Listen to Chris DiNenna talk about Digital Asset Management
Henrik: This is Another DAM podcast about Digital Asset Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Chris DiNenna. Chris, how are you?
Chris: I am doing well. How are you doing?
Henrik: Great. Chris, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Chris: I came into the orbit of Digital Asset Management through my work with photographers and with stock photography agencies. I began the career about 20 years ago as a photo researcher. Kind of morphed that into photo editing. And at the time about around the recession, that was when a lot of the companies were starting to scale back and that’s when I had to find a way to reinvent myself in this industry. I think some opportunities came up that involve Digital Asset Management and it was a good move for me to go into at that time.
Henrik: Chris, how does the world’s leading river cruise line company use Digital Asset Management?
Chris: The company has been growing incredibly quickly and they decided that instead of keeping all of their assets on internal servers, they needed to bring in someone to kind of manage the whole process of all the images coming in, all the maps, all the different logos that they’ve been storing in different folders here and there. And so I was hired to come in and kind of corral all of the image assets into one big database. When I was hired, they didn’t have a DAM in place, but when I came in they acquired an Adobe product and I worked with the developers to kind of customize this database to fit the needs of the company. And so I took about 70,000 images, maps, such and kind of gave everything I kind of a standard file name so that a lot of the assets would be searchable, included a lot of metadata just so that the images would be found when someone was searching for something such as like a German castle of sort. So the company uses the DAM right now basically with a lot of their digital products, with a lot of the print materials, the content that we use online on the websites. Everything is a lot easier to find for people in the company and it’s easy for me to kind of know where the assets are living at the time.
Henrik: Chris, what are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?
Chris: Well, I think the successes I’ve had with the DAM is that it’s more manageable. It’s easier to find. We have a lot of wholly owned content that we can share out with our third parties, with our travel agents here and there. But when it gets tricky is when we have the stock photography that we licensed from different agencies and a lot of the licenses aren’t applicable to a lot of projects that we do here and there. And so instead of having a lot of these images open for anyone and everyone to use, I’m kind of the gatekeeper. And so I kind of work with people to kind of get an idea of how they’re using the images, where the image is going to end up using, the end use of course. And then, I either agree to the terms of those people to use the image or I tell them to go back in and search for another asset so that asset can be used in their final context.
Chris: The biggest challenges I’ve had though with using the Digital Asset Management is that I’m kind of a one-man show. I’ve kind of worked with a lot of different IT folks within the company over the last three years. And that’s been the toughest challenge for me is they actually have someone who is very savvy with the tech talk, with knowing the bones and the meat of the whole database and working to help me kinda work out the bugs and the challenges of kind of building out the DAM so that everyone can use this. But also to kind of make sure that the machine is running, you know, without any issues. Keep it kind of streamline. When I was hired, I think I should have made sure that there was a tech person to kind of be there to kind of work in unison with, to kind of keep this program running without any issues.
Henrik: Chris, what advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Chris: That’s a great question. I’ve kind of haphazardly kind of ended up in this industry just through my expertise, working with photographers and with image licensing and rights representation. If people are really set on being archivists, being librarians, of course, it’s great to get the schooling behind that since this is like a brave new world where technology is kind of leading the forefront of imagery and how images are being used in the final context, but also experience also helps. And to find a company or a mentor to kind of help you along the way is something that I think people should learn to aspire for and kind of hunt out those people out there who have the experience, who have worked with either these databases or have worked with imagery just to kind of know of the pitfalls and the and success stories that are out there so that people can learn and grow from it and be able to kind of add more wealth into the DAM business.
Henrik: Great. Well, thanks Chris.
Chris: Thank you.
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