. Since it worked so well last time, I'd like to open up again and ask (tentatively again) for some constructive criticism about the good and bad parts of the video.