How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?
What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Henrik de Gyor 0:00 This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor.
Who are you and what do you do?
Heather Hedden 0:07 My name is Heather Hedden, and I’m a Taxonomist. I design, create and edit taxonomies, which are structured, controlled vocabularies of terms or concepts used to tag, manage and retrieve content, and thus play an important role in metadata.
I’ve been a Taxonomist for over 25 years. This has included working both in information management roles and companies and as a consultant externally, both as an employee and self-employed.
For the past two years, I have been employed by a Taxonomy and Ontology management software vendor, Semantic Web company, whose product is called PoolParty, whereby I help our customers with their Taxonomy and Ontology products. I also teach taxonomy creation, through online and in-person workshops, both independently and through conferences or other organizations.
Finally, I am an author of a book about taxonomies and how to create them called The Accidental Taxonomist, which has just been revised for its third edition, which came out now in November 2022. I also author a blog called The Accidental Taxonomist.
Henrik de Gyor 1:22 How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Heather Hedden 1:27 I’ve been involved with a number of Digital Asset Management projects as a Taxonomist. Some of the past consulting projects for which I have created taxonomies included a photo editor and graphic design maker web application available to buy by subscription, which included its own stock photos, drawings, icons, and animations all needed to be tagged with a taxonomy. I did a consulting project for a hotel company, which included general marketing images for its websites, and images for specific hotel properties. And a project for our business information publisher, which had a large collection of short audio recordings from business leaders providing advice. That’s just some of them.
I also in my taxonomy training courses, I have had participants involved in Digital Asset Management. For example, in early 2020, I gave a two-day on-site training to the photo archivists of the US Senate House of Representatives and Architect of the Capitol. That means involving the building of the Capitol altogether,
Henrik de Gyor 2:35 What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?
Heather Hedden 2:40 A continued challenge us in tagging image assets. For text-based content, text analytics-based auto-tagging has become common, but nontext content remains a challenge for tagging, audio and video can be transcribed and the transcriptions can then be text mined, but images remain a challenge. So captions and other manually added metadata is important.
Another challenge is in the issue of content silos. There is increasing interest in the fields of data and content management to break down silos and eliminate the use of so many different content management systems in an organization. But Digital Asset Management systems are optimized for the needs of DAM and it’s not practical to manage digital assets in a generic content management system. So the focus needs to shift from breaking down silos to bridging them.
As for successes, I think it’s been the wider recognition of the importance of Digital Asset Management in all industries, and organizations of all sizes, not just large media-producing companies.
Henrik de Gyor 3:50 What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Heather Hedden 3:55 I advise to combine Digital Asset Management with another field or skills, such as taxonomy creation, or knowledge management or content strategy. Subject matter expertise is also good to have. And I recommend to think broadly to be open to work in any industry and not just those traditionally involved in digital, and media assets.
Finally, when it comes to specific implementations and projects, it’s important to consider metadata and taxonomy for a wider content use in an organization and not just the metadata and taxonomy specific for digital asset management.
How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Why is Digital Asset Management so complex?
What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?
What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Henrik de Gyor: 00:00 This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Ian Matzen. Ian, how are you?
Ian Matzen: 00:08 I’m well, thank you very much, Henrik.
Henrik de Gyor: 00:09 Ian, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Ian Matzen: 00:14 I’ve been involved with Digital Asset Management for about six years professionally. Four of those years, I’ve been a remote Digital Asset Manager. I’m currently working as the Digital Asset Management Librarian with Wells Fargo. They have a Marketing Department and they have a Digital Asset Management system there. I’ve been helping with the system’s rollout and testing new features, training new groups, and setting up the system for those new groups. I’ve also been working on asset migration, workflow automation and spending a bit of time on user adoption. In my work there, I have been serving as a consultant. We had a DAM reporting project that involves data analysis and display… or working with that… Visualizing that data for us to understand that better. I’ve also been working on some projects involving record retention and various user adoption projects including a DAM gamification project that I’m currently rolling out.
Ian Matzen: 01:24 Before that, I was the Digital Asset Manager at America’s Test Kitchen, which is a Boston-based publisher where I managed not only the Digital Asset Management system, but also their content management system and our workflow management system. I did a fair amount of metadata modeling for both the DAM and the CMS, Digital Asset Management system and the Content Management System. And one of the high points there is I built, designed and deployed an enterprise taxonomy and did a fair amount of automation, including asset ingest automation and digital rights management tagging automatically to digital assets for digital rights management tagging. I also did a bit of work on capturing raw data around system usage and analyzing that data to measure specifically the way that our users were reusing digital assets to show the value of the system.
Ian Matzen: 02:24 Even before that my work was as a Digital Asset Technician for a Net-a-Porter. They are a London-based luxury brand online retailer. They have offices around the world. And there, I developed a controlled vocabularies for various groups. I configured the user interface and did a quality assurance during various upgrades.
Ian Matzen: 02:45 But my work with digital assets really predates the six years I’ve been doing Digital Asset Management professionally. I’ve been working with digital assets ever since I took my first film editing class in university. I was part of the first class to really move away from the Moviola flatbed and into nonlinear editing. So, I’m really passionate about rich media, about audiovisual media workflows and technology especially as it relates to part of the creative process. For me, nothing’s really more exciting than helping art directors, designers, editors, and motion graphic artists and other artists create their work.
Ian Matzen: 03:24 That was the case when I first started working at an advertising agency and remains so in my work at I’m Marketing Department at Wells Fargo.
Henrik de Gyor: 03:34 Ian, Why is Digital Asset Management so complex?
Ian Matzen: 03:39 There are several different aspects that are complicated or complex about Digital Asset Management. I think the first that I can think of is the ever-expanding definition of what we mean by digital assets. And in most circles, when we think of or talk about digital assets, we think of audiovisual media including images, videos, animations and audio. However, more recently in some of the jobs that I’ve been in, we’ve added a lot, many more different types of files and formats for that list, including emails, text, HTML, even data are being managed by DAM Managers. So the question is, you know, should every type of visual file be supported by the DAM system?
Ian Matzen: 04:22 Ideally, they should be, but not all of the DAM systems out there are created equal. And really, you mean what it comes down to is, is choosing the best option for the digital content you’re managing. For example, the Digital Asset Management system I worked with at America’s Test Kitchen worked very well with images, whereas the current system that I worked with at Wells Fargo worked very well with video. So when it comes down to, you know, finding the right system for the material that you’re managing.
Ian Matzen: 04:53 Another aspect that adds to the complexity of Digital Asset Management is managing expectations. And that goes for users as well as the stakeholders and folks who you might report to. I think many users expect the Digital Asset Management system to behave in the same way that a search engine does. They might be similar, but the two are inherently different when it comes to search.
Ian Matzen: 05:19 Content is index differently. For starters, search engines rely on inbound links and sitemap indexing. Whereas Enterprise search requires applying terms from a controlled vocabulary and the context, of course, is very different. Also, companies want to capitalize on their investment in a DAM system. And so they turned customizing the system to meet their business requirements rather than opting for another best of breed product. So in this way, companies unknowingly risk customizing themselves into a corner, making system upgrades and migration, very challenging if not prohibitively expensive. So before or enhancing the system, it’s a good idea to ask whether another reasonable, reasonably priced system might be a better option and seek out other customers of that system who have done some enhancements to the same system that you’re using. There are risks for either option, whether you want to customize or build out your current DAM solution or go with another system.
Ian Matzen: 06:19 So a good project manager can help mitigate those risks. Finally, I think the other aspect that lends itself to the complexity is the accelerating pace of technology. Whether you know how to build an extension in Java, design a workflow automation using logic or having a solid understanding of what these are, I think it’s a good idea to at least be aware of them and have some idea of how to develop a software, how workflows can be put together and at least designed, because I think there are a lot of aspects to Digital Asset Management and the more you know, I think that the more valuable, the more helpful you’ll be in your work.
Henrik de Gyor: 07:00 Ian, What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?
Ian Matzen: 07:07 I think one of the main challenges to Digital Asset Management is search. Search is dependent on metadata. Much of the metadata needs to be manually entered. Though some of it can be automatically appended to digital files or to the records within a DAM system. Really it comes down to users devoting the time to adding that descriptive information. it is challenging to get them to do that and even more so getting them to do it consistently and over time. That time never really ends because metadata must change to reflect new contexts and new users that are being onboarded. So I think that that is a challenge to managing digital assets. I think the other aspect that is challenging with Digital Asset Management is showing trust. And I think what I’ve seen with many of the systems that I’ve managed is that slow interfaces or slow experience, buggy systems. If there was poor UI or lack of transparency, they all had people’s view of that DAM system.
Ian Matzen: 08:17 Their trust in that DAM system will be impacted by those aspects. So it’s much harder to win back that trust if people are experiencing one of those issues. So it’s important to, I do a lot of testing to ensure that the system is working. Quality assurance is a huge part of my job. And also to a certain extent doing a fair amount of examining the user interface and doing a UAT to ensure that the interface itself is making sense to them. And, of course, having some sort of way of tracking the digital assets through their life will end, have they been downloaded when they’ve been used in a layout perhaps if there are images. All that adds to the trust that the users have in the system.
Ian Matzen: 09:05 Some of the successes that I’ve seen in Digital Asset Management have been that for one, Digital Asset Management is a bonafide profession. I think because we have conferences now there are many job postings that ask for Digital Asset Management professionals. I think that that is a win. I think it’s very important to acknowledge and acknowledge the work that you’ve done and that other writers and other folks who are in our industry, I think it’s that’s good. Also, I think another success is centralization, and I’m not just talking about having all of our assets in one system, but also consolidating the number of systems that are found at that various companies. I think, in a rather than having, you know, four or five different, systems, some of which might be system of records, some may not be. I think it’s important to acknowledge that being able to consolidate them, that the material, but also reduce the number of systems that are being used and paid for by companies is a success.
Ian Matzen: 10:11 Another aspect or another success of Digital Asset Management is realizing workflow efficiencies. I think there’s an opportunity to renegotiate and redesign workflows. And I think that many of us working in this arena in Digital Asset Management would say that that’s something they spend a good deal of their time doing. Some examples are auto ingesting digital assets into the system. At America’s Test Kitchen, I set up a fully automated ingest. We went from doing a lot of the cataloging manually and would, you know, the folks who were consuming those digital assets had to wait for that material to be ingested before they could see and use that. Having that automated allowed people to access us those much quicker. The other aspect I think of automation is validating metadata at, again, America’s test kitchen, we found a way to actually go through and ensure that the metadata was there, that it existed.
Ian Matzen: 11:13 Folks took the time to put it in, but also validating the name against a convention we had set up. And then finally there’s a way that you can do a fair amount of work auto-tagging material. The taxonomy, that I set up for America’s Test Kitchen. One of the aspects that I, or at least challenges that I faced was applying that taxonomy to our existing or legacy content. We had over 800,000 records. Having an enterprise taxonomy is a great accomplishment, but if you can’t go back and, and actually tag that material, it’s not going to have as much impact or value. So I did develop a means of auto-tagging or existing content through automation.
Ian Matzen: 11:59 So, the last success I wanted to mention was the increased value of digital assets. I think by having a digital asset sitting on your desktop, it may be the most wonderful, incredibly creative item, but if no one can see them… To see that asset, it’s not going to have as much value as it would if it was in a Digital Asset Management system where it can be found and reused. So I think access is a huge part of that equation. But I think ultimately our goal is to make digital assets findable and see that their value increase.
Henrik de Gyor: 12:35 Ian, what advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Ian Matzen: 12:41 I would suggest that they would navigate to my blog. I have a blog called tameyourassets.com and I do a fair amount of blogging and writing and my intent is to share my knowledge and experience with others, especially best practices. So I hope that listeners would consider going to that URL. I think another aspect or another suggestion that I have is just know your DAM systems. It’s important to know what current systems there are both within the organization that might be a part of, but also, systems that are being offered by other vendors. It’s important to see what current and upcoming features they’re offering so that you could ask for those features for the current system that you’re using. I think another aspect of that is as partner with other system adopters or other people managing the DAM system, the same DAM system that you’re using to drive that vendor road map. So I think partnering and forming that network of system users and managers is very important. And then, also another aspect is education. I think it is very important to learn and master DAM best practices, to ask questions, learn from other practitioners, take online courses or even take courses at a local community college.
Ian Matzen: 14:05 I think finding courses in library science or computer science or data analysis, will all help you at least to give you that understanding of what those aspects are that, you can talk with other folks in your organization to help manage digital assets. And then finally, I just wanted to mention, finding a mentor in the Digital Asset Management space. They don’t have to be necessarily someone with much more or any additional experience that you might have. It could be a peer, but the benefits of having a mentor would be to find some encouragement and support for your journey in the Digital Asset Management space. They can offer you honest advice and feedback, what you’re doing and how you’re managing digital assets, and then, of course, having a mentor is helpful to expand your professional network.
Henrik de Gyor: 14:57 Great. Well, thanks Ian.
Ian Matzen: 14:59 You’re welcome. Thank you very much.
Abby Covert discusses Digital Asset Management and Information Architecture
Henrik de Gyor: [0:02] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Abby Covert. Abby, how are you?
Abby Covert: [0:09] Great. Thanks so much for having me.
Henrik: [0:11] Abby, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Abby: [0:14] Well, I am a professional Information Architect. My involvement with Digital Asset Management is really in helping organizations to understand the impact of language, and structure on their effectiveness towards whatever their goals might be, and that can be across many mediums, which I think is similar to the challenges that Digital Asset Managers face as well.
[0:35] They’re looking at the scaffolding that then initiates a lot of processes within an organization. So, my job is pretty similar in that regard I would say.
Henrik: [0:44] As an Information Architect, you recently authored a book titled How to Make Sense of Any Mess. Tell us more about what we can learn from this book since many DAM professionals need to do the same.
Abby: [0:55] My main premise in writing a book with such a broad title How to Make Sense of Any Mess, and I thought very hard on the word “Any”, was that I really felt as a practicing information architect after 10 years, that a lot of the messes that I was helping my clients to make sense of were actually really based in information and people, more than they were specific to the technologies, or the mediums that we were actually executing in.
[1:21] I would say that anybody who has been working in technology for more than 10 years, has seen some sort of current of change that all of a sudden we have mobile, all of a sudden we have social, how does that change what we do?
[1:33] What I actually found was that it doesn’t change a lot when you look at that information and people part, that it really comes down to a basic understanding of leading and facilitating people, through a process of identifying what is not making sense to their consumers or to their coworkers.
[1:51] Then working through the delicate steps that one needs to take to really adjust the mental models of themselves, and maybe the people that they’re working with, in order to reach whatever intent people are trying to get to. I guess after spending a lot of time making sense of other people’s messes, I wanted to know if I could write a book that would help people make sense of their own.
[2:14] I think so far, based on the feedback, yeah, I think that you really can. You can self‑serve this stuff which is great.
Henrik: [2:21] What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?
Abby: [2:25] I definitely think that scalability is one of the biggest issues that organizations face in general. Whether that be scaling up to meet the needs of digital, or scaling up to meet the needs of a growing business, those two things have become synonymous. I don’t run into a lot of companies that are scaling up their business that doesn’t mean they need to scale up the digital side of their business.
[2:49] Also, the cross‑channel nature of things. The decision to invest or not invest in certain channels, and the impact of doing so. Taking the time to start a new social channel that just got announced, instead of taking the time away from doing something else. So I think in terms of Digital Asset Management, I think that it’s difficult to stay on the edge of that while also maintaining what you have and not letting the things that you have get unkempt.
[3:21] I would definitely say scalability, and keeping up with the wave of change would be the biggest challenges. Successes, I would say, anyone that can pay close attention to context of use, and not use metadata as a way of checking the box on like, “Yes, we’ve collected metadata,” but really thinking about how that metadata is going to apply to a use case, that might be realistic to that organization, and how they’re going to use that content at a swift pace.
[3:52] Then, also the cadence they’re going to need it at. I think that anybody who is doing that level of deep research organizationally, around the way that they’re organizing their internal assets, is probably seeing a lot more success than those who are in their cubicles alone, just applying data schema that make sense in their head. Because it’s easy to do that from the common sense place, but it turns out that common sense is pretty unreliable in a lot of cases.
Henrik: [4:20] Good points. What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals, and people who are aspiring to be DAM professionals?
Abby: [4:25] I am going to go and continue my thread of “Get out from your cubicle, or your office, or even from your desk and go work with other people.” I think that the idea of doing the work versus concepting your way through how the work will be done, is a dangerous place to be by yourself, especially in a field that is so dependent on making sense of the things for other people to use for their jobs.
[4:55] I feel like if you can take that soft skill part and use that, and give equal attention to that, then also your tools, I would say that that would be my number one piece of advice.
Henrik: [5:07] Have a conversation with as many people as necessary who will be using this?
Abby: [5:12] Yeah. Also, don’t scare them away with your language and your tools. That’s for you to figure out later. But get out a marker and some post‑it notes and a white board, or whatever you got to do to make them feel comfortable and get through the anxiety of… Digital Asset Management is like a big mouthy term, and I’m sure that there’s some marketers that are hearing it for the first time in some cases when people are working with them on it.
[5:37] Making sure that that’s not getting in the way, and just remembering that technology is a monster in many people’s minds. So, we’re all going through this transition organizationally. Most organizations are going through a transition. I would say that those that haven’t been born into digital, even those are going through lots of transitions with the increased cross‑channel nature of our businesses and our design mediums.
[5:59] But I feel like if you can educate people in a way that they understand that you’re making decisions that are going to help them along the way, and that you’re collaborating on those, and that you’re just the filter, you’re just the person that’s going to go to the tool at the end of the day, and enter it into the way that you guys agreed it’s going to be. But you’re not a dictator of the way that digital assets should be managed.
Henrik: [6:22] Well, thanks Abby. For this, and other Digital Asset Management topics, log onto AnotherDAMblog.com. For this podcast and a 150 other podcast episodes, including transcripts of every interview, go to AnotherDAMpodcast.com. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to to email me at email@example.com. And Abby where can we find out more information from you?
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.
[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.
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.