An Interview With: DragonBlogger
With over twelve years of media experience, whether it be vlogging, blogging or live streaming. DragonBlogger has formed the core of the thriving DragonBloggers community. A group of like-minded individuals across multiple platforms who seek to educate, entertain and encourage. Whether it be playthroughs or product reviews, there is something for everyone.
If you would be so kind, join me now as we interview DragonBlogger and explore the man behind the community, behind the flourishing media empire and find out not only what started his journey but what drives him ever forward.
Noob: Before we begin, I would like to take a moment to thank DragonBlogger for taking the time to take part in the interview with us.
Noob: Please may we start with the name you use when streaming?
DragonBlogger: DragonBlogger (Justin) as I am the owner of the Twitch channel, but I have a number of people on my stream team who all go by their own names James, Nate, Brian, Jackie, Oliver as well as KatVonMeow and Opal.
Noob: That sounds like an excellent idea. Instead of a streamer, the community has a Twitch family you could say, all on one channel.
May I ask what the overall channel name is?
Noob: And if you don’t mind me asking, how old are you?
DragonBlogger: 42 myself (Justin)
Noob: And where are the DragonBloggers located?
DragonBlogger: All my streamers are in the USA, and I am in California.
Noob: When did you start streaming if you don't mind me asking?
DragonBlogger: May 2019.
Noob: As part of the getting to know you, I usually go a bit ‘off the norm’ and ask a few random questions. I hope that’s okay.
What are your favourite types of game?
DragonBlogger: Space RPG / RPG / Strategy – My Main is Elite: Dangerous for the past 5 years and have over 5,500 hours in the game, but also many hours in Guild Wars 2, Star Traders: Frontiers which is an indie game from Trese Brothers and so many others.
Noob: 5,500 hours in Elite: Dangerous? I thought nearly 200 hours in Fallout 4 was showing I was addicted. That is an impressive amount of dedication.
What are your favourite film or tv show genre(s)?
DragonBlogger: Sci-Fi / Fantasy – Star Trek, Star Wars, Babylon 5 and Star Trek: The Next Generation were my favorite TV shows. Hercules the Legendary Journeys, The Witcher series…etc.
Noob: You had me sold at Sci-FI, but those are some great choices. Babylon 5 was probably my first ever Sci-Fi, and yet not many people really mention it anymore, so you definitely get brownie points.
What are your favourite types of anime?
DragonBlogger: Fantasy / Sci-Fi (Akira, SAO, Gundam, Bubblegun Crisis…etc) I grew up with my first Anime being Bubblegun Crisis/Akira on Laserdisc in 1987 my journey with anime began. So many great anime and not just Miyazaki films in the early 90’s including Vampire Hunter D and so many others.
Noob: What is your favourite type or types of food?
DragonBlogger: Italian food by far, Stuffed Shells being probably my all time favorite dish specifically.
Noob: And what type of hobbies do you have?
DragonBlogger: Mostly, my hobbies are all around computer-related activities which include blogging, gaming and various experiments with entrepreneurial stuff online.
Noob: Hands down I loved these answers, from food choice to Babylon 5 and Vampire Hunter D you have such a great taste in entertainment and food.
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YOUR JOURNEY SO FAR
Noob: So just for our readers, please may I ask you in your own words, what is it you do?
DragonBlogger: I have been a blogger/vlogger since 2008 and only recently expanded into the live streaming in 2019. My dragonblogger.com website focuses on tech, gadgets, video games and entertainment and our YouTube focuses on a mix of product unboxing, reviews, how-to vids (PC Hardware/Software) and video game lets plays and entertainment streams. I became a multi-author/multi-contributor property in 2012 when I couldn’t sustain all the content creation myself with my day job, so I started bringing in more people with similar desire to just showcase stuff, entertain all with the goal of sharing information, good times and helping out when we had the time. I started doing giveaways to reward the community and fans as soon as my sites started turning a profit with AdSense and other passive monetization.
Noob: That is quite a back story, and you are not even finished by the sounds of it.
Having talked to DragonBlogger about his giveaways and read about them on the blog, they can be giveaways for anything from e-vouchers to equipment such as games consoles and Alexa Dots. It is also not a surprise when mid-stream, one of the DragonBloggers team, will just announce a game giveaway either.
Noob: Which platform(s) do you use to showcase your work?
and of course our Discord Channel
Noob: What made you want to begin your creative journey?
DragonBlogger: Blogging was actually taking so much of my time I wasn’t finding much time to game anymore which is an outlet, so by starting my Twitch channel I was able to incorporate gaming more into my site and connect with audiences while gaming at the same time (engagement + entertainment for both myself and my viewers). It also allowed us to have a real-time conversation and engagement with fans instead of the rather slow and boring commenting on blog posts, though those were helpful for answering questions they didn’t really lead to two-way engagement as much as question and reply type transactions. With the blog also losing traffic to YouTube and other media channels, we organically grew into Twitch to keep up with the wave of where audience engagement was at. The team that creates written content and video for my YouTube are not completely overlapped with my streaming team either, Iggy does content exclusive to my blog and YouTube while streaming for his ThisBytesForYou property, and Lynda contributes mostly to our shared Instagram account for DragonBloggers. Brian who goes by DareDiablo on Twitch was one of my earliest contributors to my blog and the first person outside of my son and I to stream to my Twitch as part of the “stream team”.
Noob: To be able to build a multi-platform family like that, managing so many different personalities, companies and schedules. That must be a logistical nightmare and yet so satisfying when it runs smoothly.
What do you personally find, are the main positives?
DragonBlogger: I very much enjoy the real-time interaction with fans/viewers and being able to talk and have conversations while in-game. I enjoy playing games and find the experience of conversing and being social while gaming during a stream is more rewarding than just being social playing MMO’s with random people online for me. I also love being in a position where I get enough passive income I can devote a marketing budget to running giveaways for fans and the excitement it generates.
Noob: They are quite humble reasons and no doubt why many people enjoy the DragonBloggers content.
On the flip side, though, do you find there to be any negatives?
DragonBlogger: Ironically though my site was always tech, gadget, gaming and entertainment I have had some of our viewers say we are doing too much with gaming compared to the product reviews/unboxing they were there for. I fragmented my site into so many genres that it is hard to appeal to a single audience type. Because I am a streamer team (stream house without the house) people who are there only for KatVonMeow for example only see her stream on Sundays, some people who don’t know us or randomly drop in can be jarred by seeing someone different depending on what date/time they drop in and casuals are taken aback when I am moderating and the person streaming isn’t the person who owns the channel. I have dealt with a few trolls but not much, I am good with automation tools and already have a few loyal fans who are really helpful with moderating the Twitch and the Discord channel. Another negative is the giveaways I do are a double-edged sword, and while some are super appreciative and fans of the channel and what we do or a specific favorite streamer, others are only in it for the giveaway and have no engagement outside of getting their entry for the giveaway. I have had many drop in and then unfollow after a giveaway is over, and it left my channel with a high number of followers but a very low level of actual engagement overall. I don’t want to stop doing them, because I would rather reward the few than not do any rewards; however, just something that I struggle with.
Noob: The giveaways as you said do sound to have their pros and cons, especially as you are running them with the income from the various platforms. Out of your own pocket, you could say. However, the fact you are having loyal readers and viewers stay and be an active part of your community is great. It’s those diamonds in the rough that are the solid core to build on and who as you said, you want to reward.
If you don’t mind me asking, how do you deal with the negative aspects?
DragonBlogger: Well, I quickly moderate anything inappropriate, like when people were really harassing my 12-year-old son at the time who was streaming or are being rude/disrespectful to my streamers. You can clearly see the sexism in streaming as my 2 female streamers are the only two who pickup rather sexist comments sometimes while they stream and things can get awkward quick when I see some of the comments posted. As a mainstream social media personality and blogger, I tend to keep all content and topics middle line on purpose to avoid negative impact to reputation when working with brands, companies and this tends to not have us involved in any particular trolling other than a few random things that come up. I try to have our stream team minimize cursing, and I take a very supportive attitude toward others in the streaming community even if their streaming schtick isn’t my personal preference I respect everyone’s attempt to create their own online persona and gimmick and style to help entertain an audience and stand out. The one thing I tend to stay away from is angry/hate/rants and overtly suggestive streamers which I again don’t judge, but just tend to not be my cup of tea. I don’t mind sarcastic, sardonic humor, however, and satire is one of my favorite entertainment types.
Noob: Having known DragonBlogger for a few months, going on to almost a year, you can always find both himself and other members of his team interacting with Discords. Channels and viewers. Even if they are supporting other members of the team and hanging out in chat. That level of genuine interaction and willingness to assist, without any real expectation for anything in return, just doing it for the sake of supporting and interacting. Is a great trait.
Where do you see yourself in a year?
DragonBlogger: I would like to see the channels continue to grow through exposure, hoping to hit 25,000 subscribers and 10 million viewers on YouTube by summer 2020 and hoping to get more consistency toward 100 viewer averages on at least 1 of my stream slots per day. I would like to become a Twitch Partner and run a stream team to be able to better support other streamers as well, Mixer allows a team without needing partner, and I run a “StreamingDragons” team there where any Mixer personality is invited to join and get auto-hosted if they are in my streaming group.
Noob: Where do you see yourself in three years?
DragonBlogger: As my site really is a “media proper” and I am Dragon Blogger Technology & Entertainment I want to eventually grow to have Mixer, Twitch and YouTube live streaming concurrently and possibly separate crew who are live streaming to all channels. I would like to eventually grow to a 24x7 entertainment property maybe like an IGN or something like but with only doing this entire thing as a hobby and part-time, not sure if I would get there.
- Curiosity jump scared the Kat -
Noob: I might have mentioned above that I like to do things a little ‘off script’ and throw some random and fun stuff into the interview. Bearing that in mind, I have a few questions to ask. Feel free to answer as many as you like.
Who is your favourite Pokemon, and why is it Cubone?
DragonBlogger: Lol, it is actually Charizard because of the dragon thing.
Noob: Going off of your logo alone, I should have known.
So you like pineapple on pizza, can you tell us why?
DragonBlogger: Yes, Hawaiian Pizza has always been one of my favorite styles since I was a kid growing up in New York City.
Noob: You are the first person to actually answer that with a solid yes. You can come back again.
If you were stranded on an island, what is the one thing you would want to have with you and why?
DragonBlogger: Without more context, a fishing pole with a year's worth of bait/lures. 😊
Noob: What is your go-to excuse for getting out of things you just can’t be arsed doing?
DragonBlogger: Legitimately lack of time for me, I am spread so thin with my day job, kids, wife, that I have so little time to do anything. I almost don’t have to make up an excuse to get out of things as my life is pretty much groundhog day where I am on the same exact things at the same times every day in a schedule, I don’t have time to fit anything “new and unscheduled in.”
Noob: If you were to be hunted by an infamous horror character, who would it be? And what is wrong with you?
DragonBlogger: When I was a very young kid, I had a dream where I was hunted by the Mother Alien from Aliens, and I hid behind a radiator. My family was all cocooned, and this dream/nightmare stuck with me even into adulthood. The dream was among the most vivid I have ever had. So I guess that would be applicable here.
Noob: I am not going to lie, but that sounds genuinely terrifying.
Got any good jokes to tell us?
DragonBlogger: Not appropriate ones no, for a clownfish, I’m not that funny… But seriously I am a real-life Ben Stiller character who often is getting into situations because I am clumsy and aloof sometimes. One time I was taking my wife on a romantic date at an Italian restaurant and accidentally flipped the cloth napkin on the bread basket over the candle on the table, lighting it on fire. I put it out really quick with the ice water in my glass but it was embarrassing, to say the least.
Noob: I try not to use emotes in blogs to attempt professionalism, but picture me here creased up with laughter. That is a date and a half.
Are Jaffa cakes a cake or a biscuit?
DragonBlogger: Never even heard of a Jaffa cake until I saw this question so looked it up, looks more like a cookie or biscuit to me but I never tasted one.
Noob: Firstly thank you very much for actually putting the time into googling that. I should perhaps add in an American alternative. Secondly, they are basically a citrus jelly on top of sponge covered in chocolate and are somewhat addictive.
If you could be an anime character, who would you be? And why?
DragonBlogger: Hmm, probably Alucard from Hellsing. Immortality and near invulnerability. I know most would do One Punch Man or Goku for sheer power, but trying to scope it into the current world. If in a video game context world, Kirito from Sword Art Online (an in-game character not real life world) because if I lived in a virtual MMO world like SAO or Ready Player One, I would want to have been that sole beta tester who played from the beginning and was ahead of the curve solo. I always played MMO’s solo never in groups or squads.
Noob: Alucard? That is a great choice and also Hellsing is a fantastic anime.
What’s your perfect Sunday? And which movie did I pinch this from?
DragonBlogger: Honestly, I like going to see movies in the theatre with my kids and wife, so perfect Sunday would be brunch or lunch and a movie at Regal Cinemas for me. I don’t know what movie you pinched this question from.
Noob: If you were an absolute badass in any form of media, what would your catchphrase be?
DragonBlogger: To steal from Dave the Barbarian cartoon series…. Bejabbers.
Noob: That would definitely be an interesting catchphrase.
- Moose Hunting -
Game: Far Cry 5
IF YOU COULD SHARE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE
Noob: When blogging, I like to blog in a way where it can be relevant to both new people and experienced, whether it be fans of films, games, or looking for streaming advice. I want to open the floor up to you now DragonBlogger and just ask if you had any advice to give a fledgeling entrepreneur or someone looking to get into online media. What would it be?
DragonBlogger: In a generation full of stressed-out people who are struggling financially, emotionally and in so many other ways, know that nobody is alone. Everyone is unique, and you are never alone. There is ALWAYS a community to be there to support, talk, chat, and whether it is a gaming group, Discord group…etc. Find ways to connect with others. Humans are social creatures by nature and biological design, and in altruism and acts of kindness, compassion and support we can lift each other up as a species and social culture to being better than what the world has become. Who we associate with affects our personality and emotional well being as well, surround yourself with the inspiration and people you want to be more like and learn to adapt and thrive. Be a part of the group that seeks to destroy hatred, racism, sexism and be part of the accepting crowd who realizes we are all trying to find where we fit in in this world and universe where humanity and Earth itself are merely a speck in the grand scheme of the universe. You have one life to live, think about what will matter when you are gone, what impact and mark do you want to leave on the world? My legacy is to have some positive impact on as many people as possible whether I made their lives brighter for a few minutes of entertainment, they won a prize that made them happy or provided some guidance that helped them make a decision.
Avoid being in a rut, there is unlimited free education and information on the Internet, it is never too late to learn something new, start a new direction and reinvent yourself if you are unhappy with what you are doing. If you are a streamer, be supportive, encouraging and anytime you need some advice, encouragement or anything just reach out to me anytime at DragonBlogger#3133 on Discord. I am not a bit time streamer, but I am a big believer in helping and supporting others regardless. Be unique, be yourself, be awesome.
Also, be fiscally responsible, live on a fixed budget, whatever you make live on 60% of it and bank/save the other 40%. My biggest regret is not having sound investment and financial advice from my own parents when I turned 18. Invest in ownership and not renting if you can work toward it, own land and a house, become clear of debt, don’t finance without a clear ability to end all payments on debt in a reasonable time. Don’t upgrade that house/car just because you can if you get a promotion until you have all debt paid off and pay yourself first. Never think 1 day ahead, make goals for years ahead, 1 year, 3 year, 5 year goals. Make a wallboard on how you are going to achieve your goals, and go for them.
Finally, be an entrepreneur and work for yourself, even if you have a day job no matter how big/small, take the time to invest in creating a side gig, invest in yourself, develop a skill set and have a backup plan. Learn to program, create something, take up a hobby that you want to do and put off (pick up an instrument lesson…etc). At 42 years old, I have really had 24 years of analysis on where I should have went right when I went left and like so many people I am trying to correct mistakes of the past with a goal in mind.
“I am a big believer in helping and supporting others regardless. Be unique, be yourself, be awesome.”
Noob: I honestly do not know what to say to that. Not only sound advice that can be applied to all walks of life but the first stepping stones to get you into it too. Thank you very much for sharing that with us DragonBlogger.
As DragonBlogger said, nothing is impossible to achieve. It is all about the tools you use. Perhaps a change of mindset. Or in many cases, the blunt truth is getting off of your bum. And taking the first steps to chase that dream.
Noob: Admittedly, DragonBlogger was someone I was nervous about asking to be interviewed. He is a really nice guy, genuine and yet has been blogging and entertaining for years as opposed to my handful of weeks. Sometimes you can find the veterans of their fields to be territorial. And yet he agreed without hesitation.
Truth be told we have covered subjects before, and I have mentioned people who got me into streaming, into wanting to make YouTube content. Still, it was DragonBlogger who after much interrogation during stream chat interactions and Discord DMs, that helped me decide to attempt blogging. It’s something I am really enjoying, it’s something I will hopefully improve over time, and it is hopefully something I can use as a platform to bring such genuine and remarkable people to you the readers.
Thank you can’t really sum up how to express that to DragonBloggers, but I would just like to thank them for their guidance last year and for also taking part in the interview today.
If you would like to find out more about DragonBlogger and the DragonBloggers community, make sure to check out those social media links, which I will re-post below too.