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

DAM Ready Reference

 

Librarian Tips for DAM Managers


DAM Ready Reference

by Deb Fanslow, MLIS

Often, DAM professionals are the sole information managers at the helm within an organization, tasked with ingesting, cataloging, managing, securing, distributing, preserving, and providing access to a collection of digital assets. This involves juggling a multitude of responsibilities, some of which are centered around designing and maintaining the information architecture of a DAM system:

  • Designing and maintaining metadata schemas
  • Developing taxonomies and controlled vocabularies
  • Customizing search functionality
  • Designing, configuring, and developing user interfaces

Digital asset management also involves many behind-the-scenes administrative tasks that are essential to keeping a DAM system well oiled and running, such as:

  • Curating, cataloging, and managing digital assets throughout the digital asset lifecycle
  • Developing, monitoring, and customizing workflows
  • Monitoring, reporting, and analyzing DAM system statistics
  • Creating and maintaining user accounts and permissions
  • System maintenance (upgrades, bug fixes, upgrades, testing, patches, rebuilds, etc.)
  • Planning and overseeing system customizations and integrations

Of course, beyond customizing and maintaining the DAM system and its information architecture, there’s also the not so trivial responsibility of determining and meeting user’s needs, including:

  • Creating, documenting, and reviewing policies and procedures
  • Providing technical support
  • Developing and delivering training programs
  • Designing web portals for internal and/or external user access
  • User testing and feedback

Last but certainly not least, there’s the DAM program itself and the requisite ongoing planning, responsibilities, and maintenance that cannot be neglected, such as:

  • Governance (metadata, taxonomy, workflow, rights management, distribution, storage, etc.)
  • Digital preservation (asset integrity, storage management, disaster planning, etc.)
  • Program management (strategic planning, staffing, budgeting, etc.)
  • Advocacy and promotion campaigns

With this wide range of responsibilities on the digital asset manager’s plate, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. When faced with a DAM challenge, where’s a digital asset manager to turn? If you’re lucky, you can consult with a librarian, archivist, records manager, knowledge manager, or other information professional on staff who may be able to help you with burning questions such as:

  • So many metadata standards, so little time…which fields do I really need?
  • How can I integrate our enterprise taxonomy with my DAM system’s search platform?
  • What steps can I take to best preserve my company’s digital assets for the long term?

However, if you’re the only person steering the DAM ship (or you just want to extend your personal learning network), another option is to tap into the knowledge base of those who have experience dealing with the management of digital collections and thorny information management challenges…the Library and Information Science (LIS) community.

First, the good news: the LIS community maintains a longstanding culture of sharing and publishing research, case studies, best practices, and lessons learned throughout its 50+ year history of information management (built upon knowledge organizational principles dating back to antiquity). Over the past two decades, a significant body of knowledge related to curating and managing digital asset collections has been amassed and published within the library, archival, and museum communities. Now for the bad news: not all of this information is freely available. Due to the longstanding publishing and tenure models within the scholarly community, access to a large portion of LIS knowledge sits secured behind scholarly database walls. However, thankfully there are many passionate info pros who also freely disseminate their wisdom on the web, just ripe for the picking.

Exploring the Virtual Reference Shelf

Below are links to some of my favorite free resources created by info pros who are involved with digital asset management within the public, private, and nonprofit sectors:

General DAM resources

DAM implementation

Metadata

  • Metadata (Marcia Lei Zeng, 2011): this website is an online textbook companion, which is worth browsing for its comprehensive reading lists and appendices of resources.
  • Cultural Objects Digitization Planning: Metadata (Janice L. Eklund, 2012): if you’re planning an image digitization project, consult this guide from the Visual Resources Association to learn about questions to consider, minimal metadata requirements, and best practices.
  • FADGI Guidelines: this set of guidelines from the Feds includes frameworks, methodologies, and technical recommendations for digitizing still images and audiovisual works.
  • Video metadata modeling for DAM systems (Tom Bachmann, 2010): this article provides thorough and detailed coverage of metadata schema design for video.
  • Descriptive Metadata in the Music Industry: Why It Is Broken And How to Fix It (Tony Brooke, 2014): this comprehensive report identifies the need for descriptive metadata standards specific to the music industry, along with a proposed metadata schema standard.

Taxonomy

  • Taxonomy Fundamentals Workshop (Marjorie M.K. Hlava, 2013): this presentation covers taxonomy basics, how to leverage and access taxonomies, and relevant standards to be aware of.
  • Using a Taxonomy for Your Database or Website: A Look Behind the Scenes (Marjorie M.K. Hlava, 2013): this brief article balances technical information with well placed visuals to describe how taxonomies and thesauri are stored and associated within various types of databases.
  • Taxonomies in Search (Marjorie M.K. Hlava, 2011): if you’re looking to learn more about how information retrieval works and how taxonomy drives effective search, look no further.
  • Success Factors in Building an Enterprise Taxonomy (Stephanie Lemieux, 2014): this brief article lists several factors to consider before embarking on your next enterprise taxonomy project.
  • What is Facet Analysis? (Ian Matzen, 2014): if you need to create a faceted classification system, this brief article presents a good introduction, along with examples and informative references.
  • Taxonomy Bootcamp: for the past couple of years, presentations from this conference have been available for free online. Get ‘em while they’re hot!

Digital preservation

Reference services

User Experience (UX)

Semantic Web

  • Linked Data for Libraries (OCLC, 2012): Got 15 minutes? Although this video is presented within the context of sharing bibliographic data, most of the concepts and visuals are universally applicable.
  • Linked Data: Evolving the Web into a Global Data Space* (Tom Heath & Christian Bizer, 2011):
    This free eBook provides a brief explanation of the concepts behind the Semantic Web and Linked Data, then progresses quickly into a highly detailed technical introduction.

*Although the following resources are not free, they are worthy of mention here. There are many additional books in the Synthesis Lectures on the Semantic Web: Theory and Technology series that are worth exploring, as well as those in the Information Concepts, Retrieval, and Services series. For those interested in the history, concepts, and implementation of taxonomies, I strongly recommend Marjorie M.K. Hlava’s Taxobook series.

Going Underground

Now for some tips on discovering more elusive gems from within the academic LIS community. If you’re willing to spend a little time digging, you can always partake in one of my favorite activities…mining resources offered through DAM related academic courses and professional communities. It’s like being a student without the interminable loans and tests! Here are some tactics that have proven effective for unearthing all sorts of educational jewels:

  • Examine a few syllabi for DAM related courses and topics, and you will often be rewarded with links to seminal research articles, recommended reading, blogs, conferences, presentations, and more. This can also be an excellent way to quickly profile and monitor DAM related topics, as well as identify relevant researchers, industry leaders, publications, terminology, issues, and challenges. Over time, you can even discover trends within the disciplines and fields themselves (assuming the institution you’re researching updates their curricula frequently in response to industry demands). Here are some of my favorite sources to start with:
  • Discover pearls of DAM wisdom within scholarly hubs and open access publications such as:
  • Take advantage of free or low cost DAM related resources and education available through LIS organizations, including:
    • ASIS&T (Association for Information Science and Technology)
    • LITA (Library and Information Technology Association)
    • SAA (Society of American Archivists)
    • AMIA (Association of Moving Image Archivists)
    • MCN (Museum Computer Network)
    • SPECTRUM DAM Resources (Collections Trust)
    • VRA (Visual Resources Association)
  • And of course, don’t forget about national libraries, many of which are involved in setting standards and best practices, exploring emerging technologies, and sharing educational resources.

Whether you work alone as a DAM Superhero or as part of a DAM team, the practice of digital asset management presents many universal challenges across all industries, as well as more specific strategies and solutions that can likely be adapted within diverse environments. When you’re faced with your next DAM challenge, don’t reinvent the wheel…leverage the collective intelligence of the entire DAM community!

About Deb Fanslow

Deb has over 7 years of experience in information management within the library, museum, and education fields. She specializes in Digital Asset Management (DAM), which is informed by working in the trenches for 13 years as a graphic designer within the publishing industry. She participates in the DAM industry as a Board Member of the DAM Foundation, the founder and head curator of The DAM Directory, and a co-organizer of the NYC DAM Meetup. Deb is a contributing writer for DAM News, and has also worked behind the scenes on various DAM educational initiatives, including DAM Guru Program and the #LearnDAM initiative.

Deb has been a DAM Guru Program member since February, 2014. Connect with her on LinkedIn.


Read more from the “Librarian Tips for DAM Managers” DAM Guru Program series »

LearnDAM-Logo-75x75DAM Guru Program recognizes this article as worthy of the #LearnDAM designation for materials that provide genuine digital asset management education without sales agendas. Search #LearnDAM on Google for more materials.

Guru Call: USA

USA FlagLooking for a Guru in Chicago, IL. Member seeking some advice on digital asset management industry.

DGP member’s inquiry is about how an MLIS degree could help them advance a potential DAM career. Looking to speak to those who have an MLIS and have achieved a position as a DAM manager in the industry.

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