Steampunk Hands Around the World 2015

SP Hands Around the World

It’s time for another trip around the world to celebrate the wonder and excitement of the global steampunk community.

Steampunk Hands Around the World 2015- Our Playground, Our Classroom, Our Workshop is a month long event in February 2015 showing and sharing how steampunk and the community is where we can play, learn, and create. Through these means, we come together as a community to forge new connections and friendships, inspire and be inspired by each other, and create realities from the stuff of dreams.

Sunday, February 1st, saw the start of the second annual Steampunk Hands Around the World, a project started by Kevin D Steil, better known as the Airship Ambassador, with the ambition of bringing Steampunks from all over the world closer together as a Global Community. Recently I had the chance to catch up with him and ask a few questions regarding this exciting project . . .

Me: What was the inspiration behind “Hands Around the World”?

Airship Ambassdor

Kevin D Steil, the Airship Ambassador.

Airship Ambassador: It started simply enough with an instant message exchange with a steampunk friend and colleague in Spain, and I thought how great it was that we are an ocean and a continent apart but that a little bit of technology let us converse in real time. Then I started thinking about all the other steampunks I talk with around the world, which led to that great feeling of appreciating the friendships in our community that I’ve had a chance to build. I’ve met so many great people, online and in person, and there is just an amazing amount of creativity out there for everyone to enjoy.

With that in mind, I thought it would be a fun blog topic to share with people, and let them know the vast riches we have around the world. One little blog idea, shared with a few friends to join in, became, very quickly, a month long event with several dozen people joining in.

Me: Which countries showed the biggest response last year?

Airship Ambassador: All of the people who participated said they had a huge spike in visitors from around the world, and percentage wise, visitors came from the countries with larger numbers of steampunks. The United States and United Kingdom were the biggest for me, but with Spanish being the number two language in the world, Mexico and Spain were also right at the top of people’s lists.

Me: What was one of your favorite things about last year’s“Hands Around the World”?

hands_2015_xpk2Airship Ambassador: There are two things which come to mind. First was the unity and camaraderie of the participants and then all of the people who read along for the month. Before the launch, it was like actors before opening night – people were sharing ideas, lots of brainstorming and sharing, and that sense of growing excitement as the deadline approached. It really brought people together; lots of introductions between new people as well as people just heard or known about.  There was a lot of “I’ve always wanted to say hi to you …” and “I love your work”, “Oh really? I love yours, too!”The second thing is how the new friendships and feeling of unity continued once the month was over. People kept going. There were at least two steampunk collaboration projects which came about just because of people meeting each other through the event and finding common ground where different ideas and skills came together to create something quite amazing.

Me: What were some surprises from last year’s?

Airship Ambassador: One was when some people started calling February “Steampunk Month” because of this event. It was amazing because we really did fill the whole month with steampunk posts from around the world. Another was the number of posts that some of the participants contributed. Andreas Dresen managed to post something every day for the entire month. The topics were wide ranging; there were several languages being used; and it was clear just how much people enjoyed steampunk all over the planet.

SP Hands

Me: What differences have you already noticed with this year’s “Hands Around the World”?

Airship Ambassador: Many of the participants from last year are returning, and we all have a better idea of what we want to do this time around, and with this year’s theme. On the other hand, we are all pretty busy with steampunk things from this last year, and/or we are terrible procrastinators, so most of us are writing right up to the last moment before posting.The other thing I’ve noticed is how many people who read along last year, started getting more involved in the steampunk community, at conventions, in local groups, and writing their own blogs. It’s always nice to hear someone say “I did <this thing> because I was so motivated after reading Steampunk Hands.” That was humbling and inspiring to me, to know that the several dozen bloggers had a positive, tangible impact on people’s lives.

Perhaps because of that involvement this last year, there are many more people joining in at the last minute to participate this year – and that is definitely a very good thing!

Here’s the official link list
https://airshipambassador.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/hands-2015-official-link-list/

Learn more and join in by RSVP’ing to the Facebook Event Page.

 

And of course we at the Pandora Society and the International Steampunk Symposium love this whole concept and look forward to continuing the sentiment this April!

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