Another DAM Podcast

Audio about Digital Asset Management


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Another DAM Podcast interview with Patty Bolgiano, John Cronin and Becky Clark on Digital Asset Management

Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor:  [0:01] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today, I’m speaking with Patty Bolgiano, John Cronin, and Becky Clark. How are you?

Patty Bolgiano:  [0:12] We’re all doing fine, thank you.

Henrik:  [0:13] How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?

Patty:  [0:16] I am the person who’s responsible for uploading our data files into a data collection and management system. I do naming conventions. I make sure that the files have fonts, have images, decide which method is going to be the quickest way to upload those.

[0:36] Primarily, we are using Quark and InDesign as our software programs here. I’m making sure that they’re current versions and alarming staff if there’s a problem.

[0:46] I’m also responsible for revising and updating our paper book editions of our titles with reprints, there’s an actual change in the book itself, text maybe changed, images maybe changed. It’s my responsibility to make sure that the application file and the PDF that eventually goes to make the eBook are exactly the same, and make sure that there are no problems when they are eventually turned into eBooks.

[1:17] I’m also working with the other members of the staff to get images and PDFs that they need for review or for overseas publications, which means the files have to be there. I either transfer them via FTP to that other person’s FTP site or will even burn them on discs or external hard drive so that they have material.

Henrik:  [1:40] Patty, how does the oldest, continuous running university press in the United States use Digital Asset Management?

Patty:  [1:47] We use it in a variety of ways. First and foremost, it is a repository of our intellectual property. A place where the files reside so that at anytime if we wish to reprint, restock or pull information from these files, we can do so in an efficient and easy manner. We also use the archive as a place where it can be safely stored.

[2:10] The sheer amount of information that Hopkins Press has is extraordinary. Now, we are getting it, it is at our actual fingertips instead of looking through very old books or very old files. That information that we have at our fingertips can tell us how we thought previously, via social sciences and things of that nature to current thoughts about the fossils of birds.

[2:40] We are aggregating all these information, keeping it a level where anybody within the Hopkins Press can access it for interior needs, or to publish or promote a book outside of the press. It’s also part of our heritage, this whole Data Asset Management philosophy. Our heritage is that we are constantly thinking and writing, and exploring about various topics.

[3:08] We are pulling both from the past and the present to show potential audiences how we used to think, how we’re thinking now, what new information has come aboard so that we can show a progression of understanding about topics.

[3:25] This also helps us talk with authors who say, “I have all these vast information, how can I get it into a book and get the most bang for the book?” By having an asset management system in place, we can then make multiple books, if necessary.

[3:42] We can have a Volume I, a Volume II, a Volume III, or we can do some books as a traditional print, some books as strictly as eBooks or a PDF format, so that the reader can have a variety of options of accessing this information.

[4:05] I was the first person originally hired to start managing the information that we had gathered and to coordinate it. It’s been seven years.

[4:13] It’s amazing to me, how people will ask for something that is 30 and 40 years old, and they want that. That to me is astounding because I’m here in the press, and I’m thinking, “What does something 30 or 40 years ago have, that that person wants it?” It could be something that they’re going to use for their thesis.

[4:36] By having this Digital Asset Management System in place, we can better help them. It’s been seven years, it’s worked really incredibly well. We have been able to work far more easily, and have various departments being able to access this information without having to jump through various loops, which is always a good thing.

[5:02] Approximately 2,000 books right now with our system, which is codeMantra. Today, we’re just putting up more books, so it’s constantly growing. It’s also constantly evolving because we also can take from the print books and make our eBooks.

[5:20] We’re getting more into eBooks with MP3s in them, so that the reader can actually be right there and see something that takes the book to another level, and takes the topic to another level.

John Cronin:  [5:35] I came here about eight years ago, and that was really one of the first tasks that we had to do, was to get our archive pulled together, find an outside vendor who can handle the vast amounts of information. We were able to do that, and Patty was really the first hire, and this is really still the focus of her job. It’s very detail‑oriented, very critical to the press.

[6:00] Certainly, we do eBooks for every single title that we have so that all of those things are archived in the conversion process which is also something that is done within my department of design and production. We’re really looking at electronically imprint together, and certainly our copies have been invaluable. We had to set that up before we could really expand from these ways, which are very market‑driven.

Henrik:  [6:24] What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?

Patty:  [6:28] The biggest challenge is keeping current titles up to date. In the book world, when you do a reprint, there are changes to the text of that book. Again, as I said earlier, it’s my responsibility to make sure that everything matches with the most up to date version which is available.

[6:44] So, shall we decide not only to reprint it, we have the current files. Also, the eBook when it gets updated, has the current files. Then if we decide to then take that book, and make a whole new version of the book, maybe it brings together books about science and evolution, being able to grab all those different kinds to files and put them together in one book.

[7:10] Having the most current file is always the most important thing. The biggest success is that previous to my coming here, there was no archive, and it was because of a variety of reasons. No one, seven years ago, imagined that all these information that they have will become valuable.

[7:27] They knew in one sense that a book is always a valuable thing, but what they didn’t understand is that you have to be able to access that book in a multitude of ways, and being in that, we were able to go ahead and access that information and give it to them.

Becky Clark:  [7:46] We really could not scale our eBook program until we had a Digital Asset Management program in place. We couldn’t find our assets plus get them converted to eBooks, and do it in a way that was efficient. We realized that the only way we will be able to scale our eBook program is by putting together a robust and well managed Digital Asset Management System.

Henrik:  [8:09] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?

Patty:  [8:14] First, I would recommend that you understand that you can come from print to Web easy. It is more difficult to go from the Web to print because the technology that each is required is unique for that particular type of product.

[8:28] Other things that I think you ought to know, you should understand the formats such as what is an MP3, a PDF, a JPEG, TIFF, a software that’s associated with photography, film, printing, how those formats can change, and how you can keep them from being corrupted. You need to understand that technology is new and evolving.

[8:54] While you have to adapt to the technologies, business is key and always adapt as quickly as you would like them, because they will have marketing departments and other departments that feed into this overall picture.

[9:07] It can take businesses a little bit longer to actually make the changes, and it’s just the way the businesses are. Other things I would say is look into library sciences, information systems. A couple of colleges are now starting to offer digital preservation classes, online and in person. Always having good people skills, and working with people on a day‑to‑day basis.

[9:35] Understanding that sometimes there are things, there are projects, their initiatives are immediate, and you’re going to have to stop and help them, and work them through the program. When it comes to a problem, and there are going to be problems when you setup your asset management.

[9:50] Sometimes you need to step away for a day, or walk around the building, or just say it out loud to yourself, and you can pick up, maybe the flaw in your logic, or somebody else can say, “Oh, by the way, you forgot about this particular employee.” It’s going to be critical in getting your asset management up to speed.

[10:11] Just remember, it’s a constantly changing field. Everybody makes mistakes. Technologies changes. Formats change. Being very detailed‑oriented is really, really critical.

[10:24] I would recommend that you have a very broad outlook as to all the things that you’re going to play in when you get your archiving and your data management up and running.

John:  [10:37] This is certainly a field that has, I think, a lot of employment potential with people who understand, and can come from a couple of different disciplines. There’s job right there, something that every company needs in some way, there’s library, so to speak, an archive in every company, I would think.

Henrik:  [10:57] For more on this and other Digital Asset Management topics, go to AnotherDAMblog.com. For this and 170 other podcasts episodes, go to AnotherDAMpodcast.com. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to email me at AnotherDAMblog@Gmail.com.

[11:15] Thanks again.


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Another DAM Podcast interview with Tobias Blanke on Digital Asset Management

 

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 Tobias Blanke.

Tobias, how are you?

Tobias Blanke:  [0:10] I’m all right. How are you Henrik?

Henrik:  [0:12] Great. Tobias, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?

Tobias:  [0:16] I am the current director of the MA in Digital Asset and Media Management at King’s College, London. As far as we can see, this is still the only full postgraduate qualification directly related to this field [of Digital Asset and Media Management].

[0:33] There are, of course, a lot of individual modules, but not a full MA in the course. We have been running this MA now for three years and it has become very successful. We are very pleased with it, I myself, I’m a senior lecturer in this department the MA is running, that’s about the equivalent in the US of an Associate Professor.

[0:53] My research is mainly on data infrastructures, media industries, and this kind of things. What we are particularly proud of is how we are able to translate our own research into this degree. This is how I became initially involved in digital asset management.

[1:11] What I find most fascinating by interacting with all these students who come from various industries and other nations to us to study the degree is to learn how far and wide reaching the impact of this seemingly small field has become. This is also one of the reasons why I wrote a book, which I guess you’re going to talk about today, Henrik.

Henrik:  [1:33] Of course. To clarify, MA is the Master’s?

Tobias:  [1:36] Yes, it’s a Master’s degree. It’s a post credit qualification, so after your BA. I think you have the same in the US, only that yours is two years, and we have a one year MA here in London.

Henrik:  [1:45] You recently wrote a book titled “The Ecosystem of Digital Assets: Crowds and Clouds.” Tell us more about what inspired you to write this.

Tobias:  [1:55] The title changed slightly. It’s now called “Digital Asset Ecosystems: Rethinking crowds and clouds

[2:02] This is a direct reflection of what I said earlier about the interaction I have with my students and other fellow members of the academic staff here, about the development of the field of digital asset management and digital media management.

[2:17] I think we quite soon noticed that there is, of course, already quite a lot of discussion on, I would call this now, the traditional application domains of digital media management and digital asset management, which are often about organizing digital assets in an organization… organizing them in such a way that you can retrieve them efficiently, and so on.

[2:39] But there’s also, I think, if you come from it from the perspective like myself, which is slightly more computational, and also more in relation to what we would call Internet studies and these fields, if you come from these fields to Digital Asset Management.

[2:54] Then, you notice, actually, the importance that digital content has not just in a single organization, but to bring together various organizations across the Internet, across the globe, and integrate their workflows of working together around the digital content they produce and consume together.

[3:15] That was the original intention when I wrote the book. The book has four chapters. The first one is the background and introduction chapter. The second one, which discusses these kinds of general perspectives on the evolution of digital assets, and also introduces the concepts of digital ecosystems, which is also quite hotly debated recently.

[3:39] It is one of those concepts where you don’t really exactly can define what it is about. But it basically describes how businesses and other organizations bring together their data, tools and services, but also, the people that work for them and with them into a kind of integrated environment on the Internet.

[4:01] That then led to the subtitle of this book, which was called “Crowds and Clouds”, where we basically see how ecosystems are constituted by crowds, so the people who work with an organization and around an organization. And they work with this organization using platforms or clouds to produce and consume digital assets. This was the background section, where I discuss these kinds of concepts and the evolution of Digital Asset Management.

[4:28] Then, there is further sections discussing the technologies and methodologies, that really describe the kind of evolution of this platform I was just describing, and analyze that for also its future potential.

[4:42] Then, there is something that is very important to us, if you also work in a public sector, about how open or closed the ecosystems are around these digital assets. Anyone who’s ever used, let’s say, the Apple iCloud will know what I’m talking about.

[4:57] There’s challenges of sharing certain types of content. And this is, of course, an indication of the kind of business model that Apple, for instance, wants to develop around its digital content. Then, I also have, finally, two chapters which discuss “Big Data”, which is, of course, a big topic in the field.

[5:16] Then, also the kind of wider economic and society implications. What are actually these global workflows that I mentioned earlier? And how do they link together around this digital content? And how do these crowds and clouds integrate with each other.

[5:33] I’m particularly interested, at the very end, to discuss a kind of new idea for digital asset values, which is related to so called network value, which is something that I describe as you become something else on the Internet that nobody else can do without anymore.

[5:53] The standard example for me is always Google Maps. You always wonder why Google has published this freely and openly. But, of course, we recently found out that by publishing this freely and openly, they generated a lot of network value for these maps or assets that they have, because really most all applications on the Internet now run on these maps.

[6:19] This is really to say what I tried to do. I tried to think a little bit about the assumption that digital asset management has a much wider application domain than, maybe, certain traditional ideas about it, and I wanted to write this book mainly to really practically lay down what my own research agenda for this kind of field would be.

Henrik:  [6:41] If you read the show notes, there will be a giveaway of Tobias’ new book. Take a look at anotherdampodcast.com for more information. Tobias, what are the biggest challenges and successes with Digital Asset Management?

Tobias:  [6:53] That’s, of course, a great question and a grand challenge to answer. I could talk about technologies, and also methodologies, and also business applications, but, of course, one of my primary interests in this field is the development of educational frameworks for it. I still think it’s quite a challenge for us.

[7:12] I don’t know how you feel about this in your professional practice, Henrik, but it’s quite a challenge for us to make organizations and businesses understand the kind of educational background, the skills, and so on digital asset and media managers need.

[7:30] Also, we have to learn this, because, of course, there’s a wide range in different ways of applying digital media now in the world. We find it interesting, but also really challenging to actually define exactly the kind of skills and professional qualifications that a digital asset manager needs.

[7:49] I think it lies somewhere between some kind of very lightweight computing understanding, so that you can talk to developers, at least. They then go on, of course, to deeper business knowledge around digital content. Then, of course, into the more established fields that one might immediately associate with this, which are more related to information science like metadata and those kind of questions.

[8:14] Now, the greatest success of Digital Asset Management is in a way, I think, the things I already mentioned in my last answer. The importance that people feel about the value of digital content in all kinds of digital industries. I think to say we can really see how this knowledge and understanding is now taking hold of many industries if you just look around here in London, which is, of course, a global hub for these digital industries.

[8:44] The challenges are related to making organizations and companies understand what kind of qualifications and skills are needed based on the success we already had, in a way, and making them understand how important digital content and the curation and preservation and the making use of the digital content in other forms really has become.

Henrik:  [9:06] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?

Tobias:  [9:11] I think it’s a great job to get into. [laughs] My first advice would be try it. I’m not sure whether you need at an entry level necessarily professional qualification like we offer. Or, even a degree. But, I guess, you will find out soon that it helps you to advance to the more advanced levels.

[9:29] The real, to say, advantage of becoming, I think, a DAM professional, if you want to become one, is that you really sit at the heart of the operations of a digital organization in the 21st century. You really sit there where the content is produced and consumed, where the data is exchanged, and so on.

[9:51] If you are already a DAM professional, I think you should, that doesn’t mean that you have to study here, you should think hard whether it is enough what you have already learned through the practice that you’ve done, and whether you not need some kind of more education.

[10:08] I can only say that, for myself, who considers himself also to be, in a way, a DAM professional. Only through the interactions with all our students and the other people that we met from the wonderful DAM community, which is a global, great family.

[10:24] We have really learned to say how much is involved in this field, and I think it’s really important that DAM professionals keep learning that too. In my experience, highly advisable that you try and stay up‑to‑date in whatever form, with the developments in this field.

Henrik:  [10:42] There is a fair amount of education out there, or even enrichment, to your point.

Tobias:  [10:46] It’s really, Henrik, I don’t know how you feel about it. It’s a field that is evolving very fast, but you also need to stay up‑to‑date with the field, however that might work.

[10:56] You can visit the conferences. You can visit the wonderful blog of Henrik. You can read even more academic publications like The Journal of Media Management and all these kinds of things. I think that is not to say that you have to go back to school or university, but it’s really important I think, in all digital fields that you try to constantly change your self and evolve.

Henrik:  [11:18] Great point. Of course there’s plenty of new books out there, about Digital Asset Management, including the one you’ve written.

Tobias:  [11:25] We’re also going to publish another one, which you can interview us in about half‑a‑year, about more the theory and practice of the general background of Digital Asset Management.

Henrik:  [11:33] Fantastic. Thank you so much, Tobias.

Tobias:  [11:35] It was nice meeting you, Henrik.

Henrik:  [11:36] For more information on Digital Asset Management, log onto AnotherDAMblog.com.

Another DAM podcast is available on iTunes and AudioBoom. If you have any comments or questions please feel free to email me at AnotherDAMblog@Gmail.com. Thanks again.

Book Giveaway

You see, there is a benefit to reading the transcripts found in this podcast series. We are giving away one free copy of Tobias Blanke’s new book titled Digital Asset Ecosystems: Rethinking crowds and clouds. To enter this book giveway, email the podcast host with a one paragraph summary on what this book is about (from the transcript above) by no later than August 24, 2014. A random drawing of the email submissions will award one lucky winner free book. The book will come directly from the author. You could even ask for the book to be autographed and personalized from the author himself, Tobias Blanke.