Guru Call: NYC DAM Meetup “Speed Networking” Event – New York, NY

USA FlagThe leaders of the world’s largest DAM Meetup, the NYC DAM Meetup, have asked DAM Guru Program (DGP) to find members who are interested in participating as mentors in their “Speed Networking” event, scheduled for September 16, 2015.

Interested members should contact their program manager. Your information will be passed on to the DGP member who is organizing this DAM Meetup.

Reminder, you must be a DGP member for your information to be shared with the inquiring member.

More information about this special event is available online.

#DAMMeetup

Guru Talk: Maile Thiesen – UMass Amherst

Maile-Thiesen

With the speed in which our modern digital asset management industry changes and shifts, Maile knows it’s pretty much a requisite to continually be reading, learning and analyzing DAM forums, discussion groups and educational content currently available online.

What companies/organizations have you worked for as a DAM professional? What was your role at each?

UMass Amherst is my first job as a Digital Asset Manager, however DAM has been essential throughout my career in photography and the film industry. When I worked in San Francisco, I helped develop and implement taxonomies for a media company with forty video editors. The DAM system housed a large collection of stock music and videos that were instantly accessible to video editors who worked on extremely tight deadlines. We successfully launched the DAM system and the editors’ creativity went through the roof once they had access to searchable collections of music, sound effects, stock videos, and after effects templates.

How do you describe digital asset management to others?

Dropbox on steroids.

How did you learn DAM? Any recommended sources?

DAM as a concept is an integral part of any photography or video editing workflow and is a necessary skill when doing any large scale project. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fine Art Photography from the Pacific Northwest College of Art. One of the first things I learned in all of my digital photography and video classes was the importance of organized files and standardized folder structures. I learned DAM (proper) on the job and I am largely self-taught. I spend many hours poring over online resources, forums, and discussion groups. Given the rapid and ongoing changes in the field, continual learning is pretty much requisite.

To start out, I read The DAM Book by Peter Krogh, DAM Survival Guide: Digital Asset Management Initiative Planning by David Diamond, and Digital Asset Management: Content Architectures, Project Management, and Creating Order Out of Media Chaos by Elizabeth Keathley. I also regularly visit controlledvocabulary.com/, digitalassetmanagementnews.org/, cmswire.com/digital-asset-management/, and read several white papers and blogs from around the industry. I read Wired magazine, keep up on all the latest Adobe products, and try to brainstorm and anticipate how new tools can improve our workflow. I’m a big fan of Lightroom, especially their new facial recognition feature.

What’s the most important thing for someone new to DAM to understand about DAM?

Images don’t tag themselves and consistency in tagging is key. People think they can willy-nilly start tagging images and that it will ‘just work’. Having controlled vocabularies is vital to the success of any DAM.

If you weren’t doing DAM as a career, what would you be doing?

I would be video editing or coding somewhere, learning more about Cinema 4D, After Effects and Ruby on Rails.

What is your ongoing greatest challenge with DAM?

Keeping the balance between how much metadata is too much metadata. How much metadata do we need to find the assets now? How much metadata do we need for historical context? How much metadata will people actually enter. It’s an art.

What is your vision for DAM? What will it look like in 5 years?

In 5 years file sizes will be much smaller and images will be easy to access, from any device anywhere. There will be no one single truth of assets, but rather a myriad of cloud services will be interconnected and you will be able to catalogue images that are stored in any of those locations. So, services like Dropbox and Box, Google Drive, Facebook, and Instagram will all be able to be indexed in some cohesive way. There will be more automation and it will be more accurate. Things like facial recognition and geodata will be available, and the software will be lightening fast.

What was your biggest mistake with regard to DAM?

DAM and project management go hand in hand. Having well defined and documented project workflows and a project management system will help guide and leverage how the digital asset management system can be used to it’s full potential. I wish I had pushed harder to have these processes documented before our DAM implementation.

What was your biggest success with regard to DAM?

My biggest success with regard to DAM is definitely the recent implementation of our digital asset management system for the University Relations department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. When I was hired, I was tasked with researching, purchasing, and implementing a new system that would meet a wide variety of needs throughout the campus. The department had gone through two other DAMs, both of which had been abandoned. I modeled the custom metadata schema off of other great higher education schemes, namely those of Corey Chimko from Cornell and Kevin Powell from Brown. Now, at UMass Amherst, we have over 50,000 assets that have been created over 7 years by our extremely talented staff photographer, John Solem, and various freelancers from the Pioneer Valley.

What more would you like to learn about DAM?

I’d like to learn more about the back-end and get involved in some UX design for a DAM company. I’d love to try and create my own DAM from scratch, and teach myself how to use available APIs to integrate into our project management system.

—–
Would you like to be a DAM Guru Program featured DAM professional? Signup now (for free) or contact your DAM Guru Program manager.

  Category: DGP Member Interviews
  Comments: Comments Off on Guru Talk: Maile Thiesen – UMass Amherst

Guru Call: DAM Meetup – Dallas, TX

USA FlagLooking for DAM Guru Program members who are interested in joining a DAM Meetup that covers the greater Dallas area of Texas.

Interested members should connect with their program manager. Your information will be passed on to the DGP member who is looking to organize this DAM Meetup.

Reminder, you must be a DGP member for your information to be shared with the inquiring member.

#DAMMeetup

Guru Call: DAM Meetup – Mumbai, India

Looking for DAM Guru Program members who are interested in joining a DAM Meetup that covers the Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan areas of India.

Interested members should connect with their program manager. Your information will be passed on to the DGP member who is looking to organize this DAM Meetup.

Reminder, you must be a DGP member for your information to be shared with the inquiring member.

#DAMMeetup

Guru Call: DAM Meetup – Grand Rapids, MI

USA FlagLooking for DAM Guru Program members who are interested in joining a DAM Meetup that covers the Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon areas of Michigan.

Interested members should connect with their program manager. Your information will be passed on to the DGP member who is looking to organize this DAM Meetup.

Reminder, you must be a DGP member for your information to be shared with the inquiring member.

#DAMMeetup

Guru Call: DAM Meetup – Seattle, WA

USA FlagLooking for DAM Guru Program members who are interested in joining a Seattle, WA DAM Meetup.

Interested members can respond via the comments section or let their program manager know.

Your information will be passed on to the DGP member who is looking to organize this DAM Meetup.

Reminder, you must be a DGP member for your information to be shared.

#DAMMeetup

Using DAM Guru Program to start a DAM Meetup

Looking to start a digital asset management Meetup in your area? DAM Guru Program can connect you with others nearby who are interested in doing the same.

Some of the benefits of getting a DAM Meetup going include:

  • Meet others in your area who share your interest in DAM
  • Conduct in-person educational sessions without the expense of trade shows
  • Establish a local Meetup chapter that isn’t under the control of any commercial interests

DAM Guru Program encourages its members to connect with one another via Meetups because we believe facetime and ongoing educational focus are good for building a stronger DAM community. Meetups are local, recurring and, best of all, free, so everyone can attend.

Digital asset management Meetups that are already active are listed here. There’s a button at the top you can use to start your own.

If you’d first like to connect with some other DAM people in your area, contact your DAM Guru Program manager. If you’re not yet a member of DAM Guru Program, you can get started by using the form on this page. Membership and all related services are always free of charge.

Here’s a group to keep an eye on no matter where you are:

Guru Call: USA

USA FlagLooking for a Guru in Tampa Bay, FL. Member seeking some advice on digital asset management best practices.

DGP member’s inquiry is regarding creating new policies for naming conventions, taxonomy, keywords and tags. They are also curious about migration of data.

Available DAM Guru members who are able to help may reach out to their program manager for more details.

Not yet a member? Signup: signup

#GuruCall

Guru Talk: Matthew Patulski – DAM Professional

Matthew Patulski - DAM ProfessionalMatthew knows building a user culture after launch is key to really making a DAM implementation successful. He shares his three-part approach to this.

What companies/organizations have you worked for as a DAM professional? What was your role at each?

My Digital Asset Management experience began at Capgemini in 2008 as the DAM Solution Manager for Capgemini’s Global Marketing and Communications team, a distributed team of 700 persons in 40 countries enabling 140,000 consultants, subject matter experts, and sales professionals.

To identify our specific needs for DAM, I conducted solution discovery process, which provided us with a business case and project plan for an Enterprise-wide DAM solution. The initial focus of our DAM was to drive branding consistency while addressing delivery challenges being experienced by our marketing and sales teams with our nascent B2B video program.

Once we launched, feedback from online surveys, training sessions, 1:1 meetings, and support requests were all used to programmatically integrate DAM into marketing team processes.

How do you describe digital asset management to others?

For a lot of people, Digital Asset Management is a solution that they may not be familiar with by name, but will understand once you start explaining the concepts behind it. Practically speaking, a DAM is a library of your media assets built to your specifications. Leveraging Digital Asset Management drives consistent brand and content strategies because assets are clearly organized and accessible. DAM delivers ROI through the reuse and repurposing of existing content in new ways.

How did you learn DAM? Any recommended sources?

I came to be a DAM Solution Manager out of necessity—DAM was the best way for us to deliver heavy assets like video to a global distributed team. Throughout my time in this role, I drew upon my previous workplace experiences in agencies, pulling the best practices and learned lessons from how each team would organize its content to suit their needs. The DAM field was smaller 8 years ago than it is now, so I spent a lot of time scouring online articles and whatever thought leadership I could find from the application developers of the day.

If I were starting now, I would begin with a great book called ‘Digital Asset Management: Content Architectures, Project Management, and Creating Order out of Media Chaos’ by Elizabeth Ferguson Keathley. Take a look at meetup.com for DAM and content strategy groups in your area. Also check out the Henry Stewart DAM Conferences which are very good for gaining new knowledge and a chance to network with national-level peers.

What’s the most important thing for someone new to DAM to understand about DAM?

Digital Asset Management is just one of many tools in your kit. You need to know why you want to leverage DAM as part of your workflow landscape. Before researching the technologies, understand your organization’s culture and how your team goes about creating and organizing potential assets. From there, think about how DAM can solve the challenges in your organization when used as part of your workflows through integrations with other communication and content creation tools.

What is your ongoing greatest challenge with DAM?

Building a user culture after launch. Having the right technology in place is important. But to really make DAM implementation successful, a three-part approach is needed:

  1. Identify your power users. They can help evangelize and council their colleagues on how to get most out of DAM and give them the content and support need to do it even better.
  2. Build reporting around keyword usage, asset types, record creation, and download activity to see where content generation and interest occurs within your user community. Where you see clusters happening, approach those teams and learn more about what is peaking their activity and discuss how DAM can support and expand it.
  3. Run user surveys to identify pain points and feature requests. These can be integrated into a solution roadmap that you can make part of your budget cycle and validate with your stakeholders to mature your DAM offering.

What is your vision for DAM? What will it look like in 5 years?

Successful DAM solutions will see the mainstreaming of application ecosystems to support many different physical and digital outcomes. Designers will be able to easily work with creative software suites from within the DAM and be able to save their files while they work and collaborate from within the solution. Publishers will be leveraging historical archives and establishing ‘Create Once, Publish Everywhere’ or COPE workflows, supported by open standards, APIs, and application-specific integrations. This approach will require more sophisticated connections from DAM to web analytic tools for effective reporting on content usage, social media shares, and lead generation.

What was your biggest success with regard to DAM?

Making DAM invisible to the go-to-market delivery of marketing materials by leveraging APIs to integrate the Capgemini’s DAM solution into the organization’s go-to-market workflows. Here are 2 examples:

  1. First by leveraging the DAM API to allow a CMS pull an XML feed into the application and populate content. The DAM is searchable through the CMS, allowing a video to be embedded using the CMS’ HTML5 video player. The page editor does not know the file is residing on a Amazon Web Services server, they just insert the content they need and continue on with their editorial workflow. We started offering this an option in 2012. By 2014, 325K video impressions were made on the Capgemini intranet.
  2. Secondly, accessing an external API to push DAM content into social media. For example, we integrated YouTube’s API with our DAM to make the delivery go-to-market video content as seamless and painless as possible. Capgemini’s video approval process was already leveraging the DAM application to manage content and legal sign off with stakeholders. This was a logical conclusion to our existing processes. To drive consistency, we mine the title, description and keyword of the DAM record in the publishing process and a YouTube URL is written back to the DAM record. In 2014, 400 videos were published on YouTube averaging over 1000 views each—which is really good in a niche marketing space like B2B technology services.

—–
Would you like to be a DAM Guru Program featured DAM professional? Signup now (for free) or contact your DAM Guru Program manager.

  Category: DGP Member Interviews
  Comments: Comments Off on Guru Talk: Matthew Patulski – DAM Professional

Guru Talk: Michelle Adams – Triad Retail Media

Michelle Adams - Digital Asset ManagerMichelle knows that a successful DAM requires understanding the perspective of the stakeholders. Those who use it daily will ultimately determine the system’s success and adoption rate.

What companies/organizations have you worked for as a DAM professional? What was your role at each?

I work for Triad Retail Media. We sell, manage and execute Digital Retail Media programs on websites, mobile devices and in-store TVs — in fact, on any Digital Retail Platform targeting consumers. In the last couple of years, we have been expanding globally with offices in the UK, Germany, Netherlands and Australia.

My role as Digital Asset Manager was to find a DAM system that would meet the growing needs of our company, and help with the challenges of collecting large files (print, web, video, audio, etc.) from our clients so that our creative teams, internal and remote, can collaborate and build world-class engaging designs to meet our clients needs to drive sales while keeping their assets secure so that we do not breach our non-disclosure agreements. I was responsible for:

  • spearheading the search for the DAM,
  • leading an internal and outsourced team to collect the assets,
  • working with the DAM vendor and our IT team to customize the DAM to meet our companies needs,
  • determining permissions, taxonomy, metadata attributes,
  • tying-in a custom delivery portal for our clients so that they could drop off files directly into a specified folder within the DAM that would trigger an email to stakeholders that assets have arrived,
  • ingesting the assets from our drives into the new DAM,
  • creating the training docs and train all internal and external end users on the new DAM, and
  • working with the stakeholders to update and improve the process documentation to streamline and incorporate the new DAM.

How do you describe digital asset management to others?

A secure repository for all of your assets, (copy docs, video files, audio files, lifestyle imagery, working files and final artwork, banner and page builds), all in one place where they can be easily searched, shared, tracked and repurposed throughout the company and across the globe. Think of it as a virtual library that can be accessed through a secure login through your browser and you can add the items to your cart and quickly download them or send them to others you are collaborating with on any project.

How did you learn DAM? Any recommended sources?

I knew about DAMs through my research for a tool that would meet our company’s needs and through using our clients DAMs when they asked us to search and download items from their sites. Through working with others DAMs, I learned what wasn’t working for them and what systems would not meet the needs of our company. When we decided on a system, I studied all of the documentation from the vendor and did extensive testing of the system to see what would work out-of-the box and what would need to be customized in order to meet my company’s needs and the way we work. DAM Survival Guide has been instrumental in my understanding of DAM principles and framework.

What’s the most important thing for someone new to DAM to understand about DAM?

It is important that you sit down with the stakeholders (the end users of the DAM) and understand how they intend to use the system. Only by understanding everyone’s role and needs (internal users and external users) will you be able to make sure that the system is customized to meet their needs. Rarely is a DAM ready for use out-of-the box. You will need to do some customization or tweaking so that it will perform the way your end users will be expecting it to perform.

If you weren’t doing DAM as a career, what would you be doing?

Probably something in IT—I love computers and learning new technologies and helping others learn new ways to make their jobs easier.

What is your ongoing greatest challenge with DAM?

Getting end users to not be afraid to try a new tool and instead embrace the DAM as something that will help them find things easier, faster and allow them to track content and the contracts associated with them. Also, to get them to understand the concept of virtual folders and that fewer folders are better than too many, and that metadata is your friend and can help you search easier than a multitude of nested folders.

What is your vision for DAM? What will it look like in 5 years?

I would like it to be more than a repository. I would like for the designers to be able to easily work with creative software suites from within the DAM and be able to save their files while they work and collaborate from within the system. I would also like for there to be a way to send those files securely for approvals and feedback from within the system so that the client can markup and provide feedback directly on the files without them being able to download or email feedback separately. The current system requires 3rd party plugins and is not as secure as it needs to be.

What was your biggest mistake with regard to DAM?

Listening to the concerns of some of the end users who wanted a lot of folders. Because of this, I had to redo the taxonomy multiple times so that it would not overtax the DAM. The final structure was much more streamlined and intuitive and easier to use.

What was your biggest success with regard to DAM?

Working with the vendor to create a “blind delivery portal” for our external clients so that we could send out a secure link to multiple clients working on a single project and they could upload their files easily without being able to see anything within the DAM. Thus keeping our client’s assets secure and our company safe from breach of contract worries.

What more would you like to learn about DAM?

Everything. I want to learn as much as I can so that I can continue to make sure that it becomes an intuitive tool that is easy to use for everyone, meets the company and clients business needs and becomes something that everyone is eager to use and talk about with others.

—–
Would you like to be a DAM Guru Program featured DAM professional? Signup now (for free) or contact your DAM Guru Program manager.

  Category: DGP Member Interviews
  Comments: Comments Off on Guru Talk: Michelle Adams – Triad Retail Media