Another DAM Podcast

Audio about Digital Asset Management

Another DAM Podcast interview with Magan Arthur on Digital Asset Management

Magan Arthur discusses Digital Asset Management

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • You wrote an article titled “…Just what is a DAM?” Is this definition static or changing? Why?
  • What advice would you like to give DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM Professionals?


Henrik de Gyor: [0:01] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Magan Arthur.
Magan, how are you?
Magan Arthur: [0:11] I’m doing very well. Thank you.
Henrik: [0:13] Magan, how are you involved in Digital Asset Management?
Magan: [0:16] I’ve been involved for a very, very long time going back now over
10 years to one of the startup companies in California. We were at the front lines
when Digital Asset Management was an acronym that was created. [0:34] The
claim to fame there was they produced the first really Web based Digital Asset
Management tool. It was around 2000 when client server and VOI P was the big
change over.
Henrik: [0:51] Magan, you wrote an article entitled, “Just What is DAM?” Is this
definition static or changing, and why?
Magan: [1:00] Yeah, I think that it’s still quite relevant. I do notice that [laughs]
on Wikipedia that article is still referenced. I believe that we still see confusion
out there between what is traditional content management and the CMS software
world. [1:25] Often Digital Asset Management is used in such a broad way
that it encompasses everything, including even the document management
systems, nowadays rarely referenced.
[1:38] By the time that I wrote the article, document management was still also
a big piece of the content management pie. I believe that the article still holds
value and that it really differentiates DAM from all these other tools, focusing
on management media rich libraries versus templates for publication versus
[2:06] I think there’s still a value in defining DAM in comparison to those
other tools.
Henrik: [2:12] What advice would you like to give DAM professionals and
people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Magan: [2:19] I’ve been thinking about that ever since you sent me those questions
up front. I would say, for DAM professionals, I have the similar advice I
would give to most of the clients that I speak to when we speak about DAM.
[2:39] DAM means so much to so many people. To be an expert in all of them is
probably impossible.
[2:48] If you look at Digital Asset Management as this core capability of managing
in which media in libraries is mostly geared for reuse of content much more
so than for direct publishing and consumption by end users, that again would
differentiate here the CMS versus a DAM.
[3:11] Even in that moment, we have now the wide spread acceptance of Digital
Asset Management technologies in broadcast and in parts of Hollywood in
movie production. I would say that we see very specific requirements and needs
around just that specific area.
[3:32] The news organization would have very different needs and uses for DAM
than the newspaper photo archive.
[3:41] I would say that one advice I could give to DAM professionals is be sure
what your specialty should be, because setting up these very different systems
for different user types and different asset types really bears specific requirement
and requires knowledge that not everybody has readily at hand.
[4:05] The other aspect, one of the questions that I mostly ponder with many of
my larger clients, is the overall Digital Asset Management and reuse strategy.
Looking at large marketing organizations that often touch all kinds of assets, be
it video, be it banner ads, and content that is more geared towards that use or
be it still print.
[4:36] Photo libraries always come into play. I think that one really has to be clear
about what type of skills and services one wants to provide. Is it the very specific
implementation and skills around a very specific content type?
[4:53] Is it more the strategic aspect of looking at a larger ecosystem of many
different content types that come together? Here I would say the complexity of
consolidating taxonomies enterprises and so on, come into play.
[5:11] I’m not sure if I’m clear or not in my answer but I think the long and short
of it is, be clear what it is that you want to offer, and where you want to specialize.
Are you a strategist? Or are you an expert in a specific arena?
[5:25] There’s so much work out there that any expert in any one arena will probably
have plenty of work. Specifically, if they do a good job. I believe that you
can only do a good job, if you start specializing.
Henrik: [5:38] Excellent. Thank you very much.
Magan: [5:38] My pleasure.
Henrik: [5:39] For more on Digital Asset Management, log onto Thanks again.

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