Another DAM Podcast

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Another DAM Podcast interview with Jeff Sedlik

 

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • The PLUS registry was recently announced. How can DAM professionals can become involved in the Registry project?
  • How can DAM solution providers can leverage the Registry for their customers?
  • What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to be DAM professionals?

 


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Another DAM Podcast interview with Tracy Guza on Digital Asset Management

 

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • What are the biggest challenges for dealing with creative assets in a DAM system?
  • What advice would you like to share with DAM Professionals and people aspiring to become DAM Professionals?

Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor: [0:02] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Tracy Guza. Tracy,
how are you?
Tracy Guza: [0:11] I’m very good. How are you?
Henrik: [0:12] Good. Tracy, how are you involved with Digital Asset
Management?
Tracy: [0:16] Currently I work at Corbis. Corbis Images is a stock photo and
various other creative types of format company, and I am part of a small internal
team in editorial photography that creates custom content for a client of ours. I
manage their Digital Asset Management system.
Henrik: [0:41] What are the biggest challenges for dealing with creative assets
in a Digital Asset Management system?
Tracy: [0:45] Well, currently my challenges are somewhat different than previously.
I have worked in Digital Asset Management for some time at a variety
of advertising agencies. I’m pretty used to creative users and how they search.
One of the things I’ve found, over the years, is that the way that a library or
information professional might consider keywording items is not necessarily
the way that an art director or a designer would search for the items. [1:20] It’s
really helpful, as in any case, to do some kind of user analysis to figure out and
to know your clientele, to figure out how your user base is searching for things.
And how to intuitively keyword things and create a vocabulary that’s tailored to
the users, more so than a 100 percent kosher library science management thesaurus
or vocabulary. While structure is lovely and consistency is great and one
of the reasons that a vocabulary is important, that vocabulary can be flexible
and it can be tailored to your users.
[1:57] One of the other huge issues that comes up a lot in creative agencies
is the licensing and rights associated with different creative assets. Whether
they’re images, video clips or audio clips. Usually, especially with stock images,
when an image is purchased, it is purchased for a particular usage if it’s a rights
managed image. That usage can be very specific. It can be something as specific
as, “We’re buying this image once, for three months, for 10 publications in
North America, with a print run up to a million.”
[2:34] If that is not communicated jointly, with the asset, in a way that users can
see and notice, there can be some legal ramifications and infringement can
occur. One of the things that’s important is to look at whatever DAM system is
being used and figure out how you can best flag images or assets that have particular
restrictions. Is there a way to create permissions only for certain users?
[3:04] Is there a way to create an HTML popup that wants people that, “Hey, this
image has some particular restrictions to it. If you’re not using it for X, Y and Z,
you shouldn’t be using it.” Because generally, the users, especially in a creative
agency, aren’t legal professionals. Nor do they have regular access to legal
professionals. But they can get a company in a lot of trouble by using things that
they’re not supposed to use.
[3:35] Often times, especially in the stock industry, the fees for infringing on use
or using something that you haven’t licensed properly, are much higher than
the costs for just licensing the image properly and using it correctly. That’s a
big thing.
Henrik: [3:52] So rights management and permissions management, as far
as licensing and permissions for the use of any asset. That’s a very key thing
to reduce liability as much as possible, as far as appropriate use of assets.
Great point.
Tracy: [4:07] Yes. And what can be challenging is not only educating the users
that licensing restrictions exist. But also helping them, by using the system to
the best of your ability to make it easy for them to discover what the rights are
that are associated with the asset. It shouldn’t be hidden in 64 metadata fields.
It should be easy for them to find out.
Henrik: [4:30] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and
people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Tracy: [4:34] It’s interesting. The way that I got into this, originally, was working
at a particular advertising agency. I was doing a lot of project management and
production kinds of things. I was very familiar with the clients and with the workflow
in creative services. So I was asked to do, as a consultant, a freelance project
to organize all of the client assets at the agency. At that time, the workflow
was changing. [5:04] It was right when you were able to buy like four terabytes of
storage really cheap. Suddenly, everybody could use super huge, high-resolution
images.
[5:24] So we had literally file cabinets full of CDs. This is how crazy it was.
Where those images were the high-resolution images that corresponded to the
low-resolution images on the server. No one [laughs] had any way to match anything
up or find anything.
[5:42] So the company purchased a very basic DAM product, and I was asked
to actually put everything in there for the first time. It changed our workflow. It
changed how people needed to use things. I realized at the time, this was about
six or seven years ago, how much I still needed to know.
[6:03] I created a vocabulary on the fly and realized that I needed to know a lot
more about metadata and tried to figure out ways to customize the search fields
and so forth so that we could get a prompt when an image license was about
to expire and stuff like that. I was a little over my head, so what I did was I went
back to library [laughs] school.
[6:27] I got an MLIS , and I found that that program really helped to fill out for me
all of my questions about different kinds of technology, backend database programming
stuff as well as the very basics of SRS [?] vocabulary development and
a lot about metadata. So my advice is not only to network, which is a wonderful
thing, but also to figure out what kind of additional education you may need.
[6:57] There’s something to be said for being in an organization and realizing
that maybe you have the aptitude to organize their assets. There’s another thing
to be said for making sure that you actually can back that up a little bit with
some tangible courses, workshops, or whatever form they take. It really helped
me to formalize the way that I think about how I work on DAM now.
[7:24] That’s my advice, and it seems to be a very much growing field as the
amount of digital assets grows. Certainly companies finally realize the value in
retrieval and the cost effectiveness of allowing people self-service access to
DAM systems. There’s more and more of a need for DAM professionals.
Henrik: [7:43] Very true. Did you want to share your blog with the audience
as well?
Tracy: [7:48] Oh, I would love to. It’s modlibrarian.posterous.comhttps://modlibrarian.wordpress.com/
Henrik: [7:55] For more on this and other Digital Asset Management topics log
onto AnotherDAMblog.com. Another DAM Podcast is available on Audioboom,
Blubrry, iTunes and the Tech Podcast Network. Thanks again.

 


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

 


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Another DAM Consultancy can help. Contact us today.


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Another DAM Podcast interview with Jack Van Antwerp on Digital Asset Management

Jack Van Antwerp discusses Digital Asset Management

 

 

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • How do you achieve increasing user adoption of the DAM within your organization?
  • What advice would you like to share with DAM Professionals or people aspiring to be DAM Professionals?

Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor: [0:01] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today, we’re speaking with Jack Van Antwerp.
Jack [0:08] How are you?
Jack Van Antwerp: [0:08] I’m doing very well. How are you doing, Henrik?
Henrik: [0:10] Good. Jack, how are you involved with Digital Asset
Management?
Jack: [0:15] I’m the Director of Photography at The Wall Street Journal and my
involvement was to bring a Digital Asset Management system to our workflow.
Photography is a new thing for the Journal. It required us, from the ground up,
starting a system that would allow the paper and online and other future things
to find, sort and deliver mostly photography for right now. We’re also moving
into some video and other kinds of things.
Henrik: [0:49] Awesome. Jack, how have you increased user adoption of the
DAM within your organization?
Jack: [0:59] In one respect, it’s been self-activating because we had nothing
and the previous method was pretty much going out hunting and pecking for
photographs on dozens of different websites and photo services. When we had
the model turned upside down and these photo services were pushing to us
the photos and we were bringing them into the system, it was such a leap forward
in the ability to get things fast and to have them easily searchable really
just became very fast. [1:44] There were a few resisters. Some people enjoyed
their own work flow, but it was quite surprising that even just a few months
afterwards…There were areas where we had a few generic logons that we’d had
going for some people and these logons got spread around.
[2:06] When we were going from our test box to our final box, there was some
planned outage. I told the people that needed to know but I didn’t realize that
the greater organization had really taken upon using this thing in other parts of
the world, actually.
[2:22] We started getting these hysterical emails like, “What’s going on with the
system?” Then we realized how wide it had been adopted and how fast it had
been adopted.
Henrik: [2:30] It was a positive, “What’s going on?” rather than a, “What’s going
on? Why did you change my system?”
Jack: [2:36] Absolutely. We had yanked the candy bar out of the baby’s hand
and people were quite upset. Just us saying, “Hey, you’re going to have to go
back to the old way for just a very short amount of time,” I don’t even think it
was a full day, people were very unhappy. [2:56] We’ve been able to implement,
I think, some workflows that really capitalize on the metadata that come from
the different agencies, that have made finding and sorting pictures in a very
real-time way, with breaking news, even easier. We’ve tried to conform just in
some simple ways things like the word “United States.”
[3:22] If you’ve got eight different agencies, each one of them does it a different
way. One says “US,” one says “USA,” one has the dots, one doesn’t, so we conformed
all that to just the word “domestic,” and just for the ability to then only
look at domestic pictures has been a huge leap forward.
[3:41] The ability to sort out sports photos, the ability to sort out entertainment
photos, whittles down from what our thousands of thousands of pictures that
one might have to wade through to get at that picture they’re looking for, especially
when you’re just going through the wires to just try to find those best
shots of the day.
[4:01] You can go from thousands and thousands of pictures to maybe only
1,500 or 2,000 that are relevant to you, to the domestic photo editor, or to the
international photo editor, or to the sports photo editor. You can then get to
that a lot quicker, especially when you’re having to browse, where you don’t
know what you’re looking for. There’s no search criteria that says, “Good photo
of the day.” That’s up to the editor’s discretion.
Henrik: [4:23] Just to clarify a point that you made earlier, when you meant you
get “pushed photos”, you’re talking about a stream of photography that comes
from different wire services and other agencies. Is that correct?
Jack: [4:34] Exactly. They send in to FTP, and our asset management system
picks it up, conforms metadata, puts it into the system, categorizes the high
res, etc. We have two interfaces. We have a thin client and we have a web
application. The thin client is fine when you’re within a state or two of the server,
but in our remote locations, like London and Hong Kong, it just isn’t reactive fast
enough, and they use the web interface. That’s been a great option to have.
Henrik: [5:15] Nice. It’s used globally and adopted globally as well?
Jack: [5:19] Yes, very much so.
Henrik: [5:22] Excellent.
Jack: [5:24] We use a system called SCC and they have a great feature where
you are logons and you can create user groups, etc. which has been instrumental
for us because rights for photographs are very much dependent on where
you are in the world. [5:42] A certain agency might be subsold through a special
agency in Japan that has only those rights. Even though we’re buying directly
from the mother ship, that part of the world has its specific problem.
[5:56] We’re able to have people, for instance, in Tokyo have their own logon
group, which would exclude certain libraries or certain wire services that we
don’t have the right to publish in those countries. That’s been a huge help
with just saving money and also not creating problems with misuse of pictures,
so to speak.
Henrik: [6:21] That’s a great example of rights management and use of groups
and permissioning that you just described.
Jack: [6:27] Yeah, except when one of those users moves from one region to
the other and doesn’t tell us. [laughs] We do need the feedback from the users
to find out where they are in the world. As long as we’ve got that, we can work
better with them.
Henrik: [6:42] That makes sense.
Jack: [6:43] In the context, also, of figuring out if you don’t have a system already,
what kind of system do you need? I feel that they kind of fall into two
categories, a black box, which is out of turnkey, out of the box. It’s ready to
go. Those are great because you can be up and running and working fast. The
downside is, you work the way the system is made. [7:11] A platform based
asset management system is certainly more complex. It takes a lot longer to get
going, but once you have it going the way you want it, you can continually make
tweaks and make changes that work for you.
[7:27] Neither, I would say, is the right way. It really depends on the resources
you have and how much skill you have or how much time you’re willing to put
into making the asset management system will work the way you want it to work
or whether you are able or willing to just conform to the workflow it has built in.
Henrik: [7:46] There is no one DAM fits all solution out there.
Jack: [7:51] Yeah, absolutely not. I think of the one we have and how it has
worked for us, which has been good, but there are instances where I see other
one that do certain things in a certain way that would be fantastic. There are a
lot of
features and a lot of different systems that are going to be right for whatever
somebody’s trying to do, video, photos, text…A lot of different questions
one has to ask.
Henrik: [8:16] Yes, exactly. As described to me in the past, an onion with many
layers that are interlinked and related.
Jack: [8:24] Exactly. [laughs]
Henrik: [8:26] Jack, what advice would you like to share with Digital Asset
Management professionals or people aspiring to be DAM professionals?
Jack: [8:36] I have become kind of a DAM professional, if I am one, by
happenstance.
Henrik: [8:43] That’s pretty common. [laughs]
Jack: [8:47] It was really something into the driver seat because didn’t know
had their hands on the wheels. I guess my advice would be to really think what
I would kind of say, backwards. Think from the usage and the user, the editor
whatever’s happening in your organization the person who’s touching the asset
last. Then build and conceive your workflows from that place backwards. [9:19]
I think, a lot of times, we are immediately thinking of, “Here are the wire service.
We’re worried about the intake of how it comes in”, as opposed to, “OK ,
let’s start with the editor. What do they need and then how can we affect that
through what we’re getting in?”
[9:41] Just the few things we’ve been able to do with massaging data and
making it click for editors to find exactly what they need have made it fast
adoption and deep adoption. You just do not take this away from you. It’s now
become a core part of our workflow.
[10:00] Really think about the user. I find it interesting that a lot of times, people
will be like, “We’ve got 10 million assets or a billion assets or whatever.” It’s certainly
important that a system is able to handle infinite amount of records. You
don’t want to have it limited. But how many records you have is a little bit inconsequential
to finding the one record you need.
[10:29] It’s hard to stand up and wave a flag with excitement for 1 record, as opposed
to having a 100 million records. But really thinking about how can somebody
find that one piece of information they’re looking for. Not, “Oh, we have a
bazillion pieces of information.”
[10:53] Thinking about what can we do to the metadata? How are people looking
for things? What are they actually trying to find and what can we do then
within our keywording or our indexing or whatnot, to make that really efficient
for people?
Henrik: [11:09] That makes sense.
Jack: [11:10] That would be my advice.
Henrik: [11:12] Excellent. Thank you, Jack. [11:14] For more on Digital Asset
Management, log onto anotherdamblog.com. Thanks again


 

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

 


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