Another DAM podcast interview with Daniel Sieberg

Listen to Another DAM podcast interview with Daniel Sieberg

Here are the questions asked, plus details on how to enter a book drawing:

Full Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor: [0:01] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Daniel Sieberg.
Daniel, how are you?
Daniel Sieberg: [0:09] I’m fine, Henrik. Thanks for having me.
Henrik: [0:11] Daniel, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Daniel: [0:14] Well, I’ve always had great respect for the folks who work in the
Digital Asset Management field. I’m always invited to moderate and to talk at
the Createasphere Conference. Met a lot of the folks that worked in Digital
Asset Management. [0:27] To be honest, my understanding of it, going into
Createasphere, was probably about 10 percent of what they do. Afterwards,
certainly, went up and have tried to learn more about it.
[0:38] I have an extensive tech background. I’ve worked in technology as a correspondent
and now at Google, for the better part of 13 or 14 years, to be involved
with the tech community, in some way.
[0:49] Have always had some understanding of what Digital Asset Management
means. I think the logistics and the amount of work that they do to manage that
content, whether it’s through servers or storage area networks, and the breath
and the depth of what they have to keep track of is pretty staggering. I have, as
I say, the utmost respect for those folks.
Henrik: [1:13] You recently authored a book called, “The Digital Diet: Four Step
Plan to Break Your Tech Addiction and Regain Balance in Your Life.” Tell us tech
addicts more about this.
Daniel: [laughs] [1:23] I would say that I was a tech addict. Maybe I’m a recovering
one now. The book is all about approaching technology in a healthy way.
Consuming it, loving it, but just not loving it unconditionally. [1:38] What that
means is not letting it harm your relationships, your own personal well-being.
Trying to find that balance between being connected, staying immersed in the
digital world but not letting it overwhelm you.
[1:50] I think that we can all relate to that on some level. The book is meant to
be this guidebook, much like a diet book for food. In that it’s not at all anti-technology.
In fact, it’s more about embracing it, just for the right reasons, on the
right occasion.
[2:04] It’s driven by a personal narrative, my own feelings of getting too caught
up in the virtual world. I lost track of relationships with my friends and family
members, in real life. I think my wife would attest to the fact that I wasn’t as perhaps
as present as I should have been in our relationship.
[2:22] I just came to rely too heavily. I guess, I skewed too heavily to the digital
world. I’ve talked to a lot of tech professionals and people who work in Digital
Asset Management. People who work, very, very immersed in the tech world,
and they see that this message resonates with them.
[2:40] As much as they love their technology, they still have lives. They have
families. They have friends. Sometimes it’s about just using technologies on the
right occasion, and thinking about whether it’s email, or it’s a video chat, or is it
a text, or do you actually pick up the phone. When can you have those face-to-face
conversations and not be distracted your technology?
[2:59] Just getting up from behind the screen and enjoying life without becoming
too caught up in what’s happening online.
Henrik: [3:06] Daniel is donating a copy of his book to one lucky listener
of our book drawing. To enter this book drawing, send an email to, telling me why you like Another DAM Podca st
and/or Another DAM Blog , before March 1st, 2012. Feel free to rate the podcast
and blog as well. The winner will have the book mailed to them.
Daniel: [3:30] , what advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and
people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Daniel: [3:36] First of all, I love the name of your podcast and your blog, [laughs]
Another DAM Podcast and Blog. I think it’s very clever. [3:42] I think that it’s obviously
an area that requires a lot of technical expertise, but just like any profession,
and certainly I can share this firsthand, it becomes about the people that
you meet, whether you’re going to Createasphere or other conferences like that,
and I think there’s always that networking aspect.
[3:55] There’s a networking side on the technical end, but there’s also the networking
side with people, and at Createasphere and meeting different Digital
Asset Management folks. It feels like a very tight-knit sort of community. So it’s
important to reach out to those people. Meet with them. Talk with them. Share
your work. Talk about your struggles in the different technologies. Whether it’s
coding, storage, servers. What sort of innovations are you looking at, and try to
be as well-read as you can be.
[4:25] I often feel like I’m constantly learning. I think that the best advice I give
to people is, “Don’t act like you know everything, because there’s always somebody
who knows a bit more than you. There’s somebody who’s innovating in
a new way.”
[4:39] Taking the time to explore those ideas, see what they’re working on. You
don’t have to necessarily do exactly what they’re doing, but maybe you incorporate
a little bit of it. You share what you’re doing. This is the way that, I think,
innovation springs up in new ideas and ways to manage digital assets. It’s obviously
an area of growth.
[4:59] Everything is going the way of digital content, and we have to be thinking
of new ways to distribute that, to share items, to store items. When people talk
in terms of the size of data that we’re referring to, it’s kind of overwhelming for
some people. So sharing what you’re working and your ideas, I think, is essential
in having an open mind to what others might be doing.
[5:20] That’s what I took away from the Createasphere Conference, just people
were sharing and learning along the way.
Henrik: [5:25] Thanks, Daniel.
Daniel: [5:27] Henrik, thank you. I appreciate it.
Henrik: [5:29] For more on this and other Digital Asset Management topics log
onto Another DAM Podcast is available on Audioboo,
iTunes and the Tech Podcast Network. If you have any comments or questions,
feel free to email them at Thanks again.

Another DAM podcast interview with Ulla de Stricker

Another DAM podcast interview with Ulla de Stricker | Listen

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • You recently co-authored a book titled “The Information and Knowledge Professional’s Career Handbook” along with co-author Jill Hurst-Wahl. I believe Digital Asset Management could be categorized under the umbrella of Information Management. What inspired you to write this book?
  • What is so different about careers in the field of Information and Knowledge Professionals than any other?
  • Is this book just for beginners entering this career path?
  • What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?

Full Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor: [0:01] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management (DAM). I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Ulla de
Stricker. Ulla, how are you?
Ulla de Stricker: [0:11] Fine. Thank you very much.
Henrik: [0:13] Ulla, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Ulla: [0:16] As a consultant I’m involved in everything my clients care about
when it comes to information and knowledge management broadly defined.
Information objects of all kinds, including DAMs of course, are an element in any
organization strategy for support to knowledge workers, and I strive to point my
clients to the options available and to advise them about the ramifications of
those options.
Henrik: [0:40] You recently coauthored a book titled “The Information and
Knowledge Professional’s Career Handbook” along with coauthor Jill Hurst-
Wahl, which I interviewed in the past. I believe Digital Asset Management could
be categorized under the umbrella of information management. What inspired
you to write this book?
Ulla: [0:58] Jill and I are what you might call “natural mentors.” We’ve always
ended up in situations where we discuss career matters with our colleagues and
our students in particular. So without being able to pinpoint the exact moment,
we did get to a point where we arrived at this collective insight, “Why don’t we
just write it all down?” So we set about distilling our answers to the many questions
we’ve heard over the years. [1:26] Our intention was to capture general
advice in one place so that potentially our individual conversations with readers
could be more personal and focused. But primarily, however, we wanted to give
our colleagues and particularly new entrants to the profession a heads up about
all the things you need to think about in your career but never had a chance to
focus on in graduate school.
[1:53] Speaking for myself, I certainly discovered that technical skills are only one
part of the tool kit we need. I learned the hard way about organizational politics,
about being the boss, about interpersonal dynamics, and so on and so on. So
you might say the book actually addresses practitioners in a lot of professions.
We felt comfortable though speaking to colleagues in those fields where we
have personally built our reputations.
[2:21] We’d love to see the book become a graduation gift and a bible for
younger colleagues. That way our suggestions can travel a lot further afield than
through personal interactions in meetings and workshops.
Henrik: [2:35] Excellent. So what is so different about careers in the field of
information management professionals than any other?
Ulla: [2:45] I’m so glad you asked it. First, I want to stress how exciting it is to
see all the many new opportunities out there for graduates of iSchools. I think
we’re still only scratching the surface, and there’s a lot of outreach still to do to
orient managers about how the skills of iSchool graduates apply across a vast
spectrum of organizational functions. [3:08] But I always encourage those looking
for a career to check out the information profession. You and I, Henrik, know
it isn’t true, contrary to widespread opinion, that the Internet has reduced the
need for professionals who know their way around information management.
That said, I need to be honest about what I call the opacity of our profession.
[3:31] You can’t imagine the number of times I’ve heard my colleagues comment
on the surprising amount of explaining they found themselves having to do.
Sometimes we commiserate among ourselves that perhaps we ought to have
considered pharmacy or some other field where clients understand immediately
what we do without any further explanation.
[3:51] As an illustration, nobody with a sick pet is in any doubt about the need
for or value of a veterinarian, and no one with a leaky roof questions the need
for and value of a roofer. Yes, police officers, transport truck drivers, the road
repair crews, etc, etc, do not have to explain why they should exist. But we information
professionals do.
[4:19] A major factor is the conundrum I’ll never solve that we deal largely in
intangibles. We can’t prove that we are adding dollars to the bottom line or that
we’re saving lives. So our costs could look like reasonable candidates for cuts
when managers are under pressure to slash their budgets. We can convince
those managers it’s prudent to equip knowledge workers with authoritative information,
and it’s prudent to safeguard corporate memory and so on.
[4:50] But we cannot get away from the fact that information services are, by
their nature, labor intensive and expensive. Before the first customer can find an
answer to a question or find an information object, there’s content to pay for,
staff to pay for, IT infrastructure to put in place, and so on. It’s understandable
to me when a senior executive asks bluntly, “What am I getting for that six or
seven-figure line item called the Corporate Information Center?”
[5:21] I’m sure your DAM colleagues recognize the challenge. The bottom line for
this nurse is that in our professions practitioners must always be ready to justify
their worth. It’s for that reason that one of the chapters in the book deals with
crafting business cases.
Henrik: [5:39] So, is this book just for beginners entering this career path?
Ulla: [5:43] Certainly, Jill and I did intend the book for graduate students and
recent graduates, but we speak equally to mid-career professionals who may be
asking themselves, “What’s next?” We advocate an attitude of personal control.
Oh, yes. It’s true. A new graduate may take that first job because the bills have
to be paid. But throughout our working lives every one of us are making choices
and plans for the future. [6:10] So that’s why we emphasize in one chapter the
need for every single professional to ascertain what’s a group cultural fit and
then to orchestrate choices and activities toward that fit. By “fit,” I mean that,
as one example, some of us are naturally happy in environments where others
might not be so happy. Just consider the difference between hospitals, law
firms, schools, nonprofits, and private sector companies in terms of how it feels
to work there.
[6:40] As another example. We’re all unique in terms of the degree of structure
and control we like to have at work, the pace we’re comfortable with, whether
we like to deal with people, or whether we prefer to work independently, and
so on. So, other chapters deal with universal topics, such as developing a
professional brand, getting paid what we’re worth, coping with stress, mentoring
others. So indeed the book is meant for our colleagues at any stage of
their careers.
Henrik: [7:12] What advice would you like to share with DAM professional and
people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Ulla: [7:17] Let me stress again the positive news that in the future, information
professionals including the DAMs will be evermore necessary to managing the
explosions of digital content. The opportunities keep growing, and I’ll just throw
in here, that in the last couple of weeks alone a major consulting firm in Toronto
announced several new knowledge management decisions. [7:43] One little
challenge does exist. It’s that in the past, we may not have focused sufficiently
on marketing our skills, so we do have some competition from IT professionals
as an example. So my advice focuses on marketing. My advice is that a successful
career depends on developing a solid conviction about our own value and
on perfecting the delivery of the explanation of it.
[8:09] I say become a walking business case. Get good at linking your activity
to corporate outcomes. Estimate, for example, how much time you save other
employees through your work, and then calculate the value to the organization
from freeing up that time. Never mind about risk reduction and other intangible
benefits. Speak about how you contribute to the overall performance of the
organization you work for and use the language stakeholders understand.
[8:39] In other words become a career long advocate for good information practices.
Does that make sense, Henrik?
Henrik: [8:46] Definitely. Well, thanks Ulla. Thanks to also your publisher,
Chandos, who is giving us a complimentary copy. For the first time on this
podcast series we’re able to give away a copy of the book. The book is again
“The Information and Knowledge Professionals Career Handbook” by Jill Hurst-
Wahl and Ulla de Stricker. [9:08] The contest between the date of the release of
this podcast through the month of August 2011, if you subscribed to Another
DAM Blog, that’s and, you
will be entered in the contest immediately. If you are drawn at the end of the
month, the winner from that will get a free copy of the new book. Thank you so
much, Ulla.
Ulla: [9:36] Well, thank you. It is indeed generous of the publisher to work with
us in this way, and I can’t wait to virtually shake the hand of the winner.
Henrik: [9:45] If you would like more information about Digital Asset
Management, log onto Another DAM Podcast is
available on Audioboo , Blubrry, iTunes, and the Tech Podcast Network.
Thanks again.

Announcing the first book drawing for this podcast series…

The one winner of this drawing will receive one free copy of “The Information and Knowledge Professional’s Career Handbook” co-authored by Jill Hurst-Wahl and Ulla de Stricker. To enter the book drawing, simply subscribe to both Another DAM podcast and Another DAM blog by email on each of these websites between August 4, 2011 and August 31, 2011. The winner will be picked from the pool of email subscribers of both Another DAM podcast and Another DAM blog together. The drawing will occur on the first week of September 2011 with a third party drawing the name of the winner. The winner will be announced on Another DAM podcast and Another DAM blog. If you are already an email subscribers to both Another DAM podcast and Another DAM blog, you are automatically entered in this book drawing. The winner will be contacted directly by email for their contact details to ship the book. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher. Good luck to all.

Another DAM podcast interview with Magan Arthur

Click here to listen to Another DAM podcast interview with Magan Arthur

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • You wrote an article titled “…Just what is a DAM?” Is this definition static or changing? Why?
  • What advice would you like to give DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM Professionals?

Full Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor: [0:01] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Magan Arthur.
Magan, how are you?
Magan Arthur: [0:11] I’m doing very well. Thank you.
Henrik: [0:13] Magan, how are you involved in Digital Asset Management?
Magan: [0:16] I’ve been involved for a very, very long time going back now over
10 years to one of the startup companies in California. We were at the front lines
when Digital Asset Management was an acronym that was created. [0:34] The
claim to fame there was they produced the first really Web based Digital Asset
Management tool. It was around 2000 when client server and VOI P was the big
change over.
Henrik: [0:51] Magan, you wrote an article entitled, “Just What is DAM?” Is this
definition static or changing, and why?
Magan: [1:00] Yeah, I think that it’s still quite relevant. I do notice that [laughs]
on Wikipedia that article is still referenced. I believe that we still see confusion
out there between what is traditional content management and the CMS software
world. [1:25] Often Digital Asset Management is used in such a broad way
that it encompasses everything, including even the document management
systems, nowadays rarely referenced.
[1:38] By the time that I wrote the article, document management was still also
a big piece of the content management pie. I believe that the article still holds
value and that it really differentiates DAM from all these other tools, focusing
on management media rich libraries versus templates for publication versus
[2:06] I think there’s still a value in defining DAM in comparison to those
other tools.
Henrik: [2:12] What advice would you like to give DAM professionals and
people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Magan: [2:19] I’ve been thinking about that ever since you sent me those questions
up front. I would say, for DAM professionals, I have the similar advice I
would give to most of the clients that I speak to when we speak about DAM.
[2:39] DAM means so much to so many people. To be an expert in all of them is
probably impossible.
[2:48] If you look at Digital Asset Management as this core capability of managing
in which media in libraries is mostly geared for reuse of content much more
so than for direct publishing and consumption by end users, that again would
differentiate here the CMS versus a DAM.
[3:11] Even in that moment, we have now the wide spread acceptance of Digital
Asset Management technologies in broadcast and in parts of Hollywood in
movie production. I would say that we see very specific requirements and needs
around just that specific area.
[3:32] The news organization would have very different needs and uses for DAM
than the newspaper photo archive.
[3:41] I would say that one advice I could give to DAM professionals is be sure
what your specialty should be, because setting up these very different systems
for different user types and different asset types really bears specific requirement
and requires knowledge that not everybody has readily at hand.
[4:05] The other aspect, one of the questions that I mostly ponder with many of
my larger clients, is the overall Digital Asset Management and reuse strategy.
Looking at large marketing organizations that often touch all kinds of assets, be
it video, be it banner ads, and content that is more geared towards that use or
be it still print.
[4:36] Photo libraries always come into play. I think that one really has to be clear
about what type of skills and services one wants to provide. Is it the very specific
implementation and skills around a very specific content type?
[4:53] Is it more the strategic aspect of looking at a larger ecosystem of many
different content types that come together? Here I would say the complexity of
consolidating taxonomies enterprises and so on, come into play.
[5:11] I’m not sure if I’m clear or not in my answer but I think the long and short
of it is, be clear what it is that you want to offer, and where you want to specialize.
Are you a strategist? Or are you an expert in a specific arena?
[5:25] There’s so much work out there that any expert in any one arena will probably
have plenty of work. Specifically, if they do a good job. I believe that you
can only do a good job, if you start specializing.
Henrik: [5:38] Excellent. Thank you very much.
Magan: [5:38] My pleasure.
Henrik: [5:39] For more on Digital Asset Management, log onto Thanks again.