I'm just gonna throw this idea in the mix: don't spend your time in TF2 with the preconceived notion that its dead or that it will turn into something big - just make the most of your time.
If you really care about the game, you should be willing to spend what time you can in it to make it somewhat better, and if you just wanna play a video game, just enjoy it. It shouldn't matter what role you play in the community, just pursue your interests to the best of your ability. Time obviously plays a factor, and I don't recommend sacrificing massive amounts of your time to better TF2, but if you are one of the many that spends a lot of hours in this game regardless, why not try and make something of it?
If you are a low level player who plays 30 hours a week anyway, maybe its time you try a bit harder to improve and put a bit more thought into your development. If you're getting into something like streaming or casting, try looking for feedback and working on your weaknesses rather than enforcing your bad habits. Even if you've already made it to a high level of play, don't get complacent and jerk yourself off about the tiny amount of fame or respect you've gotten - just keep getting better or try to help others do so (do you really wanna inflate your ego for 20+ hours a week just by beating worse players in mge/pugs? Is that really the best use of your time?).
I'm being a bit harsh but there's so many people that waste so much time in this game with minimal effort and minimal return, and its just dumb to see that that is the response to the few people in this community that put in ridiculous amounts of effort and time. I don't expect TF2 to be around forever and I'm not gonna make it the center of my life by any means, but I want to be able to look back on my time with the community and say that it was time well spent. Maybe it goes somewhere but I don't really care if it doesn't. I know I've developed as a person and built good relations on the way - and that is way more finite than any promises that you, me or Valve could make at this stage.
edit: hey man, you're being productive by making a podcast so keep doing what you're doing