Category: Featured News

DAM Chicago 2019 – The Art and Practice of Managing Digital Media

DAM Chicago is the Midwest’s largest conference dedicated to Digital Asset Management, and presents real world case studies, interactive panels, workshops, roundtables and tutorials, the latest thinking and new developments in the world of DAM. Brought to us by Henry Stewart and hosted at the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, the conference takes place on September 24 (with tutorials the day before on the 23rd, and a not-to-be-missed mixer at Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery).

We’ll meet up with DAM Guru Program members and bring you a full report on the business-critical topics presented in the sessions. We’ll listen closely for insights and best practices across the entire spectrum of Digital Asset Management, including:

  • DAM and Digital Transformation
  • Metadata, Access, and Rights
  • Enterprise DAM and Lessons Learned
  • Platform Innovations and Technology
  • Interoperability and the Connected Digital Eco-system
  • DAM Selection, Implementation, Adoption and Change Management

DAM Chicago is now in its eighth year and brings together thought leaders in a wide range of enterprise business, ranging from media to e-commerce, retail and the arts, beauty and fashion, food and packaged goods, and silicon and bio-technology. We’re looking forward to hearing updates from well-regarded folks on the DAM services side and stopping by the vendor platform exhibits.

The agenda is a balanced mix of presentations, in-depth case studies, panel discussions and breakout / networking sessions. Let’s meet up! (looking forward to that cocktail hour). Please visit the DAM Chicago 2019 event page for more information and to register to attend. DGP members get $100 off the price of the conference by using discount code DAMGURU100.

This article was submitted by Jeffrey Marino, a Digital Asset and Project Manager at WordCityStudio, Inc . He has worked in broadcast news, documentary, advertising technology and DAM. He recently received his MS in Media Management at The New School and is an active member of DAM Guru.

The State of DAM User Adoption Today Webinar – 17th October 2019

DAM Guru, New Jersey DAM Meetup, London DAM Meetup and Insight Exchange Network (IEN) are holding a joint webinar: The State of DAM User Adoption Today. The event takes place on Thursday 17th October 2019 at 8.30am PT, 11.30am ET, 4.30pm UK and 5.30pm Europe.

Topics such as the following will be discussed:

  • Who are your users?
  • Why is UI/UX so important to user adoption?
  • What techniques have been successful in the adoption of DAM?
  • What challenges have the panel faced or are aware of?

The session will run for 45 minutes and there will be an opportunity to ask questions at the end.  The four panelists will be: Lisa Grimm, Director, Digital Asset Management at Novartis; Ian Matzen, MLIS, Digital Asset Manager, Blogger; Henrik de Gyor, consultant, podcaster, writer and Ralph Windsor, Project Director of DAM consultants, Daydream, Director of DAM Guru.  The panel will be moderated by Frank DeCarlo, CEO of RPR Graphics.

User adoption is widely acknowledged to be one of the most complex and demanding problems faced by DAM users, yet solving it can dramatically increase the ROI that users can obtain from their DAM solution.

Adoption (or lack thereof) is typically one of the key factors that dictates whether or not a DAM initiative is successful. While there are many resources that cover the features and capabilities of DAM technology, practical information about the adoption subject is much harder to find. This panel discussion aims to address that imbalance.

The event will follow the same format as The State of DAM webinar which was held in April by New Jersey and London DAM Meetups. It will also be entirely free of adverts or sales pitches etc and should provide DAM end-users with some practical and actionable advice that they can apply to their own adoption programmes.

The event is free of charge and open for anyone with an interest in DAM adoption, including end-users, vendors and consultants.  The registration link is below:

New DAM Guru Website – Profile Editing Now Available

The DAM Guru website has recently been updated and re-designed.  One important new feature which was not available in the previous edition was the ability to amend profiles.  I am pleased to announce that this capability has now been implemented and all members now have a dedicated account where they can update their details without needing to enter a new profile to register any changes.

There is a process in-place for migrating existing DAM Guru members which you must complete if you want to take advantage of this new facility.  First, follow the link below:

Enter your email and you will receive a confirmation email with a link which you need to follow.  You will also be asked for a password to allow you to gain access to your profile at a later date via the login area of the DAM Guru website.

Over the forthcoming months we plan to introduce some new self-service capabilities for connecting gurus with those requiring expertise (amongst other planned features) and you will need to have an active profile to participate.

As always, please contact us via email: if you have any questions.

DAM Guru Exhibiting At Henry Stewart DAM NY 2018, May 3-4

DAM Guru are an official partner of Henry Stewart NY 2018 and we will also be exhibiting at the event on May 3-4.  This is the first time we have participated in this conference (although a number of our members have been regular attendees for many years).

The New York conference is billed as ‘the largest single event dedicated to DAM’ by Henry Stewart and based on feedback about the event from my DAM Guru colleague, Carol Thomas (and other) that seems like a fair description.  Here are the edited highlights:

  • 600+ attendees.
  • 80 speakers during 60 sessions over two days covering Metadata, Integration, AI, Automation, Creative Operations, Corporate Archives, Video Workflow, Rights Management, Semantics and Governance.
  • Representation from DAM users covering over 80 well-known brands.
  • DAM clinic featuring roundtable discussions about more in-depth topics.
  • Advanced taxonomy and metadata tutorials.
  • Industry-specific DAM groups.

The event also includes access to the Creative Operations conference which is also being held at the same venue.

If you are attending the event, please do come along to see us and say hello.  For anyone who has not yet booked at ticket, you can use the discount code DAMGURU100 to get a $100 reduction.  The ‘early bird’ discount ends on 30th March and if you book a ticket before then, you can get a further $100 off the price.

DAM Guru Program Director Change

DAM Guru Program Appoints Ralph Windsor As New Director

London / Aarau, January 23, 2018.  Ralph Windsor, editor of DAM News and Project Director of Digital Asset Management consultants, Daydream is to become the new Director of DAM Guru Program (DGP).

DGP is a community DAM education and human resources matching service first established in 2013 by DAM Survival Guide author, David Diamond and sponsored by DAM vendor, Picturepark.  DGP has over 1,100 members and is open to digital asset managers, vendors and consultants from across the DAM industry.

“I am very excited to be chosen as the new Director of DAM Guru Program by the DGP Board.  Since it was first started, it has become a focal point for DAM industry practitioners and the promotion of high quality educational resources.  Consolidating the combined resources of DGP with DAM News represents an ideal opportunity to establish far greater cross-industry collaboration, continue the sterling work already carried out by DGP towards enhancing DAM education and to foster an environment that encourages greater innovation in the DAM sector.” said Windsor.

“What started as an idea overnight has turned into the industries’ largest DAM community: DGP has organized highly successful webinars, relentlessly connected members, posted countless DAM jobs and events, and published hundreds of interviews with DAM professionals – all serving the DAM community. I’m very proud of these achievements and I’m convinced that Ralph and his enlarged team will successfully manage DGP to be even better connected and useful to those that matter most in our industry, the DAM users.” said Ramon Forster, CEO of Picturepark .

The same team that manages DAM industry journal, DAM News (including the DAM Vendor directory, DAM Glossary, DAM Whitepapers and DAM Books) will assume responsibility for the day-to-day operations of both DAM News and also DAM Guru.  All existing DGP services will continue to be provided as previously and a wide range of new initiatives are planned for 2018 and beyond.

An Open Letter about DAM Guru Program

Dear DAM Guru Program members,

In early 2013 David Diamond texted me from San Francisco. A U.S. competitor had just released its affiliate program. We had been preparing our own such program over the last weeks for launch the next day. Now, that competitor was grabbing the market’s attention ahead of us.

Of course, David was super-furious. He swore to me the same night that he would come up with a completely different and far more innovative program.

When I woke up a few hours later, I found an expose of the DAM Guru Program in my mailbox. The paper sketched a not-for-profit association that connected Digital Asset Management experts with people new to DAM, advocating education in DAM and giving members, at the grassroots level, a voice and platform. Although not a source of revenue, I was excited by the outlined program, and provided the funds for getting it going.

What had started years ago overnight has turned into the largest Digital Asset Management community of more than 1,100 members with expertise across all sectors and systems. The program has organized highly successful webinars, relentlessly connected members seeking guidance and assistance, posted countless DAM jobs and events, as well as published hundreds of interviews with DAM professionals.

Now, after nearly five years, we are opening a new chapter with DAM Guru Program that aims to establishing far greater cross-industry collaboration, by enhancing DAM education and fostering an
environment that encourages greater innovation in the DAM sector.

With these changes, I’m excited to announce Ralph Windsor, who most of you know best from DAM News, will become our new Global Director of DAM Guru Program. I have known Ralph for many years as an active member of the DAM community. We might differ from time to time in opinions but we share the idea of a new association required for the DAM industry, which itself needs to wake up and become more active in defining its future.

I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to all DAM Guru Program members who have contributed to the program and shown their trust in Picturepark for funding and operating it, but never abusing their data for sales-related activities. You are the reason why this program exists and why we will continue to grow our DAM community further.

We are excited about this next chapter for DAM Guru Program!

Ramon Forster
CEO Picturepark

You can learn more about the changes coming to the program in the press release here.
Connect with Ramon on LinkedIn and Xing.

New Digital Asset Management (DAM) Conference Arrives in New York

A new digital asset management (DAM) conference is on the horizon in 2018. Organizer ‘Insight Exchange Network’ is presenting their Digital Assets & Content Leadership Exchange in New York on January 22-24, 2018. It looks to be a conference focused on educational insights from many in the DAM and Content industry.  The three days span a variety of industries, speaking about innovation, efficiencies, strategies, and evolution in the industry.

A brief description from IEN website:

As content velocity increases and the volume of digital assets grow exponentially, maximizing those assets’ value hinges on managing them effectively. Navigating the growing number of technologies and strategies to steward your organization’s digital assets and content to ensure their greatest ROI requires substantive solutions! 

This uniquely crafted event is practitioner-led and focused on the current challenges facing asset and content managers, how to generate additional value from your assets and content, the ins-and-outs of the evolving role, career path planning, and strategies to elevate your position within the organization.

Many of our very own DAM Guru Program members will be participating in this conference come January. Some digital asset management experts who are scheduled to speak include Jennifer Terbosic, Nila Bernstengel, John Horodyski, Alexander Karinsky, Carol Thomas-Knipes, Henrik de Gyor, Jennifer Anna, Margie Foster and many more.

Stay informed during the event with their conference hashtag: #IENDAM or learn more on the Digital Assets & Content Leadership Exchange Conference Website.


The Digital Asset Manager (DAM) Salary Survey Returns!

The former DAM Foundation’s Digital Asset Manager salary-focused survey has found new life as a DAM News special initiative.

Fellow DAM Gurus Ralph Windsor, Elizabeth Keathley, and Deb Fanslow have brought it back and expanded it. Not only are they capturing compensation and salary information, but gathering wide-ranging data on job responsibilities, professional education, and work-life balance. We are hoping ALL of you participate. The survey is an annual assessment on the scope of digital asset manager pay and work that seeks to analyze employment trends industry-wide.

The survey questionnaire is available HERE:

With so much growth in the DAM industry, this survey will provide a valuable resource for DAM professionals. The higher the participation, the better we all understand the range of opportunities available in our industry. Please participate!

DAM Guru Program Says Goodbye to Linda Rouse

Linda Rouse

Longtime DAM Guru Program member and supporter Linda Rouse passed away on 11 March 2017.

Linda had been a valued member of the Digital Asset Management community for decades. As a formally trained librarian, she brought to the DAM industry a skill set that helped many DAM professionals understand the important connection between what they were trying to do and what librarians had already been doing for hundreds of years.

Linda was based in Cairns, Queensland, Australia, where she worked with longtime partner Ricky Patten at their company, DataBasics. During her time with the company, she helped countless organizations come to terms with the concept of managing content, and she authored a number of pieces that were well received throughout the DAM community.

Below is a sampling of Linda’s articles:

Linda did a GuruTalk profile on the DAM Guru Program website in 2015. In her profile, she describes her beginnings with DAM and offers advice for others new to the field.

Linda’s obituary was published in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Those who knew Linda knew her as a beacon of wisdom and happiness. One couldn’t help but feel energized by listening to her, or elevated in spirit, just by being around her. She was truly a wonderful human being who cared deeply about many things including, according to her Twitter profile, belly dancing.

Our best wishes are with Ricky, the DataBasics team and Linda’s friends and family.

David Diamond
Program Director
DAM Guru Program

DAM Guru Members React to What’s Holding DAM Back

In a 3-part series entitled, “What’s Holding DAM Back,” DAM News contributors discuss why they think the Digital Asset Management industry has fallen into an innovation standstill in the past few years. We took the question to DAM Guru Program members, whose responses are below.


Doug Mullin:

“I think the challenges of moving from a departmental application to being an Enterprise application is holding us up, because we haven’t quite figured out how to make that leap from an organizational point of view. Who does own DAM? Shouldn’t be IT, in my opinion, although they need to be deeply involved. Marketing is a better bet, but Sales is also touched, as are other departments.”

Doug Mullin is the Digital Assets Manager for Oakley. He has been a DAM Guru Program member since 2014.


Lisa Grimm:

These are two excerpts from a longer response by Ms. Grimm. Read Lisa Grimm’s full response here.

“Jeff Lawrence’s article – customers aren’t demanding clarity, much less innovation. It’s almost depressingly common in our field to discover that the only person in an organization who truly understands how DAM works (or, perhaps, how it should work) wasn’t involved in the purchasing decision; they’ve often inherited something that wasn’t truly fit for purpose, and they don’t have the budget to do much about it. But if the customer does not budget for enhancements or new systems, vendors can’t be expected to pay particular attention; understandably, they’ve moved on to selling their existing solution to a new client. Yes, new features may roll out if a bigger client demands more attention during the implementation phase, but after that, the feedback loop goes quiet.”

“Ralph Windsor’s piece on the role of the media; his points about the truly alarming lack of metadata knowledge give one pause, and the difficulty in measuring ROI certainly takes time away from crafting the perfect taxonomy model. Some DAM vendors have clearly given careful thought to the role of taxonomy and metadata, and considered how users, both administrative and end-user, might interact with that metadata (even if they don’t know they are doing it). But that’s not true across the board, and if DAM enhancements have fallen to someone who lacks experience in that space, it’s difficult to move forward true functionality improvements, since all real DAM functionality flows from useful, well-managed, metadata.”

Lisa Grimm is the Content Librarian for GlaxoSmithKline. She has been a DAM Guru Program member since 2013.


Julie Shean:

Why do I need to invest in one of these plus so many other things?
“It takes more than a year to choose one, more than a year to implement one… Enter enterprise IT software fatigue. We have web content management systems, in the museum world we also have collections management systems, library catalog systems, constituent relationship management systems, and on and on. Oh, and then there’s Sharepoint, so how many of these are we planning on connecting the DAMS to? I’m sure you’ve noticed that many of these other systems are encroaching on your turf.”

What is it?
“I agree with David and Ralph when they point out that vendor sales teams are stretched thin trying to appeal to possible every use-case in every possible sector. Meanwhile, you might be losing touch with your core customer bases. DAMS resist being classified as online media archives or media libraries (too boring, not dynamic enough)… Too bad, personally I think digital media library sounds a lot better than “DAMS”. And if you’re honest with yourselves, the online library catalog is functionally a close analogue. It’s a back-end business system with a public access web interface– and yet many DAMS lack an easy-to-customize public portal.”

Please don’t blame your customers
“Having just put some vendors through a very long RFP process, I can sympathize with a lot of what Jeff says in his “customers” piece, but some of us have been here since the beginning (I’m on my fourth DAM software). I have to say, the constant re-positioning and Digital Marketing management suite-speak is incredibly off-putting to those of us not in that (evidently lucrative) sector. We don’t need to hire the librarians, you do. It’s all so DIY. Can I make a suggestion? Why not come up with a best practices example taxonomy and metadata fieldset for each of the market sectors you cater to? And implement it. Too much work?”

Julie Shean is the Technical Architect at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has been a DAM Guru Program member since 2013.


David Nguyen:

“Digital Asset Management has made few improvements in the last few years in how well it actually manages digital assets. DAM solutions all seem to suffer from a lack of vision in how digital assets will be used and how to make that process better. Businesses are hungry for systems that provide processes that solve real problems. Often features and new user interfaces only seek to solve individual problems instead of providing intuitive solutions.”

“The lack of innovation in digital asset management is due to many factors. DAM know that they had a problem but don’t know that they need a solution. DAM vendors know how to solve problems but rarely ask about what solutions are needed. The creation of digital assets themselves does not make it easy to attach the right metadata to make any solution work. Finally, education of best practices and handling assets and consistency in metadata is not provided until well after there is a problem.”

“Industry does not need more bells and whistles but instead needs to focus on producing results. In all honesty DAM software should really only be about 10% of a solution and the other 90% should be about integrating business processes that improves results.”

David Nguyen is the Digital Asset Manager (contract) at The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company. He has been a DAM Guru Program member since 2013.


Tracy Wolfe:

“In order for DAM to move forward, it must provide an imperceptible level of service, not feel like a roadblock. Simplicity, streamlining and standardization are far more important than flashy and sometimes useless features that superficially address the latest trends.”

“Every DAM needs an evangelist to get users excited about and keep them informed of the features and future possibilities of whatever DAM product they are employing and of digital asset management in general.”

“Vendors should stop grandstanding and making up silly buzzwords and devote that energy and fervor to really investigating user needs and ideas, becoming true partners.”

“I agree with something in each article of What’s Holding DAM Back – from the fact that there is no Steve Jobs of DAM, that there are people in the industry that can be trusted, and that ultimately “ the more substantial opportunity for DAM is when digital assets can be integrated with concepts like Linked Data and the Semantic Web.”

“Most importantly, DAM administrators and users should continue to take advantage of every opportunity to learn what others are doing. There are informative and high-quality conferences, blogs, discussion groups and educational opportunities available. Knowledge is power. There is strength in numbers. Choose your battles wisely.”

Tracy Wolfe is the Search Editor at Getty Images. She has been a DAM Guru Program member since 2013.

Have you read the DAM News 3-part series entitled, “What’s Holding DAM Back?” What’s your take? Share with us your thoughts in the comments.