Interested in streaming online on platforms such as YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Trovo? I am kind of considering at looking into recording some educational tutorials and such since we are all still holed up in our homes these past couple of years and sort of have most of the equipment anyways. You just have to have a niche market to cater to, depending on what topic you are passionate about to be a content creator. I feel like I am a bit late to the game – no pun intended! I am not a gamer at all but do watch a lot of instructional content online. Streaming has been around for quite a long time and has been for the most part aimed at the gaming community. After watching a few streamers (that are NOT gamer related) here and there I have put together some information that I have come across and figured I would outline and share what is involved, if anyone seems to find it helpful.
- open source and free application called “Open Broadcaster Software”
- can be used with any web camera
- can create scenes to switch back/forth from
- can setup for streaming on popular platforms (YouTube, Twitch, Facebook and more)
- Use this plugin so that that you can force a custom background on ANY video conferencing software.
- turn any mobile phone into webcam
- it is free for now and there is a PRO version with more features
- all-in-one live streaming application
- can include professional overlays
- stream multiple platforms at once
- marketplace for pre-made graphics and widgets
- such as overlays, alerts, chatbots, etc.
- With these professional tools you can create your 2D images with alpha channels needed to create overlays for a more customized look and design by hand. Otherwise if you are not creatively inclined consider looking at marketplaces that have items that were created with these tools or similar as noted above.
Nightbot (used for twitch)
- allows you to add filters and additional parameters for audiences
- control banner artwork too.
- carries all products for creators this includes – microphones, cameras, capture cards, stream deck, lighting, and green screen
- all item needed packaged under $1000
- DaVinci Resolve by Blackmagic Design –
I really like this application as it is free to use at the moment. If you are familiar with Adobe Premiere in any way then you will be accustomed to figuring out how to navigate around the user interface.
- Pro Tools
If you really want to get nit-picky with editing your audio this is a great product, I was introduced to this application in college as they had a freeware version at the time for a multimedia program I was in.
- Adobe Audition
Is the professional grade audio workstation if you want to edit, mix, record and restore audio.
Sometimes you just want to customize a visual element or even create a world, you can utilize 3D applications to do the job.
- Blender (Open Source)
This is a great app if you are just getting started in 3D and want to learn the tools and language of design and breaking into the industry.
- 3D Studio Max, Maya, Cinema 4D – Maxon
These are other options on the market that professional artists use and have often a steeper learning curve but a wider audience. Although the licensing is very expensive the tools are more granular to use.
- Unity, Unreal Engine, V-Ray
These are rendering engine platforms that integrate with 3D programs to make the final images and videos of your projects look as high quality and realistic as possible.
- 3D Marketplace’s
If you are not inclined to recreate the wheel you may look at using 3rd party objects to integrate into your 3D scene projects. If you google the term above you will find all sorts of items that creators have already built for which you can purchase.
- Spline Design
I came across this online app as a means to build something quick for a webpage but you could create content from it even for video.
I found Michael Feyrer Jr. content on YouTube to be quite a wealth of information on what streamers use and how they use it and work with monetization. So check out his content!
I also find Mr. Beast to be an interesting channel as well, he is the #1 content creator on the YouTube platform. Feel like I have been living under a rock because I had never heard of him before until this year. He has a very interesting background and has quite a fascinating marketing mindset as well. Has a tremendous way of generating viral campaigns for all the content he delivers. It is amazing how much money is awarded to many of the contestants on his over-the-top IRL games he creates but he does such great amazing charity work as well. You can learn quite a lot about his background from watching some of the past interviews he has done on other channels that he has appeared on.
Ways Content Creators Grow Their Streaming Channels
Retention is very important for content creators. Scaling up something that is done right is easier than trying to scale when something is done wrong.
- By retaining users you will create loyalty.
- Loyalty creates implicitly word of mouth awareness (for your channel).
- Word of mouth is the cheapest and most effective way to market a streaming channel.
Think about it, your 3 loyal followers who watch you stream every day tell 3 of their best friends each about your channel and how fun and what great quality your work is. They decide to watch the stream too so they can catch it and see what all the hype and excitement is about. Then their friends of friends hear about it too. Now 9 new people are viewing your channel, 3 loyal + 9 new followers = 12 total.
Say you retain 50% of these viewers you just doubled your following without spending $1 just by being nice, entertaining and cultivating your followers.
Streamers will also retain an audience by staying active outside of live streams through social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, etc) or through forums like Discord or Slack. Creating a sense of community around the stream is extremely important.
Just be aware that when you are serving a small numbers of followers from the start to not setup too many social channels. Especially if you have no real good understanding of each one of them as you can really begin to spread yourself too thin. Particularly if you are not even seen participating with your viewers on the regular, it becomes noticeable. It could even penalize you at the start in the creation of your brand, so start with 1 or 2 popular social media channels first. As the audience grows larger you also have to think of adding MODs in some of these these social channels. However be careful who you entrust by who you put in these roles as they are seen as an extension of you. (Some MODs can rather have a big ego with these roles and go on a bit of power trip and abuse their authority. Sometimes unnecessarily banning or causing frustrations with members that can cost them to leave. As social rule norms should be set across all platforms and not get overcomplicated.) So keep those you put in charge in-line so the likelihood of anyone unfollowing your platforms never happens anytime soon.
Lastly streaming frequently and on a consistent schedule for long stretches of time allows a streamer to maximize chances of being discovered. Also it provides an audience with more content, as well as providing them with more value which will do wonders for their loyalty and personal investment in the channel and social circles.
Remember, as a content creator, you might be the most likable and entertaining streamer in the world, but if you are not putting yourself out there on a consistent basis then no one is going to pay attention.
Content Creators can make quite a killing with an income on their streams/channel and it often comes in various forms from:
- acquiring constant revenue stream that comes from the creators content catalogue
- memberships tiers that occur monthly/quarterly/yearly which include certain perks to access exclusive things
- donations given during streams and events
- branded sponsorships and advertising opportunities
- public appearances by attending events that occur outside of a stream/channel
- selling customized merchandise
- provide consulting services
- provide online teaching
- …and the newest form through NFTs (ex: iJustine’s “@jpig“)
Here is one thing to leave you with from this blog entry. Just because you might have the means to acquire the material product(s) to create a home studio, stream and create content, the real talent comes down to the ideas, storyboarding, script writing and video editing on the content you make. If the story and messaging come across as entertaining, authentic, and engaging then that right there will bring the audience to you.
Scammer Payback | Bringing Awareness About Scams
So summer of 2021 I stumbled upon scambaiter content online. What led me to this was a rather weird interaction I had on Instagram. A fake account was setup on IG with someone posing as a former colleague of mine sending me an invite to connect. When a message came from this account my first thought was, am I friends with this person already? For some reason I did not think at the time to quickly search my connections to confirm if this was true so I carried on a conversation with this person thinking it was them and how thoughtful they were to check in with me. It started to get a little sketchy when they were pretty persistent with me to hit on a link in the message. I was pretty wise enough to listen to my own intuition and do no such thing because I am aware of phishing attacks. Conversation eventually went a little south and just stopped chatting. A day later that person who I thought I was talking to posted on their other social platform explaining that their social media account was hacked. When that suspecting IG account reached out to me again I messaged back that I knew they were a scammer and they slowly retracted all their direct messages from me and either blocked me or deleted their account. Luckily I screen captured the conversation and shared it with that former colleague so they were aware of what content they were sending to their friend list. I was very lucky not to fall victim to anything further than just a brief fleeting conversation but it sure can be bothersome to know that someone tried to take advantage of you.
I must have Google some term on this kind of scam because it brought me to a well known scambait artist known as “Kitboga.” I suspect he is a former MA (Boston / Dorchester / Worcester) native perhaps and possibly lives out of state or in Canada these days because he usually uses a pretty well known Boston area code number when he calls these folks (maybe nostalgic purposes). Certainly cannot mistake that non-rhotic accent too. Some of his YouTube content and streams have been rather funny and educational but nothing more than that. He is a former software engineer but describes himself as an improv online artist and has been doing this kind of line of work since 2017 or so. Mostly his kind of work is to just keep scammers occupied over the phone for long durations of time so that he distracts them from actually scamming a real person. From those interactions he makes video content that is entertaining to an audience just to show what fools these scam-artists are while he is making a well deserved living and income at it as well!
At this point in time I was working on a design passion project when I came across this kind of content. Usually like to listen to stuff in the background while working on a website or app design as I multi-task quite a bit! Who doesn’t during this time!! Had already consumed a lot of my favorite podcasts and just went down the rabbit hole I guess.
YouTube algorithm is quite a funny thing. After racking up quite a few videos for consumption from “Kitboga” another scambaiter came across my feed by the pseudo-name of “Pierogi” who has a YouTube channel called Scammer Payback. I came to watch some of his content and thought the material was educational and yet also addictive to watch.>
In Pierogi‘s videos he engages in scambaiting various kinds of scams from –
technical support scams | refund scams | IRS scams | social security scams (SSA) | gift card scams | Zelle bank fraud scams | Cash App scams | crypto scams | Amazon scam emails | PayPal scam emails
| romance scams | pet adoption scams | Publisher Clearing House scams (PCH), etc.
There are parts of his videos that are rather funny but he takes it in a completely different direction in dealing with these scammers. He has been climbing in viewership on YouTube (at this point in time in which I am writing this entry, 1.4 million subscribers). He would actually come to be known as the scambaiter that would take retribution by capturing content from these thieves machines to later use and call up potential victims and save them from losing out on their very life-savings from these savage scam-artists.
When that obtainable opportunity arises Pierogi contacts victims directly to warn them that they have been scammed. He will advise them on what to do next in order to minimize the damage caused by the heartless crime that took place, if they choose to accept his help (when time is of the essence). He has helped to recover a lot of money back that the victims have had stolen from them if Pierogi has that window of opportunity with the scammer himself.
Most of these scammers target the elderly but not always. Just after he captures the information from a reverse connection from a scam call he would then delete their files and make their systems quite unusable thereafter. But not only has Pierogi managed to do this kind of justice but has also been able to shut down call center numbers completely, whether for the day or permanently. Which believe it or not has successfully cut down on some spammy phone and email scams! And he is only one person!
If a scammer is somewhat knowledgeable about scambaiters or think they might be talking with one of them they will usually utter Pierogi or “Kitboga” in haste, in the middle of a conversation. Usually to see what kind of reaction they get from the other side. These two guys are like the titans of their industry of scambaiting. You can just about hear how terrified the scammers become if either Pierogi or “Kitboga” decide to reveal themselves. Usually because the scammers are so triggered by past experiences with dealing with either of them, that it left quite a mark. The LIVE stream chats will often describe that these scambaiters have run so many circles around the scammer minds that it sometimes resembles some sort of PTSD experience. Based on the scammers reactions or behaviors they must have had from their interactions, they or the whole call center just completely loses it during the call.
In recent streams “Kitboga” has decided not to reveal himself anymore because the scammers seem to get a thrill out of the possibility of being shown in an upcoming video. Pierogi on the other hand wants to interact with them as they seem to provide really beneficial information. Pierogi does not make it a point to berate them over the phone but to rather ask they become informants. It sometimes rather becomes impossible to get them to come down to his level and just have a calm conversation because their experience with other scambaiters get them so riled up “just for fun” in the first place for entertainment value which is justifiable. However it gets quite interesting until they realize just who is exactly on the other end of the line, that’s when Pierogi can really get down to business with them.
A tell-tale sign that a scammer is speaking directly with Pierogi is when he starts to drop some Hindi throughout the conversation. A majority of the scam call centers he encounters come from that part of the South Asia-Pacific region of the world. So far no other scambaiter has gone this far and makes him stand out among the others. The scammers can no longer insult and talk behind his back and get away with it especially when he understands what they are saying under their breath in frustration or talking with another scammer in the background. He use to rely on translators in the LIVE stream chats but knowing the language himself means Pierogi can quickly gather intelligence and pivot the conversation if the situation changes. Usually when he does this, it irritates the scammers for some reason, as if it’s unlocking some sort of secret code. Pierogi does not just want to learn the language to throw insults back and forth but to be more adaptable and knowledgeable about their culture and maybe have more rapport with them. It has proven to be a useful tool, in addition he has stated that he knows other languages as well.
Pierogi has a very interesting background, he is in his late 30’s and a former Cyber Security / Network Engineer (End-Point) with a bit of a financial background. So he knows a thing or two. He lives somewhere in the US, most likely along the East Coast because most of the stream schedules are noted in eastern time zone. However he usually jokingly says he appears in every scammers dream (safely in a VM somewhere)! It is rather interesting to watch him utilize such critical thinking tactics (social engineering) to get to the information he needs. Just ask for his nifty “funnel” PowerPoint presentation during the stream! Now Pierogi does not quite go all bounty hunter and do further damage himself, so he does his best to acquire information and provide it to connections he has with US federal law enforcement officials who can close the case on some these endeavors that happen here. Sometimes it is a bit sad not to hear exactly what the end story is to some of the victims he either encounters or acquires information about on his LIVE streams. However there are rare occasions that he has been able to work with others in his field and follow the story to the very end and report it in a later video premier.
Also, from what I understand Scammer Payback started sometime back in 2019 on YouTube but Pierogi has been at this for much longer before he engaged filming himself on YouTube as he would do this kind of work after hours from doing his day job. That there sure shows passion and dedication to his craft. In or around the time of C-19 he decided during a call with a scammer that he was going to quit his daytime job and make this his full-time profession going after these bad individuals.
“Pierogi” from “Scammer Payback” has content on both –
His content is generated a majority of the time from LIVE streams online which can often go on for as long as 4-6 hours in a single day. In addition his streaming schedule which can be anywhere from 3-4 days during the week and does not include additional time to run private streams for subscriber members only groups. Some of the wildest stories have come out of the public LIVE streams and become material that is carefully crafted and edited for his YouTube channel. They present a little entertainment to the viewer but also educate what the scam was about and how to watch out for those scenarios so you do not fall victim to it. It is rather entertaining but there is a purpose.
People are often asking on his LIVE streams how they can get in on this kind of action. To be honest those that do, really should reconsider not messing around in that area and maybe think of launching into a career in IT Cyber Security first. It does take a special set of skills to know how to go about this. Just the fact that he has to use a pseudo-name to keep his identity somewhat private (from being doxed) tells you something right there.
Be it “internet vigilantism”, “white hat hacking”, “cyber mercenaries” or a “keyboard samurai” – people like Pierogi are doing a great service to society by infiltrating these types of criminal activities with the resources and knowledge they have.
HOW TO CONTACT HIM BY EMAIL?
Got a scam to report to him. Send it to his “tipline’ inbox > info here
Saving Victim in Real Time: 1,000s of Files Deleted from Scammers Computer!
A Scam Victim’s Story: We give Susan $30,000 that the Scammer Stole
There is a bespoke digital album by DRYVE (featuring Fatherdude) for the Scammer Payback channel!
“The Payback (Deluxe)” (released 3/2022) – 12 track ride through synthwave, outrun and 80s synth pop territory, in conjunction with Scammer Payback on track #2 called “Hero”. Includes – “Anywhere in the World”, a remix of “The Payback” as well as instrumental versions of each track.
Scammer Payback channel also has a store, so support the work of Pierogi and wear the gear!
Morning Scam Show w. TAGOW | CJ SCAMS | Impromptu Interview with Pierogi from Scammer Payback
What is Scammer Payback?
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Where is content creation going?
How To Take Safe Secure Measures Online
Scammer Payback – Bringing Awareness About Scams