First of all:
Sorry for raiding the #roadtosteemfest tag, without reading any of the other posts.
I am here considering whether I should go or not and I will read the posts afterwards to finalize my decision.
As a Steemfest veteran with 3 consecutive Steemfests in a row, I feel a certain obligation to go.
I am still undecided though.
The last time I went to Thailand, I liked it so much, I overstayed my visa and had to pay a fine, when I tried leaving the country. I was told that since I paid the fine, this should not cause too much trouble, if I tried entering the country again.
The last time I went to Bangkok, I hated it so much, I had to rush out of the city in a hurry and I swore to myself never to pay money again for being in a place like this. I hate cities. Living in one is an unnatural form of existence and Bangkok is a prime example of everything that is wrong with cities + some extra heat and humidity.
My initial reaction was ( since the flight is expensive ) to try and make the most of the 4 weeks 'visa on arrival'. After Steemfest, I would go to the countryside ( which is beautiful ) and spend the rest of my time in Thailand in a Muay Thai camp.
I have already started training, so that if I go, I don't fall over after 10 minutes of exercise.
Thailand is a great place to get stuck, for better or worse ...
I have very mixed feelings about the location
STEEM in general
I am totally out of the loop.
I have not been paying much attention to the recent changes.
I have only been blogging sporadically.
I feel frustrated.
I had been waiting for some of these changes for 3 yeas now, all of them had been proposed by the community years ago and had been ignored or dismissed by Steemit Inc.
Steemit Inc. has used Steemfest as a platform to make some ridiculous announcements, including 'Communities by the end of the year' ( I can't believe this was 2016 ), 'SMTs by the end of the year' (2017) and some generally poor appearances - the most awkward so far being Krakow.
A number of top witnesses have done nothing but create bid bot services, which caused all the bad players to stake up immensely, while the fundamentally flawed economic system was kept running for no obvious reason other than @ned being unable to admit that it was a short sighted failure.
Other witnesses have crowded a whole community of people behind them, by promising posting rewards for joining their Discord server. When I joined this place, buying votes was considered cheating and any attempt got flagged mercilessly.
These things had basically been solved in the first days only to be dug up again and again until the community got soft and the boldest guy just pushed through with it. It all went much like the story around STEEM sport bets; which was all the talk at Steemfest II, but had been 'invented' a bunch of times before, but got shot down until the right person sold the same idea in a different outfit.
Other than this back and forth, there has been little progress and I feel tired of discussing SMTs and Communities again, while everything around it still is speculation. The possibilities are endless and I keep sliding into the same conversations all the time.
I have a bad feeling about Steemit Inc. and a lot of the current top witnesses.
The people are what make Steemfest great.
As @revisesociology has put it:
The level of intelligence at this event goes through the roof.
I feel the same and I have met some of the most interesting people around Steemfest from really all around the world and from the most different backgrounds possible.
Many of the early adopters, who I met at Steemfest I in Amsterdam, have stopped blogging though, cashed out and left STEEM for good. The second wave of Steemians already had a wildly different understanding of the system and different values. Waves of people came and went. Throughout the years, the atmosphere changed.
Partially that was inevitable, as early adopters got replaced by better bloggers. ( Our first posts here would now earn us cents only with the current level of competition )
Sometimes I feel like mostly the persistent shitposters survived.
In Amsterdam, we were all amateur bloggers - really just random people who felt compelled to write to get a stake of STEEM. Everybody's blog looked improvised.
Yet, I intimately knew some people's story. I have read a whole lot of articles.
For Bangkok, I am not looking forward to meeting a single new face - I feel like, I have already met the best of them and seen them leave; there are many great people and friends, who I am really looking forward to seeing; there are also some people, who I'd rather not meet again.
I have not only made friends on STEEM.
I have criticized a lot and I have been rude about it at times.
While I do not think I have always been right for doing so, I have had some very accurate reads and I do not regret the few times I misjudged and changed my mind about people afterwards.
There is a huge social aspect to STEEM and even though their actions will be stored on chain forever, a whole host of bad players will attend Steemfest without a single thought of regret and I will not be able to keep my mouth shut.
I have mostly good feelings about the people at Steemfest ...
It always amazed me, how openly some of you guys write about your personal development and your fears and such on a public blog.
I won't go as deep, but I have made some progress myself :)
I got back into programming, entrepreneurship, I am organizing an event ... the whole STEEM experience has cheered me up a lot.
Even though I am not actively blogging anymore, I have these moments, that 'would make a good post' and I generally started looking at my life a bit more from the outside and ponder how it would market on STEEM ... It feels like a mild form schizophrenia and I am not sure if that is good at all.
As mentioned above, I have met some of the most interesting people here on STEEM and live at Steemfest, but I also do not want to meet every single person there again.
As far as the topic goes, I should probably push myself to face this awkwardness, try again and see if it wasn't all my fault to begin with ...
... I am not even sure if @roelandp wants me at his events anymore :)
I am the guy that is constantly outside smoking, rarely listening to speeches, first at the buffet ...
... If it all went right, I should have totally quit smoking by November, at least, though.
Otherwise, I would get my ass beat unnecessarily at the Muay Thai camp.
For my personal development, it would probably be best to push myself and go.
Even though this post feels quite negative after I read through it again, I will see if I can attend Steemfest. I am confident, that it is the most enjoyable event around blockchain possible and in many aspects the best I have ever been to.
Regarding STEEM in general: After more than 3 years, I am still curating daily. I am still interested in reading posts and sometimes I find a new author and feel excited.
Perhaps, I just need another Steemfest to get the ball rolling again.
I will finally decide within the next few days - Does anybody want to join me and train touristy Thai Boxing for 3 weeks somewhere at the beach :D ?