George Brown discusses Digital Asset Management
Here are the questions asked:
- How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
- How does a publisher of children’s magazines, stories and activity books 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 George Brown.
George, how are you?
George Brown: [0:09] Great. Thanks for having me.
Henrik: [0:11] No problem. George, how are you involved with Digital Asset
George: [0:15] Henrik, I’m a member of our publishing technologies team with
the editorial product development group for Highlights for Children. That team
includes our premedia production, our archiving, our rights management, and
our asset management. We’re currently in the middle of two implementations at
one time. [0:36] We’re doing a new DAM, an upgrade, as well as implementing
an editorial publishing system to help track our workflow as we’re building these
magazines, books, and various other digital products. So in my normal day job,
I manage our assets services team. There’s four of us. There’s a rights management
administrator, our archivist, and a content management specialist. So our
archivist is working with the premedia team in advance of a product to set up
folder structures and file naming conventions.
[1:15] Then that way the files are put into the right setup so that, when it is time
to archive them, we have them ready to go in the right condition that we need
them for archive and reuse. Our rights management administrator is tracking
all of the rights for content that we’re acquiring as well as content that we are
licensing out to various partners. Anytime we reuse content, she helps us check
[1:43] Our content management specialist is really working within the DAM, and
right now a couple of other databases, to help our internal users here in the
editorial group as well as our business team in our Columbus, Ohio offices, and
then our various international and domestic licensing partners. Anytime there’s a
request to reuse content, it comes through our group, and our content management
specialist pulls those assets together for that request.
[2:17] Now we archive everything in a nice orderly fashion, but reuse is not
always nice and orderly. They may need a couple of pages from this book, a
couple of pages from this magazine, and maybe a few puzzles from some other
place. So our content management specialist is working with these people
within the DAM pulling those assets out and actually putting them together for
new use purposes. So he does a variety of packaging and repackaging to give
the right assets in the right format to what we call our customers, whether internal
[2:54] Now, the other part of my job right now is on the DAM implementation.
I’ve been working with our vendor to look at our assets and the metadata we
have, and figure out how we’re getting the assets ingested, and then the metadata
from another system attached to the appropriate assets. We’ve really
been fortunate with our DAM implementation in that our Director of Publishing
Technologies, who is my boss, has a wide experience in the DAM space.
[3:25] He’s done a number of DAM implementations through a few different
organizations. So he’s able to bring to our organization this deep understanding
of what it means to go through a DAM implementation starting with the requirements
gathering, then onto the vendor selection, the contract negotiation and
now, here we are in the heart of the implementation phase.
[3:52] Having Joe, who understands all of these pieces, is really helping us as an
organization hit the ground running with our DAM implementation.
Henrik: [4:01] How does a publisher of children’s magazine stories and activity
books use Digital Asset Management?
George: [4:07] It’s interesting. We’re a 65 year old company, and a lot of us remember
us as a magazine company. “Oh, I remember ‘Highlights’ from when I
was a kid.” We’ve always collected and looked at the importance of asset management
before they were digital assets. It used to be up in our attic, and now
we’ve sent these off to various storage places. [4:33] But we’ve always collected
our backup, our archival materials, photos, and our art. As time progresses, we
went from film to digital in the late ‘90s. We’ve expanded our business to be
more than a magazine with books, activities, partners that are doing different licensing,
and international partners. We’ve had more and more need to get back
into that archive to find our content and reuse it.
[5:05] First off, our Digital Asset Management is for accessing the archive and
gaining those assets that we need for reuse. Also, for research purposes, our
editorial group is very thoughtful about the content they make, and they’re
often looking back at what we’ve done in the past to help them think about
what they might like to make going forward. We also use our asset management
in the current production process, for storing our unpublished assets and being
able to search and find those assets quickly.
[5:45] We’ve been doing this with a FileMaker database and a lightweight DAM.
It’s kind of like you have to go to our FileMaker database to find the metadata,
the record information. Then match that up with a picture of it, from the lightweight
DAM. Our new DAM implementation, with the EnterMedia software, is
going to bring those two pieces together. So it should be one environment for
our users to be able to search and find what they’re looking for.
Henrik: [6:19] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and
people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
George: [6:24] It’s fascinating, Henrik. I love the DAM field. I fell into it accidentally.
People I’ve met at various trade shows seem to have come about it the
same way. I was working on a project to create a summer magazine of activities,
stories and puzzles about some fun summer activities for kids. My colleague
and I, as we were working on this, were flipping through printed back issues
of the magazine. [6:55] And started thinking about, “Isn’t there a better way to
find this stuff? Imagine if we could just do like Google and search terms related
to summer to find this content?” That was really what got me started into the
DAM space. The more I get into it the more excited I get about how DAM can
be such a central piece to the publishing process and the content creation. If we
can help our end users, who are varied.
[7:28] They can be in the editorial group, the marketing group, our licensing
partners, or a whole variety of different customers. If we can help them find
our content, they can think of more and better ways to build products that are
meaningful to children, which helps fulfill our mission. As well as helps us continue
to grow as a media brand.
Henrik: [7:55] It’s a very exciting field, indeed. Thank you so much, George.
George: [7:58] Thank you. I really appreciate the opportunity.
Henrik: [8:02] For more on this and other Digital Asset Management topics, log
onto AnotherDAMblog.com. 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 AnotherDAMblog@gmail.com. Thanks again.
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