Another DAM Podcast

Audio about Digital Asset Management


Leave a comment

Another DAM Podcast interview with Jake Nadal on Digital Asset Management

 

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved in Digital Asset Management?
  • How do you deal the challenges of cultural heritage and DAM?
  • What advice would you have for DAM professionals or people aspiring to become DAM professionals?

Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor: [0:02] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. My name is Henrik de Gyor. Today I am speaking with Jake
Nadal. Jake, how are you?
Jacob Nadal: [0:11] Real well, Henrik. Thank you.
Henrik: [0:12] Jake, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Jacob: [0:16] I am the Preservation Officer for the UCLA Library. I’ve been involved
with the whole digital library effort in some way or another for about a
decade now. Preservation officer, I might explain to you something about it as
two parts, in terms of Digital Asset Management. One of those is kind of trying
to get assets that are worth managing in the first place, and the other is making
sure that all those assets will maintain value. [0:45] They’ll still be usable from
one asset management system to another, that as we sometimes have a planning
horizon that stretches into decades and longer, until we expect that at a
certain point those assets will move from system to system.
[0:59] Both of them are sort of shepherding roles for our digital assets, our
digital material. And I think the thing that unites those is that we look to have
certain technical criteria, certain specifications and standards that we produce
content to. Of course, I work with a great team all across the UCLA library and
the UCLA system. We’re really a set of people with very specific technical competencies
for each step of the chain.
Henrik: [1:26] Excellent. How do you deal with the challenges of cultural heritage
and DAM?
Jacob: [1:33] There again, I think there are two parts here. One, and probably
the most interesting to our audience here, is the actual internal workflow. The
other part is really about what cultural heritage assets are and the particular mission
obligation that comes with that. [1:50] In our workflow, we’ve been talking a
lot about having a three part strategy. It might be better to say a three part test
for preservation activities at UCLA library. One is that we always try to have a
method for doing analysis or doing some information gathering about whatever
our problem is. That leads to a proposed treatment or a course of action. We try
not to act until we have some evidence.
[2:17] And all of that we try to have happen in house and have that be the bulk
of the work, just as a matter of good management. We want to, when we’ve
done out part, have it be more or less ready to go.
[2:30] And then, knowing that we will be either incomplete…We may have subject
expertise that we lack, which is usually the case. If we’re dealing with, say,
an old Armenian scroll and we’re creating a digital version of that, we may need
to talk to language and subject experts to figure out how that will be most
useful to its users.
[2:52] Sometimes that’s an area of technical concern. Very often, as we’re dealing
with, right now, a big topic for us is research data. Our scientists especially
produce enormous research data sets, and in the arts and humanities, it’s very
common now to use multiple sources of data, so there may be news video
feeds, there may be GIS information, and those may come together in a research
project.
[3:22] Very often, within the library itself, we have to manage that asset, or a
group of assets, but we need to look outside to a particular technical expert to
help guide us on the best way to do that. That second stage is sort of outside
review and approval, and then we always try to have a hedge, some strategy
in case things go wrong. Sometimes that’s as simple as just retaining a previous
version.
[3:49] Sometimes that’s retaining an alternate format, so video is an area right
now
where we know what formats are good for use right now, but we’re very
much uncertain about what formats will be good for use and repurposing even
five years from now, and sometimes an alternate format is simply the authentic
artifact. We may scan a photo, and we may do a lot of work with that scanned
digital version, but, of course, we’re going to keep the original photo.
[4:20] Sometimes that’s identifying a third party provider that we can fall back
on. Especially as we work with publishers, we’re often licensing content to make
available to our users, so we do certain things to care for that content, but then
we will also arrange with that publisher and a third party.
[4:36] A group like Portico is an example, and the LOCKSS Project, or the
CLOCKSS Project. That stands for “Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe.” That’s a
group that operates out of Stanford. They both work with libraries and publishers
to be a third party archiving service, so there’s always a third group that can
provide access.
[4:55] We always try to have some sort of hedge, knowing that we’re kind of
planning for the future, and, of course, that planning for the future part is, in
some ways, the thing we do least, day to day.
[5:08] We have a job just like everybody else, but it’s part of what makes the job
so fantastic, that we’re building this collection, or record, or last resort, and, of
course, the materials we get to work with are incredible artifacts, this wonderful
digital versions of them, and now, increasingly, the born digital research projects
of some of the best and brightest.
[5:29] UCLA, of course, has got a got a pretty interesting community of people
creating digital assets here.
Henrik: [5:35] Excellent. What advice would you have to give to DAM professionals
or people aspiring to become a DAM professional?
Jacob: [5:41] I don’t know if you’re familiar with Tom Peterson, sort of a management
guru management consultant. He has this great catch phrase “Out read
the other guy.” [laughter]
Jacob: [5:54] I find myself saying that a lot lately. My own engagement with the
DAM community comes from recognizing that the conversations I was having
with digital library folks and with preservation colleagues were very similar to
conversations I was encountering in this other community, this Digital Asset
Management community. [6:17] That’s a two way street. I would encourage
anyone in DAM, and especially people who have an interest in the cultural heritage
side of it, to look at your related professions. Look at both the customers
you serve as well as people who maybe share some of the same technical base
and technical infrastructure.
[6:38] Your photographers, your records managers. We’re all trying to do some
of the same things whether we call it library science, inventory management,
manufacturing. The people I find who are at the head of the game and are the
most interesting to work with are the people who can see what can be interpreted
or adapted to fit their means.
[7:03] In cultural heritage specifically there’s some more practical things, or more
immediate things. A number of Library Information Science programs now and
offering specializations in digital libraries and digital information.
[7:18] My alma mater, Indiana University, does a lot of work in this area. There’s a
program called DIGIN, DIGIN, at Arizona. I know Chapel Hill and Michigan more
and more. Of course, they’re all just trying to keep up with UCLA.
[laughter]
Jacob: [7:36] All those programs are worth comparing and considering. Very
specifically in cultural heritage, it’s worth knowing that there’s a bias towards
open and or free software solutions.
Henrik: [7:47] Makes sense.
Jacob: [7:48] If you know that LAMP stack, LINUX, Apache, MySQL, PHP you’re
in really good shape in terms of tech skills. Of course, none of us are out from
under the shadow of Adobe. [8:01] Certainly in my sector a lot of the tools we
use day-to-day look a lot like the tools that are in use elsewhere.
Henrik: [8:10] Of course.
Jacob: [8:12] Or in XML.
Henrik: [8:15] Yes, always important.
Jacob: [8:16] If you’ve got XML, the rest comes pretty easily.
Henrik: [8:19] True. Thanks Jake.
Jacob: [8:21] My pleasure. I’m glad I could do this.
Henrik: [8:23] For more on Digital Asset Management, log on to
AnotherDAMblog.com. Thanks again.

 


Listen to Another DAM Podcast on Amazon AlexaApple PodcastsAudioBoomCastBoxGoogle Play,  RadioPublicRSS, Spotify or TuneIn

 


Need a Digital Asset Management Consultant?

Another DAM Consultancy can help. Contact us today.


Leave a comment

Another DAM Podcast interview with Donna Slawsky on Digital Asset Management

Donna Slawsky discusses Digital Asset Management

 

 

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • What makes your course different from all of the other courses available in Digital Asset Management?
  • Do you involve [students] in any other way aside from having speakers and reading blogs? Is there anything the DAM Community can help you with the course?
  • What advice would you have to share with other Digital Asset Management Professionals or people aspiring to become Digital Asset Management Professional such as your students or other students?

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 Donna Slawsky.
Donna, how are you?
Donna Slawsky: [0:09] I’m good, Henrik. Thank you for asking me to participate
in this exciting series, and thanks for doing it.
Henrik: [0:15] No problem. Donna, how are you involved in Digital Asset
Management?
Donna: [0:19] At the current moment, I teach a course for the Columbia School
of Continuing Education. It’s part of the Information and Digital Resource
Management Master’s Program, and the course is called, appropriately, Digital
Asset Management. I’m preparing for the second semester now. [0:46] We
usually have between 10 and 15 students at various points in the program. They
come from differing backgrounds. We have people from IT. I’ve had administrative
assistants. I’ve had executive assistants, middle managers. Most of the
people in the class come into the program with little or no background in this
sort of Digital Asset Management or digital resource management.
Henrik: [1:21] You give them that. That’s great.
Donna: [1:23] It’s a lot to give in 15 sessions, but we do the best we can. [laughs]
Henrik: [1:29] Excellent. You teach this course at Columbia University. Tell us
more about this course. What makes your course different than all the other
DAM courses that are available in Digital Asset Management?
Donna: [1:42] Any course or any seminar or any talk on any subject reflects the
particular background, personality, and experience of the instructor and also of
the department in which the course is taught. Interestingly, I’m writing an article
for the Journal of Digital Asset Management for the fall of 2010. Looking at your
list, Henrik, of higher education courses, and also I’ve done a little of my own
research. [2:14] It’s interesting, the course is taught in different departments,
depending upon the school. In our school, it’s Information and Digital Resource
Management. Where John Horodyski teaches, out in San Jose, University of
California, he teaches out of the Library School.
There’s also a course at Simmons out of the Library School, but other courses are
taught out of graphics departments, technology departments, depends on your
perspective. My course is unique, because for me I’m a librarian, that’s my background,
and I approach Digital Asset Management as predominantly a repository
for assets and the challenge being the retrieval and the metadata piece.
[3:07] That’s my expertise; taxonomy, metadata and so my courses have a focus
on that because of my background. However, we do cover introduction to DAM,
building the case for DAM, user requirements and Digital Rights Management,
workflow, managing video, indexing a retrieval and the DAM market place, all
that. We also cover preservation, archives and digitization, which I really think is
an important piece for the students to understand.
[3:47] This isn’t only done in corporations, a very important use of DAM is in
museums, libraries, and digitization projects for archives preservation. We do
have a guest speaker come in to speak about that. The other thing that I think is
unique about the course is that I try to make it a very diverse educational experience,
so I’m not coming in there just speaking and lecturing every week.
[4:20] I have a lot of guest speakers. I think it’s very important for students to
have exposure to people in the field. This semester I have seven speakers lined
up. An expert in workflow, I have somebody from the book publishing area,
somebody from magazine publishing, and I even have a couple of vendors
coming in to speak.
[4:45] I have Matthew Gonnering from Widen coming in to speak about SAAS…
Software as a Service. Because I find that student get confused about that, as
did I when I first learned about it. Versus hosting, versus the cloud and all that.
[5:09] Also, we do follow blogs including yours, and I ask the students to comment
on the blogs using our class Wiki. I try to make it more diverse than just
sitting here in the classroom reading your readings and sort of regurgitating
back what I say every week. I really try to keep it almost like a graduate seminar.
Henrik: [5:38] Great. It sounds like you involve the DAM community quite a
bit. Do you involve them any other way other than having speakers and reading
blogs? Is there anything else that the DAM community can help you with
the course?
Donna: [5:51] Yeah. As matter of fact, thank you for asking. One of the things
that I’m doing different this semester is that I’m following the lead of some
instructors I had when I was taking my Masters in Library Science, which is, that
we visited a site, either an achieve or a library. I would like each student to visit
one DAM site.
Henrik: [6:18] An organization using a DAM?
Donna: [6:22] That’s right. It could be any organization, small, large. It could be
a photography studio. It could be an advertising agency, a museum, a library.
Anywhere where Digital Asset Management is employed. I would like the students
to actually see the DAM in action. [6:42] It will be demoed for them, talk
to the manager and using what they’ve learned, especially in the first half of
the course, it will be a midterm. Ask their own questions and I of course will
have questions for them. Anybody who is interested, would like to participate
and provide a site for us, even if it’s through Skype, as Henrik, you suggested
you could do.
[7:06] They could contact me a donnaslawsky@yahoo.com. I would really appreciate,
even if we don’t use the site this semester, perhaps we could use it next
semester. Thank you for mentioning that.
Henrik: [7:24] I think that it’s a great idea to involve the students with actual real
use cases and real world cases of DAM. That’s a great idea.
Donna: [7:32] Some of the challenges of teaching as you know, is you’re stuck
in a classroom. Digital Asset Management although I really believe it’s not a
technological solution. I think it’s much more. I think it’s about findability, it’s
about search, it’s about retrieval, it’s about being a repository for an entire organization.
[7:57] Also, it impacts greatly on your corporate culture and it impacts
on how Digital Asset Management is employed. There’s a lot more involved than
just technology. It’s really important for students and people in Digital Asset
Management to understand that you really need to analyze the organization’s
specific needs and requirements and not just through a technology solution at it.
[8:29] I try to instill that in my students. It is still necessary to see Digital Asset
Management systems. They have to see what Digital Asset Management software
looks like. How actually you upload, download, how versioning works, how
workflow looks like within the system. We are going to introduce some demos
this semester.
[8:58] Seeing a DAM in action and putting all of these term papers up on our
Wiki, everyone will have an opportunity to see all of these different Digital
Asset Management settings. I’m hoping that this really enhances the experience
for them.
Henrik: [9:17] I bet it will. What advice do you have to share with other DAM
professionals, or even people aspiring to be DAM professionals such as your
students or other students?
Donna: [9:27] I think my experience with Digital Asset Management so far and
I think that it’s most peoples experiences most people become Digital Asset
Managers or involved in Digital Asset Management, not necessarily because
they intended to do that in their career. [9:45] In other words they were recruited
into that position from another position. Either they were a librarian, or they’re
manager of a photo studio, or they’re in an advertising department of some
kind and they need somebody to serve this function. I think going out there and
really following the blogs, like yours and others, and following what’s going on
in the profession reading, listening to the free webinars that are available, these
podcasts that you’re making available and others have made available is critical
to staying on top of what’s going on.
[10:23] You shouldn’t feel like you’re alone in this because there are a lot of
people out there writing about and speaking about Digital Asset Management.
If you can afford to go to conferences, of course, that’s ideal also. Really network
it out there, go to LinkedIn, join the DAM community, the groups on
LinkedIn. You’re going to learn most of what you need on the job. I told this to
my students, it’s not a theoretical, there’s a lot you have to learn on the job so
you shouldn’t think you have to know everything going into it.
[10:57] Don’t panic, it’s going to be fine, you’re going to just learn as you go
along because you probably know more than anybody else does going into it
anyway because they’re hiring you to learn. That’s what you have to remember.
[11:13] I would say, enlist the help or advice of others who have implemented
DAM projects successfully but also know that every single DAM implementation
is different. That’s really key and that’s what you get out of reading the case
studies in the journal of Digital Asset Management, etc.
[11:32] It’s because every organization has different people, different cultural
norms and they need really to understand that, they did it this way but maybe
we can use a little from this case study, a little from that case study and your
vendors will work with you, with what your needs are if they are a good vendor.
[11:57] Also that you can’t know it all, you’re not going to able to be an expert
on workflow, metadata, taxonomy and also the technology and also be a curator
because a lot of times you need to be a curator. That’s what I did when
I was at Scholastic. I actually selected the photographs and illustrations to go
into the DAM.
[12:19] You can’t be an expert in all of these areas. Especially at the beginning of
a project I highly recommend that you hire consultants to help you. There are a
lot of really good people out there so don’t feel like you have to know it all.
[12:37] Always include users in the planning and include users along the whole
process of implementation. Even while the DAM is up and running constantly
have your users involved in making it better, giving you feedback because that’s
so important for adoption. You need to buy in from all of your users. It’s the big
reason for the failure of some DAM projects.
[13:01] I’ve seen this many times and you need to keep those users involved and
familiar yourself with metadata, with what metadata is. There’s a lot out there on
the Web about simple explanations of metadata, complex explanations you can
look up for yourself.
[13:22] Look at Dublin Core, it’s actually simple 15 fields. It’s a great way to start
with metadata. There’s something called MODS that is also very good, that’s
video metadata standards available, you don’t have to create your own metadata
schema.
[13:38] You can mix and match from various metadata standards and that’s pretty
much what I would say about implementing DAM for people who are about
to get involved in it and my students…they’re going to go into it at entry level.
DAM is very multifaceted.
[14:03] There is so much to learn. It’s impossible to come out of a Master’s program
or after taking a seminar or course and know it all, you can’t. It’s going to
take time to just learn about it, but remember you know more than anyone in
your organization and you will learn as you go along.
Henrik: [14:19] I couldn’t agree more. Thank you, Donna. For more on this and
other topics about Digital Asset Management go to anotherdamblog.com.
Thanks again.


 

Listen to Another DAM Podcast on Amazon AlexaApple PodcastsAudioBoomCastBoxGoogle Play,  RadioPublicRSS, Spotify or TuneIn

 


Need a Digital Asset Management Consultant?

Another DAM Consultancy can help. Contact us today.