A researcher's trip to a friendly tribe – the Steemians
Rumors had been rising. A yet unknown tribe - the Steemians - was to meet at Kraków. First results of my research: there are even some of them in Berlin. More than 200 have signed up in a meet-up group. But I never had met any one of them in the numerous blockchain events I have attended this year. Who are the Steemians?
So, I set out to find out more about this tribe. Only contact till now - several phone calls with a tribe member called @birdinc. He was extremely friendly and helpful, which encouraged me in my venture. Doing some desktop research I found there are Steemians called minnows or whales. Do they have some caste system?
After landing in probably the only airport with a direct train connection to salt mines I enjoyed a first day in Krakòw
In their telegram channel the tribe already started to get organised. @steevc, @shanibeer and @prc whom I later met in person reported on the progress of their trip. I decided to stay undercover in favour of research.
First thing to note: all names of the tribe members begin with a symbol. Who else than a Steemian would call herself @techslut or @crimsonclad? To stay undercover, I had chosen @traveller7761, which was an extremely bad idea from the viewpoint of research. I’ll explain that later on.
But back to field work. First encounter with real Steemians in Qubus hotel: trying to find a good observation post I was immediately discovered and surrounded by three friendly members of the Japanese subtribe, a so-called community. “May I scan you?” @kinakomochi, @shogo and @yoshiko said with one voice and pointed their mobiles at me. Weird – till now I had only seen the tower of Pisa or other famous building being the victim of Japanese mobiles. Maybe my camouflage wasn’t good enough and they had realised that I was no tribe-member.
Well – I learnt this was their special way of saying “Hello!” to each other. And they do so in an extremely high frequency. Here is part of the list of “may-I-scan-yous” my mobile stored for me: @revisesociology, @for91days, @apshamilton and @nanzo-scoop where among the first to share a scan and a beer with me.
By the way picking the pseudonym of @traveller7761 didn’t really help my undercover mission. Members of the subtribe #travelfeed discovered me immediately and adopted me somehow. Thanks to @mrprofessor and @goodwithtravels: they made me write my first travel blog ever, even earning some rewards. 😊 For those asking themselves and me: 7761 is not only the code of my first office door but also the number of kilometers I attempt to bike each year.
Back to research: a special thing is eating and drinking. There was no end to it. Free food was served throughout the whole day and drinks never stopped. How do they stay this slim? Do they eat only once per year? More research to be done. So off I went! Na zdrowie!
Entering the next day. A guy - @roelandp - in a suit on fire started the ceremony, obviously their medicine-man. He made everybody put on head-phones with blue lights, helping him immediately touch their soul. At least this is my explanation for the feeling of belonging together everybody developed in an incredible pace. Including myself! Actually, from now on it became impossible for me to keep the status of an researcher, keeping my distance to the “object” of research.
So, I’d like to conclude with some last research results before entering the tribe myself:
How do you do business with this tribe? They even have their own digital shells. Powering them up makes you something like a super member of the tribe being able to distribute even more shells to the tribe members. I assume it is their medicine-man or the chief @ned himself letting these shells come from thin air. Anyhow, everybody can participate and get shells for content. What a friendly tribe!
There is no more to say, than this photo does.
Coming to an end: what is my resume? I am a bad researcher. I’m on my way to become an active member of this tribe. Together with other Steemians and Nonsteemians we’ll set up a business on Steem: a community-driven truly SOCIAL network for social impact. We’ll even make our own digital shells – SMTs: shells moving topics. So please join me on this trip as well. Under @impactn we’ll report regularly on the progress we are making. This blog here will be reserved for personal impressions on this voyage.