Saturday, March 21, 2020

13 years later, what happened to Pirate Mike?

Pirate Mike
Hard to believe that it has been 13 years since I started blogging. There has been some separation anxiety for me, but letting it rest was for good reason. I have always enjoyed writing, as I use it for therapy. When I look back, I see how I adopted social media early on and how wonderful of an experience it was to reconnect with old friends, stay connected to family, and communicate with the community at large. For me, social media has seen great days and some gruesome ones as well. While social media continues to grow in adoption and maintains a respectable place inside of a professional's life, it is a two-edged sword. 

As an aging corporate pirate, I have chosen safer pathways over the years and for the most part, set my sword down. I have always maintained a social presence, whether on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or another medium. However, I have learned to keep a healthy respect for the dangers that it presents as well. I do still believe you have to write for yourself and remain genuine while appreciating when you should speak and when you should just keep your thoughts to yourself. Writing to please your audience has it's own dangers of which I have never wanted to tackle. Shedding light on subjects less understood, and giving people access to innovative ideas was why I originally started in the first place. 


Navigating the oceans of industry, and trailblazing the topology of corporate America can be hazardous enough without adding the complexity of social media. Yet, in today's world of business, one must be careful not to step onto the landmines laid by social media but create content that influences and changes the trajectory of the world of business and society. Armed with tools like Grammarly, I hope to at least get my punctuation correct, even if the content a little less exciting than it used to be. With a lifetime invested in visual and virtual communications, expressions, and experience with a specialty in technology, I have always embraced being on the bleeding edge. Hopefully, I can impart ideas, give insight and thought leadership that will provoke others from my time in the trenches.

Creating authentic and engaging content doesn't need to be like entering the lion's den or a tiger's liar— both of which I have done personally. Over the years, I have tripped over myself a few times picking up the broken pieces of my career from the misplaced trust of social media. I do believe in earnest that my writings have made a difference to many and at least entertained some. Much older now, and hopefully wiser, I have opened this blog back up to see if lightning will strike again or if I have learned the lesson for good. 


When I found this blog purposefully and mindfully forgetting about it, I was shocked to see how few articles that I left published. Mostly about my human experience and personal growth. With so many articles written over the years that had corporate analysis, future industry speculations, and best practices, which opened so many eyes to what was happening inside of the technology, printing and publishing industry, I was sad, but just for a minute. Taking the writings down was like closing the door to an era where we saw the significant consolidation, technological advances, and industry reform. All of which had my personal perspective and unique thought leadership, but also put me in the sights of those that didn't like seeing me on the other side of the boardroom. 


In these days of #SocialDistancing & #FlatteningTheCurve, I have more time to think and, therefore, a much stronger desire to write. Also, with my newest career adventure on the ocean of customer experience design, strategic digital marketing, business management consulting & technology development for web and mobile, I find that social media is not only part of the modern landscape, but it is also indeed a requirement. Living on a '34 sailboat for over a decade, I've ridden out Harvey, the great flood, two world-shaking oil crashes, and now our war with covid-19. I have survived two virtual disasters during that time as well. So between reality and virtual expressions, I have gained some wisdom and a few smile lines over the years, not to mention a lot of salt and pepper in my hair. But as they say, information wants to be free, and I have always wanted to help the cause.

While maintaining my authentic, and luminary style, I am excited to start writing again and reinventing my lifestyle. With so many career events and challenges with our local economy, I had started social distancing many years ago. I am hoping for a rebirth this decade as I enter my golden years. My goal is simple I want to be transformational for my clients, but offer value and longevity for those I touch and that live in my community. I do not think I am asking too much out of myself. I believe in setting expectations high and rising to the requirements. 


Technology and learning are escalating at such a pace that I find myself reading and studying almost as much as I work or sleep. Taking on new responsibilities and roles, changing careers, and migrating into unique specialties inside of the print & marketing world, I find that my obsession, which used to be work, is now learning. We are quickly creating AI that is now rivaling our sharpest minds. Giving and breathing life into quantum computers and algorithms that adjust themselves soon, we will have another war to win after we beat our new invisible enemy covid-19. 


Let's pray for the world as it grapples with covid-19, and understand how we can navigate these uncharted waters together, while I prepare to start writing again!


Please Stay Safe & Stay Connected!

Pirate Mike 3.0

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