Another DAM Podcast

Audio about Digital Asset Management


Another DAM Podcast interview with Tony Gill on Digital Asset Management

Tony Gill discusses Digital Asset Management

 

 

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • What challenges do you face using Digital Asset Management within a marketing organization?
  • What advice would you like to give to DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM Professionals?

Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor: [0:02] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Tony Gill. Tony,
how are you?
Tony Gill: [0:10] I’m good. Thanks Henrik. How are you?
Henrik: [0:12] Good. How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Tony: [0:15] My job title is Global Director of Library Science and Information
Management. I work for an advertising agency that is part of one of the large
global advertising conglomerates. [0:28] We have a single client which is a very
large technology company. My role is theoretic quite general.
[0:35] In practice, I spend the vast bulk of my time running a large multi server
Digital Asset Management System that’s shared between us, our client, and
about a dozen of our sibling agencies within the same conglomerate, all working
on the same account.
[0:53] After defining the initial information architecture for the system such as the
metadata schemer and the control vocabularies, the folder hierarchy that we use
for storing the assets, asset ingest and work flow procedures.
[1:10] I now manage a team, a small team of Digital Asset Librarians who perform
the day-to-day act of managing the flow of assets throughout the system and
throughout their life cycle.
Henrik: [1:20] Great. Tony, what challenges do you face using Digital Asset
Management with a marketing organization?
Tony: [1:26] The challenges are many and varied. One of the biggest challenges
we face is just the sheer volume of assets coming into the system all the time
from a wide variety of different sources both from within our agency groups and
also from the client and from beyond. [1:43] We do have fairly well established
asset ingest procedures that require metadata to be provided with the assets.
But because there are always new users and new communities wanting to
upload assets to the system, it means there’s a constant need to keep training
people and keep bringing them up to speed on the ingest procedures. That’s
fairly challenging.
[2:05] Another factor of my job is that we have a very demanding client and
often times they will make requests to have assets organized for their particular
needs.
[2:18] Often, it’s down to me to say politely but firmly that we can’t do that because
the system has to meet the needs of a very, very broad user community.
We have something like 3,500 users on the system globally, at the moment.
[2:31] We can’t just reorganize areas of it for one group, or one individual’s requirements.
Sometimes I have to be able to politely and tactfully say, “No,” and
explain why we can’t change the structure of the system for individual user’s
needs because of the whole broad range of different user needs.
[2:55] Obviously, rights management is a perennial problem in this field. We have
to make sure we have detailed usage right information for anything where the
usage rights are not just straight forward global unlimited usage rights.
[3:13] Communicating that to people that are uploading assets is also sometimes
challenging because sometimes they haven’t even considered the usage rights.
[3:23] You have to end up doing a little mini tutorial about copyright and usage
rights and explaining why, as the publisher effectively of these assets, if we
publish them and we don’t have the correct usage rights, then we’re effectively
liable for copyright infringement even though we may have had no part in acquiring
these assets in the first place. Of course, that’s also a challenge.
[3:47] Then, the general symptom of working in the advertising industry is that
deadlines are always very short and often missed. People tend to wait until the
last minute and tend to get very anxious when we say that things are published
in a timely fashion.
[4:08] They often leave things to the last thing on a Friday night before they
upload them. We often find ourselves scrambling at the last minute to get the
stuff posted that’s urgently needed by teams all around the world right at the
last minute.
Henrik: [4:21] Sounds like a bunch of challenges there.
Tony: [4:23] Yeah.
Henrik: [4:27] What advice would you like to give DAM professionals or people
aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Tony: [4:33] From my part, if you want to come work on my team, you will need
a Library Science degree. That’s a graduate degree in Library and Information
Science. That’s a really good grounding in the kind of disciplines that are very
good in the Digital Assets Management field. [4:51] It teaches you the importance
of information architecture and information management. It teaches you
to be rigorous and to follow standards. It also teaches you an observance for
finickiness and attention to detail.
[5:05] In the job description that I wrote recently for the Digital Asset Librarians, I
said, “An almost obsessive attention to detail would be a useful attribute in any
of the successful candidates.”
[5:20] I tend to find that there are certain people that are drawn to the librarianship
role, and they also make very good digital managers. Those are the main
things that I can think of just off the top of my head.
Henrik: [5:31] Great. Thank you, Tony.
Tony: [5:33] You’re very welcome, Henrik. It’s been a pleasure talking to you.
Henrik: [5:36] Any time. For more on Digital Asset Management, log on to
anotherdamblog.com. Thanks again.


 

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Another DAM Podcast interview with Mary Yurkovic on Digital Asset Management

 

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • When you have many different photographers using different digital cameras, is there a preferred standard format for digital photographs you would recommend?
  • What advice would you like to give to DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM Professionals?

Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor: [0:01] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I am Henrik de Gyor. Today I am speaking with Mary Yurkovic.
Mary, how are you?
Mary Yurkovic: [0:10] I am fine, Henrik. Thanks for having me on your podcast
today.
Henrik: [0:14] No problem. Mary, how are you involved with Digital Asset
Management?
Mary: [0:17] I’m a consultant and adviser to organizations struggling with
Digital Asset Management and how Digital Asset Management works within
their organization. Additionally, one of my ongoing projects is working with
Createasphere in educating the community, similar to Another DAM Blog. [0:36]
We’re really trying to educate the community face-to-face and bring some problems
and issues that we have in this space to the forefront, and working with
vendors in this space and service providers in this space to help us come up
with some great solutions.
Henrik: [0:53] When you have many different photographers using different
digital cameras by different manufacturers, you may have experience with this,
is there a preferred standard format for digital photographs that you would
recommend?
Mary: [1:09] That’s a good question. Getting creatives to decide upon one
standard or even come to a common ground can always be very challenging.
Sometimes you have political issues to deal with, and sometimes you’ll have
a lack of understanding or knowledge of file format. [1:28] Whatever the case
may be, it’s extremely important if not critical is to have some sort of standard.
The standard that I think I’ve seen work fast with some of the organizations I’ve
worked with is the DNG format.
Henrik: [1:43] So instead of using the RAW formats that vary actually amongst
all the different camera manufacturers for the most part, you’re recommending
DNG or the Digital Negative format from Adobe?
Mary: [1:53] Yes. There may be a few steps you have to take to get to it, but the
goal is to preserve as much of the camera data and as much color information
as possible from the very beginning. [2:10] As I said, whatever the file format
you’re using, just pick a standard. I think it’s much easier with digital photography,
then it is with video. So within your organization that should be easier.
Henrik: [2:27] What advice would you like to give to DAM professionals and
people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Mary: [2:33] My advice for future Digital Asset Management professionals and
current Digital Asset Management professionals is to learn as many aspects as
you can about the Digital Asset Management arena, whether it’s project management,
library science, categorizing your data, digital work flows. [2:57] Learn
about video and how to deal with audio files and formats, document management,
rights management, storage, digital preservation. There are many, many
more areas too, but learn as much as you can about the other areas.
[3:17] Another very important area to consider for Digital Asset Management
professionals is to consider the human factor and how change management
affects implementing a Digital Asset Management project or process and how
humans interact with assets themselves.
[3:38] Whatever area you chose to focus on, just keep an open mind and explore
some of the adjacent areas and the adjacent technologies. For the future Digital
Asset Management professionals, this is a really, really exciting time. We’re
starting to see some really great technology improve and prove itself to organizations
and see the real potential with our digital data and digital assets.
[4:07] We’re really at the beginning of what can really happen with Digital Asset
Management and adjacent technology. I think the future for it is going to be
very exciting and challenging and rewarding. At the same time, especially when
you see what’s happening with some of the search and speech recognition,
there are improving techniques for preserving physical content.
[4:39] I think all of that is very exciting, and we’re really just starting to touch
upon the surface of that. Digital Asset Management and Digital Asset
Management community itself, how we deal with Digital Asset Management on
a day to day base just in our personal lives with iTunes, Pandora, go to YouTube
and look up a silly video to make you laugh, those are all forms of Digital Asset
Management.
[5:07] As I said, this is really only a fraction of how we use Digital Asset
Management on a day to day basis. For many organizations Digital Asset
Management seems to be mission critical, not just leaving it up to the technology
department to implement and let them steer this and leaving it upon them
to do upgrades and to look at the next capability. Or leaving it up to them or
getting frustrated because it hasn’t achieved its ROI status yet.
[5:40] Some of the trends, as I said, I’m seeing, is indeed many of these organizations
are making Digital Asset Management a vital mission in the way they do
their business. Which, to the delight of many of the future DAMsters, is taking
it a step further to do even more, automate work flow, the rights process, the
speech recognition, the better search capabilities. The list goes on.
[6:06] There’s so many additional capabilities of Digital Asset Management.
What’s really exciting is the really good ones, we haven’t even thought of yet.
It’s the next DAMsters who will be thinking of that for us.
Henrik: [6:20] Great. Well, thank you, Mary.
Mary: [6:22] Thank you for having me.
Henrik: [6:24] No problem. For more on Digital Asset Management, log onto
AnotherDAMblog.com. Thanks again.

 


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Another DAM Podcast interview with Jennifer Griffith and Elizabeth Keathley of UPS

 

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • Congratulations on winning a 2010 DAMMY Award. Why does a shipping and logistics company use a DAM?
  • What advice would you like to give to DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?

Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor: [0:02] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Jennifer Griffith and
Elizabeth Keathley. [0:11] How are you?
Jennifer Griffith: [0:12] Great, how are you?
Henrik: [0:13] Great! How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Jennifer: [0:18] OK, well, I manage the Digital Asset Management system for
UPS for our global communications function. That includes all communications,
employees, and our agency to create collateral on our behalf around the globe.
[0:37] I’ve managed the team for about three years now. Prior to that, I produced
and directed video for UPS and served in a project management role.
[0:49] During that time, I spent…I guess about nearly 10 years learning about
DAM, starting with a field trip down to CNN in the late 1990’s and was sort of
hooked after seeing the setup they had there.
[1:04] Continued to kind of teach myself about the industry and attend conferences
when I was able, usually when they were in Atlanta or the Southeast.
[1:14] Sort of self-taught in the industry of asset management. A lot of reading of
online materials, a lot of benchmarking with some of my peers here in Atlanta.
[1:25] I advocated for a DAM system here in the communications function pretty
much every year, up until UPS turned 100.
Henrik: [1:34] Wow.
Jennifer: [1:35] We celebrated our centennial anniversary in 2007. Following
that centennial anniversary and trying to find 100 years’ worth of stuff without
a Digital Asset Management system, the company finally made a decision to
officially form the team, named me to management, to manage it, as I’d been
advocating for years. [1:56] Was able to hire a team. We had some dedicated
budget to get a system off the ground.
[2:03] That’s what I do. I’ll turn it over to Elizabeth.
Elizabeth Keathley: [2:05] I got into Digital Asset Management by way of
library and archive work. [2:10] I’ve got a degree in archive management out
of the library science school at Simmons College. I graduated the fall/winter
semester of 2002, I guess…2001? I’m not even sure. I’d have to go back and
look it up.
[2:27] I just love making information accessible. The definition of an archivist is
somebody who arranges and describes collections for preservation and access.
[2:36] That pretty much also describes all of my DAM work. I’ve come to it just
through my work in librarianship and archives.
Henrik: [2:45] Congratulations on winning the 2010 DAMMY award.
What was the DAMMY award for, specifically?
Jennifer: [2:50] Well, thanks, Henrik. We won in the category of Best
Storage, Archive, and Preservation Solution. We’re really excited to be recognized
in that category. [3:01] We’ve got a lot of focus on preservation because
of the metadata models and the Dublin Core Metadata models that we follow.
Elizabeth can, I’m sure, add more to the preservation focus that our team has.
Elizabeth: [3:16] Before I worked at UPS, one of the jobs I had was as a preservation
field services officer for a now defunct corporation called SOLINET,
which was the Southeastern Library Network. I helped people get grants from
the National Endowment for the Humanities to preserve their collections. [3:32]
During that time, I saw a lot of both successful and failed systems. I was able to
take what I had learned on that job, from traveling around the Southeast and
helping people set up their systems.
[3:47] The standards that the American Library Association and SAA and
Digicure and all these other people have put together to come up with a very
stable metadata modeling system for UPS.
[4:00] It’s XML based, like every good system should be. We’ve got a modified
Dublin Core account logging system.
[4:08] It doesn’t matter what happens in the future. No matter what, we can
always suck all of our metadata out of there and put it in any other system.
Henrik: [4:16] Great, that’s very important. Excellent! [4:18] Well, congratulations
again on that reward. Why does a shipping and logistics company use a DAM?
Jennifer: [4:23] Well, Henrik, at UPS we’re a very big company around the
globe. [4:28] In order to communicate globally to our customers and to our
employees, our communications professionals have to overcome differences in
language and culture and time zones to maintain that consistency of brand, to
have access to that central repository of brand assets and to all the guidelines
that go along with the proper use of those assets.
[4:55] Risk mitigation is a big part of what we do. Making sure we’ve got all our
rights management documents and our agreements tied to the assets in our
system within the communications group at UPS.
Henrik: [5:09] Great! What advice would you give to DAM professionals or
people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Jennifer: [laughs] [5:15] Wow. I would say attend the conferences…a big fan of
Henry Stewart, obviously a big fan of Createasphere. [5:25] The DAM community
has always been very open to sharing. Sharing best practices, sharing mistakes,
sharing lessons learned.
[5:34] You’ll hear it said that no DAM system is like another. Every company has a
system unique to their needs, customized to their needs.
[5:45] Still always very open to saying, oh, you might try this, or don’t do that, or
think of this. I would never hesitate to call on a DAM manager at any company
and say, hey, can you tell me about your system or give me some advice.
[6:02] I would also say obviously define your requirements. Then don’t budge
from those requirements. Early on, we wrote our use cases, defined our
requirements.
[6:14] It’s easy to say, well, I guess we can live with that or we can live with that.
That always comes back to sort of haunt you afterward.
[6:23] Another thing that some of us in the DAM industry tend to do is forget
that these systems require updates. They require maintenance and budget for
enhancements every year. Budget for new user requests every year, where you
can, as you can.
[6:40] I think the large part of why we won the DAMMY award this year for Best
Storage, Archive, and Preservation Solution is really our team.
[6:49] As Elizabeth said, she’s got a masters’ degree in library science. We’ve got
Mary Katherine on our team who has the same degree.
[6:57] I’ve got a background in video production and project management. I can
navigate the politics in a large corporate company.
[7:06] Somehow, between us, we really make it work. We often take a vote in
making a change to our metadata models and in our taxonomies. We’ll argue
about a naming convention for hours on end.
[7:21] It’s having that right team together that helped us be successful.
Elizabeth: [7:24] That is absolutely true. When we were working on
our metadata modeling, we actually agreed then I think why we won the award.
[7:30] We were talking about making changes because we’re taking it in a new
kind of format or a new kind of asset or a group had a different set of requirements
than another. Often, Jennifer will argue for the change. Mary Katherine in
the balance…
[laughter]
Jennifer: [7:44] She breaks it.
Elizabeth: [7:45] Yeah, to break it. She’s the nicest one! We hired her right out
of the program at UNC Chapel Hill. [7:54] She was writing her masters’ thesis on
DAM. We hired her before she turned her thesis in, because we knew she was
the right person on the team.
[8:02] It really is a combination of people.
Henrik: [8:05] She wrote her thesis on DAM specifically? I’m sorry. Was she an
archivist or a library science person?
Elizabeth: [8:11] Yeah, she was in their library science program, studying to be
an archivist.
Henrik: [8:16] Well, great!
Jennifer: [8:17] Thank you so much, and thank you for doing these podcasts,
Henrik. We appreciate the time you put in to sharing this educational information
across the DAM community. It’s really helpful.
Elizabeth: [8:27] Yeah, and we actually listen to them, so…
Jennifer: [laughs] [8:29]
Henrik: [8:29] That’s always helpful. I appreciate that. Thank you so much! For
more on Digital Asset Management, log onto [8:32] anotherdamblog.com.
Thanks again.

 


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