It seems quite incredible that people carried precious things the circumference of the world, simply to share them with me. In the aftermath of Steemfest, surrounded by trinkets and ideas and debates and all of the tremendous value our community carries in a myriad of physical-and-less-so forms, I'd love to share them with you too.
In a year of firsts, my first Steemfest has become the keystone to all of the things I've built slowly from the ground up. Watching my projects, communities, and witness rise to new heights and be able to bear more weight in return for the support given to me, the last piece of the puzzle to lock everything into place was to finally connect names and faces and ideas and love at this event. Does it sound cliché? It probably is, and I'm fine with that. As Steemians, we have experienced and come to rely on community during each of our firsts on this chain forwards. The gifts that we as a whole bring with us to our blockchain and to each other range wildly. At my desk this morning, I twirl a crystal in my fingers while pondering some harsh criticism (delivered lovingly,) my mouth puckering around the spice of a ginger candy and my follow up notes on on-boarding and positive growth watched over by a group of truly joyful lunatics captured in unhinged photo booth snaps. Each of these little gifts make my heart beat a little faster, because it means that in this huge social experiment there is more than data and security and immutability being exchanged. If you gave me something, or shared your time with me, know that you made an impact on me that I am determined to carry forward to my work on the chain. Some of these gifts are wonderfully personal, and some of them are big enough for everyone on Steem.
An incomplete list of things I was given, in no particular order, that might be of some interest to you:
- an intense look at how the Steem ecosystem is being expanded and built outwards by community teams beyond Steemit Inc with big ideas and even bigger talents (I thought I knew....I sort of knew; but I had no idea)
- the chance to discuss and debate with people face to face, and to be constructively critiqued and to share my own concerns in a place that doesn't lose the respect and nuance of speech or be influenced by the potential of monetary rewards
- the ability to be approached by Steemians too scared to talk to me on the chain or in communities who couldn't resist wrapping me in a hug once they realized I'm literally just a chubby, drunk nerd
- a forum for me to really listen to many people much more intelligent than me discuss viewpoints, concerns, goals and successes that vary wildly from my own
- the incredible feeling of being recognized and encouraged by people I already know and love and by people I've never met. If you asked if I ever expected that people would recognize me as I slipped through the crowds and be excited to stop and thank/encourage/hug/touch/yell at/kick/drink with me, I would call you completely insane
If you weren't able to go, and you're feeling a bit like you missed out, I get it.
There was a lot going on. I could tag all of the people that I got a chance to meet and exchange these gifts with in person just to make sure they know how much I appreciate them, but honestly, here's the truly wonderful thing — most of the things I mention above are available to every one of us, right now, here in our community, regardless of Steemfest being over for another year. The social aspect of this blockchain makes it one where exchanging the positive and the negative and the critical and the encouraging can be done right now. You can find out about the projects that are coming down the pipe, and the teams building incredible things off of our toolset. You can interact with witnesses and artists and developers and minnows and investors. You can say hi and ask me questions any time, whether you know me or not, because I really am just a chubby, drunk nerd. In fact, if you would like me to send you a little piece of Steemfest memorabilia, let me know in the comments: I'm giving away a scarf, a tote, and an enamel STEEM pin to people who didn't make it out this time around.
The most important thing that I've brought home is a mixed feeling of determination, revitalization, pride, and recognition that there is a lot of hard work to do to make sure this chain keeps being as awesome as it can be.
Whether you were at Steemfest or not, you're part of the community that keeps allowing these gifts to be exchanged. Share your thoughts, your ideas, your talents, your encouragement, and your constructive criticism with each other.
And for all that you've given to me, thank you. See you at the next one.