Friday, September 4, 2020

Organizing Your Twitch Clips

By now you've likely discovered the wonders of Twitch clips. These useful features allow you to capture portions of your streams, and redistribute those small snippets in all sorts of ways. As I mentioned in previous entries, clips can help new viewers find your channel, they can be shared to social platforms to expand your reach, and they can be saved to speed up the editing of your compilation videos or channel trailer. I've discussed the myriad specific uses of this feature in the entry Using Twitch Clips to Their Fullest, and I spoke about how to efficiently capture them yourself in the entry Clipping and Highlighting Your Streams, but there's a third side to clips I'd like to cover. 

After you and your chat have been capturing great stream moments for a while, you're going be sitting on a huge stockpile of this bite-sized content. But what if you want to grab a specific one for future usage? At a certain point, organizing all the content that's been created becomes a real necessity. Most streamers fail to keep proper tabs on their clips, and in doing so miss out on incredible opportunities. These memories simply become lost in the pile, and thus go largely unused. In this entry, I'll help you to organize your clips so you can use them to create whatever you choose. 


Let's say you're editing a YouTube video of your best plays in a certain game. As I mentioned in previous entries, clips are a great way to save the best moments you might want to utilize in videos like these, which you can then download for later use. But how will you wade through all your channel's clips in order to find the one you want? Sure, scrolling through them might work when you only have a few dozen captured overall, but what about when there are hundreds, or thousands of clips from your shows? My streams feature a 'clip reel' which plays while I'm away from the computer, displaying the best moments from my past shows. This reel is comprised of quick 20-second clips captured either by myself or my viewers, and when combined together it has a total length of over 3 HOURS. And those are just the clips of my channel I've deemed worth showing! Imagine if I wanted to go through all my channel's clips individually, just to find a specific one- it would be completely futile. But now when I need a clip, I'm typically able to grab it in seconds. This is because I've developed a system for finding the clips I need, and keeping track of which clips I think I'll need in the future. 

Make sure your clips can be found.

If you want to do the same, then you should first confirm that your clips are being named properly. This means making sure the name is concise, and applies to what's actually happening during the clip. Even if a clip is hilarious or thrilling, you'll never find it again six months from now if it just uses an identical title to all your other clips. Users watching a stream will often grab clips but forget to name them, and in those cases I recommend going back and remaking the clips yourself after the show is over. This will save you a huge amount of headache going forward. Of course, this expanded dedication to clip naming won't help any clips that have been made already, but it's never too late to start future proofing. The sooner you start enacting this strategy, the easier a time you'll have sourcing clips further into your channel's lifetime. 

But even once you've been doing this for a while and you have hundreds of well-named clips, that would still mean wading through a huge amount of content when you want to locate something specific! Isn't there any way to narrow down the field? Unfortunately as of this writing, Twitch doesn't have any way to search through your clips by title, which would have been the easiest solution. But there are several other methods which can help you find what you're looking for. In addition to the 'Clips' tab that viewers can see while looking at your profile, you also have access to a powerful tool behind the scenes called the 'Clips Dashboard.' When you're on this screen, you can check the box for 'Clips of My Channel' and it will show every single clip that you or your viewers have created from your streams. You can sort by views to find the most popular ones, or by date to see things in chronological order. Already, the functionality of these sorting options is greatly expanded over what normal viewers can do on your profile page. 

Most useful for a channel like mine is the 'Category' search bar on the right side, which will show only the clips taken while you were streaming a certain game or activity. Even though my channel has hundreds and hundreds of clips overall, because I play through so many singleplayer games, there are bound to be only a few dozen clips per game at the maximum. This feature significantly reduces the time it takes me to find any clips I need later. Of course, if you only stream one game exclusively, a narrowing field like this wouldn't be much help. In that case, there are some other measures you can take. 


Sometimes paperwork is in order.

In addition to using the built-in Twitch tools to find my best clips, I also take matters into my own hands. Because I post clips on social media every day, use them to edit YouTube videos, and regularly add them to my stream software for the aforementioned clip reel, it's imperative that I keep track of my clips more specifically. Therefore, after every stream ends, I take stock of any clips created and add all their links to a Google Document. Along with the links to each clip, I add the date and name of the game I was playing. This allows me to vary the posts I make to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok so there aren't a bunch of clips of the same game being posted in a row. I then cross each one off after it's been used. This method has made me incredibly efficient about instantly finding any clips I need, and this increased production speed has in turn drastically boosted my social media presence. 

If you stream one game or activity exclusively, keeping a document like this will be your best chance to get more granular about your clips. For me, all I need to know is which game I was playing. If you play only Fortnite, you might want to organize clips into different categories like 'Funny,' 'Skill,' 'Luck,' Wins,' or whatever features are important for you to differentiate the various moments. This works the same way if you specialize in something that isn't video game-related, like painting model kits. You can organize clips in your tracking document by project, by series, by skill level, or any other criteria, even though Twitch's built-in tools would lump every model kit stream into one single category. Using a document like this effectively will require a bit of foresight on your part. What do you want to do with your clips, and what would be important to keep track of in order to best facilitate that goal? 


Twitch has some pretty useful tools for keeping track of your clips, but you should never rely solely on what you're given. If something you need doesn't exist, simply make it yourself. Clips have been a massive part of my channel for a long time now, and they've allowed me to introduce new people to my shows in so many ways. So take matters into your own hands and organize your Twitch clips to create something new and extraordinary! 

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