Category: Program Info

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.

7 Tips for Digital Asset Management (DAM) Meetup Group Sustainability

When I started out as a digital asset management administrator, one of my first stops was to the NYCDAM Meetup Group.  I had heard about them at Henry Stewart and Createasphere and was seeking real-world advice on best practices, user acceptance, and a host of other issues involved in managing a DAM. No disrespect to our vendor friends, but I needed to know less about the art of the possible, and more about day-to-day reality.

NYCDAM was just what I needed. I met so many wonderful, smart people who were so willing to share their experience and expertise to help me succeed. Not only did I learn about a wide range of topics and issues, but I got to share my own experiences and get feedback—a helpful thing for professionals at all levels. Over time, I went from regular attendee to occasional panelist, to eventually becoming an organizer.

This year, as a result of my roles with DAM Guru Program and the NYCDAM Meetup group, I had more contact with meetup organizers and members. I started to notice a trend of DAM and Content Management Meetups losing momentum, and not having as many events. Then, this summer, three or four organizers of Meetups dropped out, and a few other Meetups just ended. Some of the reasons are probably fairly common: Lack of time and resources, low attendance at events, lack of sponsorship to offset costs. It’s a hard thing to do and sustain on your own, I know well.

The NYCDAM Meetup has shifted organizers a bit in the past few years, but from those shifts, I’ve gleaned sustainability tips for growing and strengthening a Successful DAM Meetup Group:

  1. Reach out and ask other members to be co– or assistant organizers. If you are running a Meetup on your own, as it grows and becomes more successful, you will eventually find yourself buried, and the Meetup will fall by the wayside. Running an entire Meetup can become overwhelming, and it’s a lot to manage when you already have a full-time job.
  2. Allow people to be involved at varying levels, and try to have 3 or more organizers at each level. Spreading the workload prevents burnout, but also brings more ideas to the table:
    1. Main Organizers: Long-term commitment and vision. Oversee general running of the group. Provide 10,000-foot-view of goals of the group and its events. Networks with industry people, in and out of the group, to grow membership and expand event scope
    2. Event Organizers: Short-term, high-level commitment for duration of event planning. They pick the topic, lead and collaborate on the panelists, subject and agenda. Manage event logistics
    3. Event Assistance: Short-term, low-level commitment. Much needed “boots on the ground” on the day-of
  3. Involve vendors, but be sure you define the rules of the road. You likely want your events to be user-focused and not devolve into vendor marketing or demos. But, your vendor contacts can introduce you to potential members and panelists, or can provide appropriate venues at little or no cost. See if they can connect you with users in your area who can share their experiences and a user-based view on varying technologies. Remember that vendor’s tech may only be one in their integrated solution stack. That perspective could be very helpful to meetup members.
  4. Associations can be another great resource for speakers, topic, and venues. Reach out to your local library, tech, or archiving associations to see if they will partner with your Meetup
  5. Use online services/apps to stay connected with organizers at all levels. Many collaboration services have free options that are sufficient for a small group like a Meetup. Here are a just a few that we and many other groups use:
    1. Slack (collaboration and event management)
    2. Zoom Conference (high-quality web & video conferencing. Note: the free option limits you to 40 minutes per call, but that actually makes your meetings surprisingly efficient!)
    3. Google Hangouts (collaboration & video conferencing)
    4. Doodle (polls facilitating meeting scheduling)
  6. Sign up for Meetups just outside of your area that are thriving. Partner with other meetups in your state or wider geographical area. If the Meetup is thriving, you may be able to connect with members who are willing to be speakers at your events as well, either in person or virtually. And, in general, it will expand recognition of your group in other areas.
  7. Ask your members for help. If general tasks become overwhelming, get your membership involved. They don’t need to take on full roles; but on an ad hoc basis, they can help you sustain the Meetup group’s momentum.

Do you have any other suggestions? We’d love to hear from you. Many of our members belong to Meetups or are organizers themselves. If you have some sustainability tips for a DAM Meetup Group, email them to me! DAM Guru Program would love to publish your suggestions as blog posts. Your advice could help fellow DGP members keep their groups going.

If you are looking for Meetups in your area, check out our Meetups Page with a handy list of known DAM-related Meetups worldwide. If we are missing one, please let us know and we will add it to the list!

1000 Strong! DAM Guru Program Reaches Membership Milestone

DAM Guru Program reaches 1,000 members1000+ and Counting

DAM Guru Program recently received our 1,000th signup. Thanks to our membership (and program sponsor Picturepark) for providing a commercial-free space in which we can help one another, share ideas, educate others and strengthen the Content Management, Digital Asset Management and Library Science communities—all at no charge to any member.

More on this announcement is available in the Picturepark press release.

DAM Guru Program Adds Two New Managers

Carol Thomas-Knipes (left) and David Diamond (center) have joined Ben Smidt as DAM Guru Program Managers.

DAM Guru Program has added Carol Thomas-Knipes and David Diamond to its management team. Carol is a DAM and information professional with more than 20 years’ experience in the industry. She co-organizes the NYC DAM Meetup. David designed DAM Guru Program for Picturepark and authored the books, DAM Survival Guide and Metadata for Content Management. Carol and David join original program manager, Ben Smidt, to form the program’s new management team.

Ben will continue to serve as Operations Manager, as he has done since the program’s launch. Carol will be the program’s Content Manager, and David will serve as Program Director.

The larger team will be able to better handle the program’s rapid membership growth, while introducing new member services that were not previously possible, due to resource limitations.

The addition of the new managers was made possible by an increase of investment by DAM Guru Program creator and benefactor, Picturepark. You can read the official press release on the Picturepark website.

New DAM Events Calendar

DAM Guru Program has launched a free DAM events calendar to offer the global community a one-stop portal to find events, meetups, expos and conferences for:

  • Digital asset management
  • Content management
  • Library and information sciences

Anyone can post a new event. All event submissions are moderated for suitability and accuracy before they’re added to the calendar.

As a bonus for DAM Guru Program members, the program will promote DGP member participation in events for free. So, for example, though a given conference might be listed only once in the calendar, DAM Guru Program will repeatedly promote across its social channels any talks, presentations or panel discussions that involve members.

The calendar is available at:

How DAM Guru Program is Managed

How DAM Guru Program is Managed

New case study offers behind-the-scenes view into management system

Many questions come in about how we managed DAM Guru Program. Some assume we use an automated matching algorithm that connects members based on interests and experience. In fact, no DGP operations are automated. Every member match, GuruTalk profile, member webinar, tweet and DAM job post are considered by program managers to ensure they will offer value to members.

When you consider how hit-and-miss the “maybe you know this person” suggestions are on social media, you can better appreciate that effectively connecting and promoting our members requires the actions of people who know our membership and understand what they’re trying to do.

DAM Guru Program membership data is managed using Picturepark digital asset management software. This won’t surprise those who know that Picturepark created and continues to sponsor DAM Guru Program operations, but “we got the DAM for free” wasn’t the reason we chose Picturepark as a platform. After all, the management of people is more typically done using a CRM, like Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics. We consider those systems and more, but Picturepark has one thing that other DAMs and CRMs lack: Adaptive Metadata schemas. As it turned out, this made Picturepark the best candidate for managing our “human asset” members.

DAM Guru Program’s Picturepark instance has been featured in an in-depth case study. See how the system was designed by program managers and DGP member, Deb Fanslow. Learn what worked and didn’t work so well when it was launched, and see the potential if offers for future DGP member opportunities.

Read about the DAM Guru Program Picturepark system »

DAM Guru Program Members for Hire

DAM Guru Program is now two years old and more than 650 signups strong. To enable the DAM community to better benefit from the growing range of expertise available within DAM Guru Program, we now connect participating members to organizations seeking freelance, temporary or permanent help.

Based on matching a needs profile to an expertise profile, DAM Guru Program managers will do their best to find the right Guru for every request, no matter what the area of expertise, global region or language.

We hope this provides hiring organizations with the expertise they need to make the most of their DAM initiatives, and we hope it helps our members find employment opportunities they’ll enjoy.

As with all DAM Guru Program member services, there is no charge for this service.

If you’re an organization looking to hire a DAM Guru, start here.

If you’re a DAM Guru Program member who would like to participate, start here.

More information about this announcement is available at the Picturepark website.

DAM Guru Program Members Featured in ASMP Blog

ASMP Blog Features DAM Guru Program Members

ASMP Blog features DAM Guru Program Members speaking on Digital Asset Management

The “Strictly Business” blog from the American Society of Media Photographers this week will feature posts by DAM Guru Program members speaking about what they know so well—digital asset management.

Post #1:
Three Quick and Dirty DAM Tools to Enhance Productivity and Professionalism
by Corey Chimko

Post #2:
Why You Should Care About DAM
by William Moritz

Post #3:
Using the PLUS Registry for Always-Current Embedded Metadata
by David Riecks

Post #4: 
The Value of Being a DAM Smart Photographer
by Adam Hunter

Post #5:
Digital Asset Management as a Client Service
by David Diamond

DAM Guru Program Exceeds 500 Members

DAM Guru 500 Sign-ups

Global Digital Asset Management community welcomes 500th signup and adds DAM job board


DAM Guru Program, the world’s largest community of Digital Asset Management professionals, announced today that more than 500 membership applications have been processed since the program was launched in January of 2013.

A recent addition to the program’s website is a digital asset management jobs board. Hiring organizations can post DAM jobs for free. Job applications can be submitted right from the DAM Guru Program website and a selection of DAM Guru Program member skill profiles are available for viewing.

Program manager Ben Smidt credits much of the program’s recent success to member-generated content that provides targeted DAM-related training that was previously unavailable.

Read the full press release at

  Category: Program Info
  Comments: Comments Off on DAM Guru Program Exceeds 500 Members