I'm a little buzzed as I type this from my Amsterdam hotel room.
A few moments ago I said goodbye to several Steemians. Some I'd never heard of before this weekend; some I knew simply by a username. The past 72 hours have been a whirlwind. My body wants sleep. I need to be up reasonably early for a flight and I didn't make it back to my hotel room until 4:30 a.m. last night (or technically, this morning). But my mind is full–in a good way–and, as @neilstrauss pointed out, if you have something on your mind, write it down.
As many of you know, I'm a cryptocurrency virgin. Or, at least, I was in June 2016. If someone was to have told me last June that I would be flying to Amsterdam later that year to attend and speak at a cryptocurrency-based social media conference, I would've told him/her that he/she was crazy.
But Steemit has been my gateway drug. I'm hooked.
I'll save "how I got introduced to the platform" for another post (or I'll share the video recording of my presentation), but the point is: I'm new. When it comes to this world, I'm highly uneducated. Journalism is my background, and I believe I have the ability to post strong content, but all of the Steemit-related hard work that is going on behind the scenes is way more than my mind can comprehend.
Part of me was nervous when I flew 4,657 miles to attend a conference with people who are experts in this space. But here's the thing... never once this weekend did I feel as though others were looking down at me. In fact, many people were genuinely excited when they found out about my inexperience. If Steemit is to grow, that growth will likely be fuelled by those who don't fully understand cryptocurrencies. So, the fact that I had flown from Canada to Amsterdam despite my lack of knowledge, was actually something that many people I met were excited about.
This weekend I had the chance to take the Studio Stage to chat about my "20 questions" interview series and how I feel it's a powerful tool to capture the attention of non-Steemit influencers while also highlighting movers and shakers within our own Steemit community. Thank you to @roelandp for giving me the opportunity to speak.
Speaking of @roelandp–and I highly suspect this will be a common theme of many upcoming posts–the guy did a simply unbelievable job of organizing the inaugural SteemFest. It was honestly flawless. So much attention to detail. Such incredible venues. Amazing signage. I have nothing for respect for everything he did to put this event together.
I'll leave you with a few of my highlights from the event:
Meeting the faces behind the usernames
"Hey, I'm @blueorgy," was one of the first things I heard Friday night. It was an interesting experience seeing the faces behind the usernames that have become so familiar on this site. Many of us commented how sometimes we have a preconceived idea of what someone will look like simply based on his/her username. In many cases, assumptions about physical appearances turned out to be way off.
Many of the people I had the pleasure of meeting this weekend are among the most intelligent people I've ever met in my life. It was incredibly reassuring to see that these are the people who are working behind the scenes to make Steemit what it is, and what it will become.
Those who I had the chance to chat to were incredibly supportive of what I'm doing on my Steemit blog. This is really encouraging and has motivated me to work hard when I get back to Canada.
It's pretty cool how friendships can be created in three short days. There are some great people within this community.