Not because I have made multiple ascents of the stairs cleaning my house today, but it’s because for the first time in several years that people want to have professional conversations without mention (or little mention) of the “S” word: SharePoint.
Last week, I had a job interview in which the discussions were focused on my experience in: marketing, design, digital asset management, and staff leadership. Among the people I met, the talk about SharePoint probably totaled less than 90 seconds.
Several weeks prior, I had a rather robust conversation with a prospective client about creation of a unified content strategy, whereby they might move away from creating whole documents in favor of an “intelligent content,” (modular, reusable, single-sourced). The SharePoint talk was negligible.
Other conversations have ensued about my long-standing vision of true end-to-end content management via the integration of component content management systems (CCMS) with digital asset management (DAM) platforms.
Except…… that in early 2007, after 20 years of working with Mac clients and admin. experience in AppleShare and Solaris systems, I was hired by a Microsoft parter (as Clark Kent would say, “What the…?” ). During my time with that company I installed and configured SharePoint, I branded SharePoint sites, I trained end users and administrators in Sharepoint, I provided operational support to SharePoint portals……
In the years that have ensued I have worked quite a bit with SharePoint doing site branding, SharePoint administration and user training. I’m currently working on a SharePoint project as a content architect.
< Heavy sigh > I guess I’m a SharePoint guy. Even my Word Cloud thinks so:
Yes, I do SharePoint. I will do more SharePoint. However I’ve done other things, I am doing other things, I am prepared to do other things.
At a mixer event a few weeks ago, I was recognized by a recruiter who sat at the table and said, “Hi Scott, I remember you as the SharePoint guy.” This must be how Ken Curtis felt.
Most readers probably don’t even know who Ken Curtis is. However, many people of a certain age ( and some habitual TV Land viewers) know who Festus Hagan is.
One of my favorite TV shows as a kid was Gunsmoke, which for many years was the longest-running entertainment series on television (it’s since been lapped by The Simpsons and others). The stories fascinated me. I don’t know if there was anything special about the writing, but because it ran for so many years, I became very well-acquainted with the characters.
During the era I watched the show, the deputy was “Festus” a bumpkin sidekick to Marshall Dillon (James Arness). From the opening credits I know Festus was played by Ken Curtis but didn’t know anything about the actor. I vaguely remember him appearing on variety shows, etc., but always in character, and in “uniform” (unshaven and slovenly dressed in cowboy hat and vest). Most of his post-Gunsmoke roles did not seem to deviate too far from the Festus character.
He seemed more entwined with a character he portrayed than any other performer. More than Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock), more than Jean Stapleton (Edith Bunker), more than Ken Osmond (Eddie Haskell)…
However, Ken Curtis had a rather successful career as an actor and as a singer well before being cast as Festus. He was once the lead vocalist in the Sons of the Pioneers (a singing group that was founded by Roy Rogers). During that time, he also performed as the lead singer in The Tommy Dorsey Band, where he replaced a fella named Frank Sinatra.
I don’t how he felt about being known as Festus for the rest of his life. I recognize that my current SharePoint-centric period probably won’t be lifelong, though I’m currently living in my “Festus” years; where I’m being identified by one role that I’ve performed.
I don’t mind being labeled a SharePoint guy. I just ask that it be recognized that while I have worked in some SharePoint contexts I have worked in numerous SharePoint-free contexts, and the prospect of doing so again makes me breathless.
And remember that Festus is Ken Curtis, an actor who played many roles and had some mad singing skills: