Feature small, quality streamers
On the frontpage, feature 1 small, quality streamer, next to the top streamers. Newcomers and hidden gems could be featured there to give them some more exposure. Obviously it has to be a quality stream so they could/should be picked by the twitch staff.
I think this is a good starting ground and a way to give new streamers a chance to prove themselves.
Quality can be a tricky thing to define, but some algorithms can help bring new and small streamers to the forefront. The left hand panel is under utilized in this regards. Moving the "followed" links to its own tab would free up space to provide links for both top, medium, and small streamers.
the panel easily supports 10 links, perhaps the first 4 for top tiers, 3 for mid tiers, and 3 for the small guys (the 50+ followers group) . This would allow a greater diversity of streamers; and content and go a long way to prevent the slow downward slide of popularity contests.
P.S.: The sub 50 group can still be left to fend for themselves as the "proving ground" to filter for the above mentioned quality
P.P.S.: I strongly suggest people up vote this suggestion:
"Change front page model to Genre > Game Genre > Game > Streamers"
I think this will go a long way to not only improve the front page but to allow smaller streamers more chance to be seen.
While this would be cool, I feel like it would be really difficult for twitch staff to mill through thousands of small streamers to find one that's just right. It's a cool idea, but a bit unrealistic.
This could be cool. I'm tired of seeing the people who buy their way through everything getting helped out by the big-wigs. I'd even be ok with them not being hand selected for their quality. If they just had a box on the front page that featured a streamer who's not partnered, at random, and changed every time you refreshed the page, I'd be cool with that.
Streamers with only a handfull of followers can still deliver quality streams while not being partnered but global mods could do it too for sure.
Problem with it being picked by the staff is they're probably partnered anyway then. I think maybe a global moderator would be the better choice.