Another DAM Podcast

Audio about Digital Asset Management

Another DAM Podcast interview with Judy Colbert on Digital Asset Management

Judy Colbert discusses Digital Asset Management

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • How does an organization focused on gems use a DAM?
  • What do you do to encourage user adoption of the DAM?
  • What advice would you like to give to DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM Professionals?


Henrik de Gyor: [0:01] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today, I’m speaking with Judy Colbert.
[0:08] Judy, how are you?
Judy Colbert: [0:10] Hi. I’m fine, thanks, Henrik.
Henrik: [0:12] Judy, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Judy: [0:15] Well, I’m administrator of GIA’s DAM system. I deal with the daily
operation for the system on the front end. The technical side is handled by our
IT department. [0:26] My team, the visual resources library, consists of two catalogers,
a digital resources specialist, a visual resources librarian and me.
[0:36] When we began our DAM project around 2002, I was co-project manager.
With the involvement of committee members from various departments, we
decided on a vendor, came up with policies and procedures in using the DAM.
We, also, developed our property models and taxonomy at that time.
[0:56] After implementation, the visual resources library took over as caretakers
of DAM. I had a smaller staff in the beginning and did much more of the importing
of assets and editing of metadata. But as my team grew, more of my time’s
spent in management.
Henrik: [1:13] How is an organization focused on gems use a DAM?
Judy: [1:18] One of the more important things we do at GIA is teach gemology,
and the jewelry manufacturing arts. It’s very visual and you need a lot of images
to teach students about the large variety of gemstones, how to identify them
and how to determine their quality. [1:34] The Gemological Institute of America
develops its own courses in print and, more recently, in eLearning. We have staff
and freelance photographers who produce a lot of images. They need to be
organized and made accessible, not only to our education department, but to
marketing, PR, the laboratory, and the research departments, too.
[1:57] They all use images for a variety of uses, such as for scientific journals, education
catalogs, lectures and instructional use.
Henrik: [2:06] Great. What do you do to encourage user adoption of the DAM?
Judy: [2:11] That’s a good question and one we continually ask ourselves how to
do. One thing we start off with is to provide training to new users. At first, because
it was a larger number, we held group training sessions. Now, we mostly
have one on one training. [2:28] It’s really important to get users to feel comfortable
in using DAM, especially if they’ve never used it before. We try to simplify
and not overwhelm them right away with all the features that are available in
DAM. We show them what they need to do to get started, and if they want to
know more or have a higher level of access, we can instruct them more then.
[2:50] Other ways we’ve tried to gain user adoption is by communicating with
our users by way of newsletters and a blog. We’ve also held special events, like
awards ceremonies, to acknowledge our power users. Photo identification socials
to identify unknown people in old photos, and open houses to give demos
and answer some questions.
Henrik: [3:13] Excellent. I have a link to your blog on my blog, What is the URL to your blog?
Judy: [3:21] It’s It’s mainly, an internal blog for our own
users, but people from the outside are welcome to view it if they like.
Henrik: [3:36] Excellent. There’s a lot of nice imagery on there.
Judy: [3:38] Well, thank you.
Henrik: [3:39] What advice would you like to give to DAM professionals and
people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Judy: [3:45] Read up, learn from other DAM professionals, and make a project
plan before you take the leap. When we started our project, there wasn’t as
much information available as there is now. Take advantage of learning from
other people’s experiences and mistakes. [3:59] Start small and build up. It can
be very overwhelming to try to do it all at once.
[4:05] Finally, be flexible and willing to adapt. Changes will happen.
Henrik: [4:11] Excellent. Well, thank you, Judy.
Judy: [4:12] Oh, you’re welcome.
Henrik: [4:14] For more on Digital Asset Management, log onto Thanks again.

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Author: Henrik de Gyor

Consultant. Podcaster. Writer.

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