As many of you are probably aware, the #promo-uk team has been working tirelessly for the past few months, whether it be making Steemit T-shirts, mugs, caps or professional business cards. The sole purpose being to raise more attention and understanding of the Steemit platform and what is can achieve for us individually and as a collective. Headed up by none other than @stephenkendal himself, this enthusiastic bunch recently took their mission statement one step further and setup a “promotional” road trip stretching almost the entire length of the UK from top to bottom, covering a total of 22 universities from Sep 18 to Oct 12.
So as a newly recruited member of this productive team, I decided to assist at the “Oxford University” stop-off scheduled on October 8th and was also super excited to meet the awesome @starkerz in person (organiser of this day's particular event).
After one and a half hours journey from London, I finally arrived at the University of Oxford.
Might I add that Oxford is a beautiful city in it’s own right. Chock full of amazing architectures, rich history and some fascinating cultural reference points. There were so many significant looking colleges, cathedrals and museums as well as plenty of parks and greenery for it's inhabitants to relax in. Especially now being autumn time, the University of Oxford gave off a very atmospheric charm with leaves of many varieties scattered on the ground. Everything was very elegant and captivating indeed.
A Very Special Steemian Meetup
I got to meet @starkerz at around 11am in front of the "Student Union" building which was an absolute pleasure. Within seconds, I knew this was a flamboyant, charismatic person whom I was about to spend the day with. In fact, just the right person for the task at hand. Though before getting started we decided to grab a coffee at a local cafe to begin proceedings, lol.
Whilst waiting in line to be served, both of us simply could not wait any longer and started chatting about Steemit. A guy standing directly behind me overheard us “spilling the beans” about decentralised blockchain’s, crypto and the like. So almost instinctively he decided to get involved as well! Off to a promising start! Of course, he ended up leaving the shop soon after. But not without a warm cup of coffee, some newfound crypto knowledge and one of our plush Steemit business cards, lol.
By the way, I must say how impressed I was with the quality of those business cards. It even has a QR code on the front to allow finding out more information much easier, together with highlighting of some Steemit's most popular tags (That's on the flip side of the card)! Very nice indeed!
During the course of the day, @starkerz and I spoke at length of our experiences on Steemit thus far. One thing we agreed on almost immediately was how mind blown we were when first introduced to it. @starkerz is so very passionate about Steemit and has quite a number of tremendously innovative ideas to push the platform to the next level.
We also spoke about the upcoming Steemfest 2, however at the time @starkerz has not made up his mind as to whether he’d go or not. I felt this was my cue to gush about the utter brilliance of the first one I attended last year in Amsterdam! I mean, there are still those of us out there that have yet to remove the Steemfest wristbands! If that doesn’t speak volumes of the greatness of that event, I don’t know what will! It was all expertly organised by the fabulous @roelandp whilst those in attendance were some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Ah, the memories! I feel that holding that Steemfest event strengthened the community in ways that connecting online could only hope to achieve. It really bolstered it's image in the mainstream and showed off the power of our strong social media platform.
I really tried my utmost to encourage him to come too and possibly even be one of the speakers at the Steemfest. @starkerz and @stephenkendal have done such an amazing job leading the #promo-uk team that this would be the ideal stage to voice their success. It would be be very inspirational for all Steemians to see and surely have a very positive impact on the platform in general. So to my delight, I believe he had a change of heart and may reconsider his initial stance. Awesome news for us all, I promise!
The Promotional Campaign
After the caffeine had done it’s job and kicked in nicely, we were both ready to undertake some serious promotional activities around the various university campus grounds.
Walking towards one college in particular, we suddenly found waves of people (mostly students) passing us by. They all appeared to be dressed in very sporty attire, with several of them having medals hung around their necks. It quickly came to our realisation that today was actually the Virgin Sport Oxford Half Marathon and the finishing line was at the university itself!
What a great and unexpected opportunity! @starkerz was quite eager to catch the traffic. Although I have undertaken a few Steemit promotions myself in the past, @starkerz natural ability to connect with people and interact was pretty much of a professional standard. Therefore, I thought the wisest thing to do would be observe, absorb his expert social techniques and attempt to follow suit later.
He started off by stating that he was writing a blog about Oxford University (which we actually are) and would be publishing it on a new social media website called Steemit, which we in turn are also promoting. He then went on to explain that the proceeds were helping fund his rest of his campaign tour to the remaining universities in the country.
We also engaged with some audiences (yes, there were audiences at times, lol) by asking if they were already posting on Facebook or Instagram. Unsurprisingly, most people answered yes. That opened another avenue for @starkerz to further divulge the one huge difference between Steemit and other social media websites. That being the user created values of Facebook continue to line the company's pockets with millions of dollars making it one of the richest internet brands in the world today. Whereas Steemit being a “decentrailised blogging platform” on the other hand, pass that user created value back to the end user. A difficult concept to grasp at first, but one handled exceptionally well by him.
Yes, I was really impressed with the way @starkerz talked to people. He came across very affable and smooth, yet not intrusive. And there is a fine line between the two. I must admit I learned a lot from him that day. Encouraged by this, I started to refine my own technique based off of that solid foundation and after a while, the confidence began to flow like water.
I wanted to shared my own personal experiences with the people I talked to as well as showing them a few select examples of my blog during my first year on Steemit. How in the beginning I only made a few cents per post but simple perseverance and consistency helped me achieve much greater things later on. I also placed particular emphasis on the importance of content quality and actively engaging with fellow steemians in our community.
Today, I have about 3200 followers and some decent payouts. I was hoping a retelling of someone’s “real-life and personal journey” would paint a more relatable picture for others to associate with. And for the most part, I feel that it worked a treat! I got some very positive feedback from the people I spoke to and throughout the day, the general vibe was that of positivity. In retrospect, this type of marketing speaks volumes in terms of getting the message out to the masses and I honestly feel we got a lot done in the few short hours @starkerz and I spend together that Sunday afternoon.
Some Reflections of the Events of the Day
What I took away with me from doing the promotion in Oxford was mainly this. People naturally love connecting with one other. Almost as if it's ingrained into our DNA. Most people I met are on Facebook or Instagram or some other form of social blogging outlet. But to explain the concept of Steemit to the lay person, one would have to break down exactly what Bitcoin is (and I was surprised to find less than half the people we spoke to hadn’t even heard of it!). Which would then lead to what crypto is, and so on and so forth. In fact, I was taken aback that even students of Oxford University weren’t aware of the existence of Bitcoin, but I guess that goes to show how early on in the game we really are.
We came across quite a few street artists on Cornmarket Street, near to a major shopping parade in the heart of Oxford. These individuals were extremely talented at singing, performing or playing an instrument. Very likely candidates who would have an absolute blast posting their stuff up on Steemit and finding commonality by mingling with the rest of the community! So we made sure to spend a good amount of time with them, again explaining what it was and how beneficial it could potentially be to their lives.
I also recall many oriental students walking in the surrounding area of the university but most of them seeming too busy, to the extent that I hadn’t even started to talk yet and they were already saying “No thanks!” Lol, if only I could have held up an addition sign saying “Listen guys, I’m not trying to sell you anything. On the contrary, in fact!” But that's to be expected I guess when being approached in the street. If only they could have seen the magnitude of the opportunity we were advocating!
Though I remained steadfast and was extra determined to find people from China to talk to, and luckily in the end, I managed just that. In particularly, there was one Chinese lady called Cathy who was nice and very supportive. Again, I’m not sure how much she understood about the whole “crypto” and “decentralised technology” lesson I was giving her but she totally stuck with me in regards to the Steemit platform and the whole idea of getting paid to blog and comment. She even offered help to distribute out some of the Steemit business cards to her colleagues and friends to help spread the word! Sounds good for a start, right?
All in all, we walked around the university grounds promoting Steemit for almost 4 hours in total! And I do think we pretty much covered the key hotspot areas where there was the most amount of "people" traffic (near colleges, outside and within the history museum, outside some pubs). Very exhausted but completely worth it in my humble opinion!
Before we headed back home, @starkerz and I grabbed a well-deserved drink at a local pub and still found enough energy to continue our seemingly endless Steemit conversation. Some of you guys may think we had lost the plot by this point, but there is so much to share about this amazing platform and the feeling of being able to impart that knowledge to someone who actually “gets it” was far too great for words and a welcome release of pent-up feelings and information!
To wrap up, I feel that the most important thing we can all do, as of now, is spread the message (even if a complete understanding of the system as a whole is still an issue for some). It doesn’t matter if people don’t understand it right away. You are planting the seeds and they at least have a reference point to look back on if ever the name “Steemit” comes up again. But as I mentioned previously and we all know only too well, "cryptocurrencies" and "blockchain technology" has barely even begun. I feel we could be looking at years, if not decades, before this revolutionary new ideology garners mainstream acceptance.
So as time passes, global adoption picks up and the masses start to see value in all these various digital assets, those key words that held no meaning once upon a time, will now make complete sense. Like pieces of a puzzle falling into place. We can all do our part and, given some time and patience, the world will become better prepared for this digital evolution and the word of "Steemit" will ultimately spread like wildfire. This is one dream that actually has the potential of becoming a reality.
Thank you, my steemian friends. I cannot wait to see those of you who will be at Steemfest 2.
*(The Steemdollar payout from this post will be contributed towards @starkerz's university tour. Great effort and well done.)
你们当中也许很多人知道，Steemit英国宣传团队（promo-UK）在过去几个月一直努力地为宣传Steemit做了大量工作，制作Steemit T恤，马克杯，运动帽和名片等等。 他们唯一的目的就是为了提高人们对Steemit的关注和理解，吸引更多的人加入这个平台，让Steemit变得更加强大。最近，这个热心的团队把他们的宣传使命推上了另一个层次。从9月18日至10月12日，他们自费组织了一系列大学路演活动，涵盖了英国共22所知名大学！
我们还谈到即将到来的Steemfest 2，但是@starkerz还没有想好他要不要出席。我觉得很有必要告诉@starkerz我去年参加阿姆斯特丹第一次Steemit聚会 的亲身体验。那次聚会办得得非常成功，我和许多有才华和热情洋溢的成员聚集在一起。现在想起来还是满满的温暖和亲切感，有些成员至今仍没有摘除去年的Steemfest手腕带呢，呵呵！这种线下聚会增进了成员之间的交流，加强了Steemit社区的团体凝聚力，是仅在网络上交流所不能取得的。