I have been pretty vocal about wanting to see more representation of Steem in the crypto space, and have always felt that utilizing the community is a perfect way to do this. I mean what better representatives than the passionate community members here? I have shared my idea of a "ambassador" program of sorts that would help empower these individuals as well as give them the tools they need to represent Steem in a way we all can be proud of. I hope to work more on this in the coming months to try to help make it a reality, but for now.. I just will try to be a visual presence of Steem in the space when I can.
I have attended quite a few conferences and feel like it is something that is beneficial for not only steem but myself. Nothing motivates you more than seeing the interest from outsiders about something that you yourself are so passionate about... it makes me realize maybe we aren't so crazy after all ;)
So even though I promised myself I would take a break from these events (as paying out of pocket for them does begin to get very expensive.. and after doing so for multiple events over the last year.. I had to cut myself off).. I just couldn't resist when I saw the announcement for the Bitcoin is_ conference being put on by Russell Okung (of the Los Angeles Chargers).
And I want to tell you why...
Russell first got on my radar when he seemed to fall in love with Bitcoin before our eyes, and was being pretty vocal about it. As a famous NFL player, what he says matters, and to have him talking about Bitcoin is pretty much a win for everyone in the space in my opinion. But for me it was what he was actually saying... that to him, Bitcoin meant freedom and that resonated with me. He didn't sound like just another paid shill, he sounded to me like someone who got it. He understood the power that something that Bitcoin had, and what it could become.
Then when I saw the announcement for his Bitcoin is_ conference with the goal being to teach crypto newbs about Bitcoin and why it is so revolutionary.. I got excited. Finally someone discussing how to be open in the space for those that don't know it, and not just the damn "Bitcoin Maximalist’s" message which seems to always feel like - '"BUY BITCOIN OR YOU SUCK"... which I don't think is really that attractive to those not in the space.
I instead saw a man who discovered something, realized the potential, and wanted to share it with the world.
But I think he is missing something
I feel many in the space who speak of mass adoption and making Bitcoin main stream are not seeing the big picture. To me to onboard the masses you have to attract them in a way they are comfortable with, and as I am someone who went from having no desire to have anything to do with cryptocurrency, to being a bit of an enthusiast.. I feel like I am the target audience and why my story shows the power of STEEM as well as a usecase for it.
I spoke a bit about my journey from making that leap and I think it helps tell the story of this use case I see for Steem -
I joined Steem in January of 2018 when a well known youtuber I followed kept talking about this platform he joined, and I got curious. I had heard of bitcoin, blockchain etc of course, but really had no interest whatsoever - as it all seemed completely over my head.
When I happened upon the Steemit site it felt different - I didn't need to get a cold wallet, go to some exchange and hope I don't mess anything up, or buy some thing called BITCOIN and then just HODL it.. whatever that meant.
Instead I joined a site easily, picked a username, saved some keys and started interacting with others who had the same interests as me. There was nothing scary to do to get started, no risk really, it was an easy way to start exploring the crypto world.
As I engaged and shared more, I earned some crypto.. which completely baffled me. I realized that growing my account was key, so all that STEEM was powered up. I started digging into more and more about the tech behind the site and slowly went from a crypto newb to a blockchain enthusiast.
As someone who has always believed in small government and community's being empowered to take care of their own - I began to realize that blockchain and cryptocurrency were a way to remove the middle man, and give the power back to the people... and I was hooked.
Steem was the bridge for me - a way to learn, explore and incorporate this revolutionary technology into my daily life.
Steem for me was a safe and fun way to be exposed to cryptocurrency and because of it I now invest in many cryptos, including Bitcoin. Without STEEM, I would not own BITCOIN.
Steem is a bridge that can easily onboard crypto newbs and let them learn, explore and become blockchain enthusiasts as well. It has already proved itself as such, as I am just one of many who have similar stories.
Steem can be the bridge for those curious, but a bit apprehensive, about the whole idea of cryptocurrency, and we need to make people see that.
And that is my mission...
My goal is simple - show Russell, as well as the extensive list of Bitcoin influencers who will also be attending (including Anthony Pompliano, Peter McCormack, Crypto Wendy, Kobe Bryant etc etc etc), this use case.. from someone who knows it works, as I am proof.
I am their target audience, and the only reason I am here is due to STEEM... normies dont want to buy a cold wallet and HODL.. they want to experience and learn in a way they feel comfortable, and that to me is where Steem comes in.
I also am planning a bit of a meetup for local steemians in the area the next day and will be inviting some of the attendees of the Bitcoin conference to attend. @steem.ninja has graciously agreed to provide free accounts to anyone wanting to sign up, and I think this could be a unique onboarding opportunity.
Why do I think I will have any impact whatsoever?
The event is in a small venue, casual and designed for one on one conversations while also having an insane list of prominent individuals that will be attending. Which to me means an opportunity to have actual conversations with many.
Also, since actively beginning partaking in conversations about this on multiple social media fronts, I have been followed by a few of the names listed above. I have a request in for a short speaking opportunity at the event, as well as the possibility of being involved with some of the panels being put on by Pomp and Peter McCormack there.
I think I am unique in the fact that I have no background in the space, started as a normal user, and have gone on to understand the Steem Ecosystem in a pretty indepth way as well as the tech behind it... as much as humanely possible for a non tech person ;)
I believe the "NormieTalk" series I started could easily be expanded to cover all of blockchain tech to help teach normies more about it in a way they can easily grasp.. making it all much less scary. I see a switch in the current space, especially when it comes to the narrative Russell is focusing on.. and that is less on wanking each other in the Bitcoin Maximalist echo chamber and more on attracting and reaching out to normies... and maybe they are ready to listen to one who knows from experience.
With advice from someone in the space, I have also put in an application to speak at the upcoming LA Blockchain Week happening in October. My hope is to share this use case and my story with a larger audience, to show them how Steem fills this need. I believe there is a niche to be filled and maybe, just maybe.. me and my "NormieTalk" ways can help fill it.
They want the masses? Well they need to understand them.. and I think I can help with that.
Want To Support Me?
I am not one to ask for support, but I was very bluntly told that I needed to do just that by a very kind soul. Yes these conferences cost money, even if I am somewhat close in distance (a few hours away). I am not sure if I am the right person for this... but I am here, and I see an opportunity to make them say our name and I feel it is worth a shot at least due to the response I have gotten already.
If you see the value in the mission outlined above, or how this could be beneficial to Steem, and want to help support me in this effort feel free to reach out for any sponsoring ideas you have or simply just supporting this post.
I appreciate the love and support I have received from the community and hope to go and tell those out there why Steem is the hidden gem they should discover.
Steem could be so many things for so many people, but first we have to show them how.
And I hope to help do just that.
Much Love and Steem On,