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The new content creators: hosting events on X and Discord

Over 1.5M Filipinos provided freelance services in 2022. If you have seen online content from your favorite brand, there is a high chance that a freelancer operates the social media account.

Over the past years, I have joined the ranks as a freelance writer and host, and have kept up to date on industry trends. It never ceases to amaze me how new opportunities continue to present themselves and how more adventurous Filipinos can take advantage.

To be specific – the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the rise of online communities on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and recently Discord and X.

If willing, Filipino freelancers can cater to the needs of these new expanding communities.

What are X and Discord

Formerly known as Twitter, X is a free social networking site where users can create short text posts (tweets), video content, subscriptions, and audio-only chat rooms (Spaces). The latter exploded in popularity in 2021. Spaces come across as more authentic as it iss live, free, and easy for fans to hop on. Lucky followers may even get the chance to ask questions directly to celebrities and influencers by being invited to speak.

Meanwhile, Discord is a free communications application that lets people share voice messages, files, videos, and text chats with other users. More complex than the standard soc med platform, Discord includes bot integration, the ability to create rooms, and functionality to host games. The multifunctionality of Discord has made it a favorite among the younger generation and gamers.

Emerging Needs

Businesses and personalities attract large followings on X and Discord and seek to engage their loyal fanbases in various ways.

Baekhyun, a South Korean celebrity and member of the boyband EXO, has 8M followers on X and regularly interacts with fans through tweets and Spaces. In July 2023, the celebrity hosted a Space and talked to the audience before falling completely asleep live! Over 30,000 listeners stayed on and listened to his soft snores.

But not every business or influencer is eloquent or equipped to handle speaking engagements. Oftentimes, a host moderates Twitter spaces and manages the listeners.

Discord presents similar opportunities and challenges.

Imagine a Twice concert with thousands of attendees. During the event, people would be asking for information, singing along, talking to friends, or simply watching. Different teams manage these activities – organizers, security, and food stands among others.

Picture the same for an online room with hundreds of thousands of members. Genshin Impact, one of the most popular mobile games on the planet, boasts close to 1 Million community members on their Discord. Various personnel need to control and keep the crowd engaged.

Taking Advantage

I initially struggled when I transitioned from a writer to an X-host. As a host, not only do I have to speak, but I also have to probe deeper if there are interesting points that a speaker presents. This entails quick and critical thinking. At the same time, the audience will be asking questions. Not just in the Space itself, but throughout X on posts and threads. To keep audience engagement high, I reply with jokes, memes, or questions. Excellent multi-tasking skills must be developed.

While Discord also has audio-only chat rooms, there are more ways to engage members. I act as a moderator in a blockchain-related community where I answer questions and engage in friendly banter. But there are times when I have to lay down the law, remind them of rules to keep the peace or filter out messages. This is just one of the aspects of community management. My fellow moderators set up the security of the Discord channel, run video streams and karaoke events, and conduct giveaways. Discords mixes a need of technical skills to maximize the platform.

Being on the younger end of the millennial age scale, I have had the benefit of growing up with smartphones and social media. But I had never used both X and Discord prior to 2021. Learning these technology platforms can be discouraging. But with enough courage and willingness to learn new skills, even older professionals can play this game.