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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 Jennifer Veiga and Theresa Honig 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 Jennifer Veiga and Theresa Honig. Thanks for joining me. How are you?

Jennifer Veiga:  [0:10] Good, how are you today Henrik?

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

Jennifer:  [0:15] We are involved in various ways and various capacities. We work for a media company, and we implement the standards in which the agencies and photographers and all of our contractors provide assets to us.

[0:35] We probably use Digital Asset [Management] in a very different way than most companies do, in terms of we also use it to a degree as a news feed. We have pretty much written the standards for how the photographers and agencies insert their material into our system, in terms of captioning, keywording, metadata so forth and so on. It’s what we require, what our standards are.

Henrik:  [1:06] How does an organization focused on celebrity media as well as health and fitness media use Digital Asset Management?

Theresa Honig:  [1:13] I think part of our way is getting on our news feed, getting information from the photographers and mainly these agencies. We have to catalogue our information as far as past projects that we’ve done, and also pictures that were used by getting different pictures into our database. We also have to get them out to our designers.

Jennifer:  [1:32] We have an enterprise digital asset management system as well as workflow, so there’s other software tied into it. It’s kind of a complex system in regards to that because there’s so many users.

Theresa:  [1:45] Also, programs have to be linked together to our database…

Jennifer: [1:50] …to support the DAM.

Jennifer:  [1:51] We use it differently in terms of from the celebrity and the health portion of it. Everybody has their own library and we give access to certain people. For example, some of the builders can’t go into some of the other titles’ libraries due to copyright and embargoes and permissions and certain things like that.

[2:19] In terms of the celebrity portion of it, the greatest challenge with that is being that we are such a huge company, and we work at iconic print brands, there’s a lot of photographers and agencies and so forth that want to contribute. It makes it difficult in the sense that the more you store, the more it’s going to cost you.

[2:43] When you implement the system, you only buy a certain amount of storage. It’s not just endless. That presents a problem. Sometimes, we have to be selective on who we allow to contribute. They have to go through a process, in terms of being allowed. I guess you could say like a membership to get username and password into our FTP. Some agencies stream. In that respect, it’s different.

[3:10] Obviously, it’s just different businesses. The entertainment, the celebrity brands, don’t get people working out, and the fitness titles do. In the same realm, we’ve implemented a library that’s for internal use, and it’s a free library we’d like to dole out.

[3:30] It’s basically stock images, product shots, generic things that everybody can use, though we try to repurpose that. In that way, every title doesn’t have to go out and do the same photo shoot for generic shots.

Theresa:  [3:45] We also have to have a bigger library for the celebrity end of it because there’s a lot more material coming in and out. The celebrities are out every day, whereas, the health and fitness end of it is a lot more photoshoots and freelance art and stock art.

Jennifer:  [3:59] A lot more tailored.

Henrik:  [4:00] What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?

Jennifer:  [4:05] Well, I think the biggest challenge really is having an active commitment from the top to support our efforts. A lot of times at the top, they don’t really get all the techie stuff about it. They just think they’re going to buy a system, and that’s it. They pay one time, and it’s all over. That’s not obviously the case.

[4:27] I’ve tried not to sugarcoat the reality that you have to maintain it, update it, and care for it. That essentially is going to cost money and time. At the end of the year, a lot of times, for us, we’ve reached our limit quickly because so many people, every single day, are putting materials into our DAM.

[4:48] For example, when there’s award shows, in a matter of eight hours, you’ll get 75,000 images. It’s a lot for the system to handle, and it’s a lot for everybody to go through. For us to handle too, because at some point, there’s no need for 10,000 pictures of Jennifer Lopez smiling in the same dress.

[5:09] That’s what you run into. It’s hard to get to what you need because you have to dig through all of the award shows stuff. It gets, kind of hairy and complicated and annoying at times. Basically, on those days, we’re all working overtime because we have to go in, basically clean and edit.

[5:29] A lot of times, like photographers and agencies, and stuff like that…It seems cheap and easy to just shoot a bunch of pictures, but you don’t need all of those pictures. I think a lot of times, people just need to learn how to edit. That’s really important for any system because you get backlogged.

Theresa:  [5:48] It gets too big, and then you have to…

Jennifer: [5:50] It slows the system down. It slows everything down.

Theresa: [5:54] You have to get it empty enough that it will take more on. You need to do the maintenance. At that point, empty some things out. Also, make sure it’s properly backed up is another issue we see. A lot of times things aren’t properly backed up and then we have to change servers, then we lose a mountain of information. We have to get it all back in again. It makes a whole, huge effort that was unnecessary.

Jennifer: [6:19] Another challenge that we have is making sure that everybody’s software, programs, technology is compatible. For example, ‑‑ what was it? ‑‑ today we had a problem where somebody’s Photoshop didn’t match up, wasn’t being properly ingested into our system. It wasn’t reading it.

[6:37] We get glitches like that and things like that come up. It’s frustrating because a lot of times it’s not the end user, so we not only cater to the end users here, but we have to support outside efforts as well. That sometimes gets to be difficult and stressful. I’m not sitting at whoever’s desk in California, so I don’t know what’s on their computer.

[7:03] And successes… I’d say our most successful implementation was SCC Media Grid, which is a digital asset management system that is basically created for the publishing industry. For our purposes, it is by far superior, I think, than most in term of  You can see everything immediately.

[7:25] You can do time searches. You can do looped-in searches. You can do Boolean searches. It is multi‑faceted, and it is extremely quick. It’s really easy to maintain. When people drop things in, it has pretty much ranks in most meta data.

[7:40] Once we’ve given them our style guides and standard guides, if they properly adhere to them, then it creates a nice workflow. It makes our job a lot easier.

Theresa: [7:53] It can handle a lot of information. There aren’t as many system crashes.

Henrik:  [7:57] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?

Jennifer: [8:03] First and foremost, make sure you have commitment from the top. Make sure that they know that every person that you visit, that’s a license fee. Everybody can’t share the same username and password. You can’t do that. That’s stealing people’s technology, and that isn’t right.

[8:20] Develop a strategy and customize it to your business needs. Talk to as many people as you can because it’s so imperative. Employees in different departments, everybody has data in their head. Data is essentially knowledge, so everybody is knowledgeable in some degree or another.

[8:42] We try to have an open door policy in terms of, we encourage people to come and speak to us with all kinds of questions, comments, concerns, ways to improve anything. It’s a work in progress. It’s not perfect now, but that obviously is our goal.

Theresa: [9:00] To really help, you have to know the ins and outs to the company you’re helping and know what the employees need and what they need to do their job and get it done efficiently. Also, like we said before, plan for the future. Make sure there is enough room in that database so that you have a plan after that. That you have a bigger system you can move onto.

Jennifer: [9:19] Obviously, you’ll need controlled vocabularies and your keywords. And I think sometimes with digital asset management people think the more metadata and the more keywords and the more this is better. I personally don’t necessarily agree with that.

[9:32] I think that there’s something to be said for simplicity. I think it needs to be straightforward… real people speak. Some people get a little too smart with their keywords. If it’s a picture of an island, just write “island”. You don’t have to have some crazy… I mean obviously you should [say] what island and where it is, and stuff like that is important, but sometimes people just get too literal about it.

[9:57] That’s happened here where they’ll write, “This is West Indies,” but it doesn’t say “island” and a lot of people are sometimes looking for an island. Develop a strategy and talk to as many people as you can because that’s where you will get ideas and solutions. And basically, that’s what we are usually trying to do. Find a solution to something.

Theresa: [10:20] Yeah. Talk to other professionals is great because everyone is running into a different situation. You might have a situation that somebody conquered last year.

Jennifer: [10:30] Glitches and things like that. Sometimes one person is able to pull up something on the other person like, “Well, I just typed that in, and it’s not coming up on mine.” For the most part, that is usually a user error. I have seen instances where things haven’t shown up, and I still don’t have the answers to those.

Theresa: [10:48] Stay on top of your software. Make sure you don’t forget to schedule your updates and things like that. There’s a lot of times where we have to work really closely with IT. I mean, IT is probably who we work closest with because they support our efforts as well.

Henrik:  [11:03] Thank you.

Jennifer:  [11:03] Sure.

Henrik:  [11:04] For more on this and other digital asset management topics, go to anotherdamblog.com. For this podcast and 160 other podcast episodes including transcripts of every interview, go to anotherdampodcast.com. If you have any comments or questions, email me at anotherDAMblog@Gmail.com. Thanks again.


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Another DAM Podcast interview with Anne Lenehan 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’m speaking with Anne Lenehan. Anne how are you?

Anne Lenehan:  [0:09] I’m very well, thank you Henrik.

Henrik:  [0:11] Anne, how are you involved with digital asset management?

Anne:  [0:14] At Elsevier, I’m currently the product owner for our digital asset management system, and I was also involved in creating the business case for the DAM we introduced into Elsevier, and ensure that not only through the business case but also through the implementation phase at Elsevier.

Henrik:  [0:31] Anne, how does the provider of science and health information use digital asset management?

Anne:  [0:35] It’s a great question, when you think about science or health information you don’t necessarily think about all of the types of rich media and video, and audio materials that are part of not only just the diagnosis part of medical information but also in the learning and also in the patient information. The way that we use digital assets at Elsevier is they’re part of every product that we produce, every book, every journal and every online product that we have has images, videos, audio files, Google maps files or map files.

[1:08] We have special 3D and interactive images, we have interactive questions and case studies, all of which have a lot of rich media as part and parcel of those content pieces. Those are all digital assets that we want to store and manage, and potentially recompile and re‑use in future products. It’s really at the core of our content information. It is as big of a part of our content flow as the text content has always been.

Henrik:  [1:39] What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with DAM?

Anne:  [1:42] I think one of the most difficult thing with digital assets and how we manage them through a DAM, is really understanding the work flows that are involved in creating the assets, and how they can fit together in an end‑to‑end workflow for production pieces. I think that’s probably the biggest challenge.

[2:00] The way that we view creating, say images or videos, are viewed as very much separate work streams, where in fact, they are very frequently work stream that all flow together or workflows that flow together and are connected in a way. Actually having a DAM enables us to view those work streams and workflows in a much more continuous manner and help us to improve our processes for creating rich media assets that are then part of the DAM.

[2:30] I think this has been one of the biggest challenges that we’ve seen within my company but that’s also a common thing within other companies is that certain parts of the workflows are not always identified as having the potential to be part of working with the digital asset management system. It’s actually very good way to manage assets coming into the company from our author base.

[2:51] It’s a great way to manage distributing those assets for improvements or for transformation to our vendors. Digital asset management system is a very helpful way for us to review those assets, to view them in [Inaudible 3:03] and the way that they are going to be used in our content product. Also to distribute those assets down the road to our product platforms and also as part of our compiled objects, be they books or journals, online content, e‑books, whatever the output is.

[3:19] That’s a great success and it’s actually seeing how the DAM can be in content, but the biggest challenge is really helping people understand how those workflows fit together.

Henrik:  [3:30] Anne, what advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?

Anne:  [3:35] I think one of the most important things to understand is actually how the assets are used in a company, and what the importance of those assets are. This was a big change for us at Elsevier, we had always viewed rich media assets with somewhat secondary..or a secondary part of our content pieces.

[3:52] It was only really when we started to think about video assets and image assets, and all other kinds of rich media assets as being core and central to our content pieces that we started to really look at DAM as being a way to manage those content pieces.

[4:07] The one important thing for an aspiring DAM professional is to really understand the business that they are looking at, and what the content pieces are that go into it, and how those content pieces, be they, digital assets. How are they working together? What is the overall picture, and the overall view or the overall importance of digital assets to that company?

[4:27] As those assets become more important and as the record or the management or the potentially the re‑use becomes more important. That would be something very important to understand and to translate to, particularly to senior management, in supporting and funding origination of a DAM system.

[4:45] The other thing that I would really recommend for aspiring DAM professional is to understand a lot about metadata and taxonomy and how they work together to support the assets that you are creating, storing and managing in a digital asset management system. I can’t overemphasize this enough, but this was really a core part of our mature view of digital assets within Elsevier is that we had established a really good taxonomy.

[5:11] That we are using as part of a process we call Smart Content across our product assets and platforms. We were using the taxonomy to tag our content and manage it to improve the search and discovery of the assets and content that we had on our platforms. One of the outgrowths of the Smart Content program was really to understand that rich media assets were being searched and were being used.

[5:37] That actually translated to…how do we use the taxonomy? What a taxonomy is? How it could be used in your particular industry and the importance of how that can be used to enable search and discovery and lead in the efforts of the DAM.

Henrik:  [5:50] Well, thanks Anne.

Anne:  [5:51] Sure.

Henrik:  [5:53] For more on this and other digital asset management topics go to AnotherDAMblog.com.

For this and 150 other podcasts episodes including transcripts of every interview go to AnotherDAMpodcast.com. If you have any comments or questions please feel free to email me at anotherdamblog@Gmail.com. Thanks again.