Another DAM Podcast

Audio about Digital Asset Management

Another DAM Podcast interview with Suzanne Smagala on Digital Asset Management

Suzanne Smagala discusses Digital Asset Management

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • Why does an organization focused on entertainment use Digital Asset Management?
  • What advice would you like to share with 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 Suzanne Smagala.
Suzanne, how are you?
Suzanne Smagala: [0:11] I’m great, Henrik. How are you?
Henrik: [0:12] Good. Suzanne, how are you involved with Digital Asset
Suzanne: [0:16] Well, basically I’m responsible for ingesting and processing
all the company digital assets. We use the Digital Asset Management system
MediaBin. I do a lot with asset retrieval and file delivery. I help write standards
and workflows for preservation and best practices. I also do a lot of work with
digital rights management.
Henrik: [0:33] Why does an organization focused on entertainment use Digital
Asset Management?
Suzanne: [0:39] I think the better question would be why wouldn’t we? So much
of our product is digital. We have a really huge web presence, with our Ripley’s.
com website. We do a lot with social media, with Facebook and Twitter. We
post videos on Vimeo. We also have a lot of videos that play right in our museums,
in our locations. We have a weekly podcast, a syndicated cartoon. We’re
developing a mobile app, set to launch this summer. We have a huge publishing
arm where we publish, on average, about five books a year. And not just in
print, but also a lot in eBook format. [1:09] We just have to think about all the
digital files that are associated with those endeavors. If you just take the eBook,
for example, we have design files of the page layouts, the graphic and image
files. We’re doing embedded video files for interactive features that correspond
to our apps. License rights to associate all the images that we have. All those
files need to be managed. We just saw a real need that a simple file server
couldn’t satisfy.
Henrik: [1:32] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and
people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Suzanne: [1:37] I can probably speak more to the people that are aspiring,
because I myself am fairly new in the field. I’m about a year or two in. I think
number one, education is key. It’s really the starting point. I got my degree, my
Master’s in Library and Information Sciences. I was fortunate enough to land a
great graduate assistantship, working for a special library for the Florida State
University School of Theater. [1:57] I spent a lot of my time cataloging special
collections. While I was cataloging using an integrated library system, I was
really able to easily translate those skills into the Digital Asset Management
world. It’s all about taking what you’ve done and being able to use it for something
different. I would say, seek out internships, network. LinkedIn is a great
tool. Join groups and other professional organizations.
[2:17] Stay on top of what’s going on in the field. Get to conferences if you can.
This is really a great time to be getting into this field. It’s just starting to emerge.
The demand is really high for qualified professionals, but opportunities aren’t
going to fall into your lap, so you need to be the one to make it happen.
Henrik: [2:31] Thanks, Suzanne.
Suzanne:  [2:32] Thank you.
Henrik: [2:34] For more on Digital Asset Management, log onto Another DAM Podcast is available on Audioboom,
iTunes and the Tech Podcast Network. If you have any comments or questions,
please feel free to email me at
Thanks again.

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Author: Henrik de Gyor

Consultant. Podcaster. Writer.

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