Another DAM Blog

Blog about Digital Asset Management


Is the journal dead?

Over the last few months of 2010,  several sources have mentioned and even confirmed that a particular periodical about Digital Asset Management (DAM) has ceased publication. Some deny this in disbelief. Some believe it will be reincarnated like a phoenix out of the ashes. or not.

Many DAM Professionals have generously contributed (for free) written content on their knowledge about DAM which this periodical published over the past several years. The same periodical was made available at over US$700 (the undiscounted US price) for 6 issues per annual subscription. Sounds like a deal for someone aside from the readers and the writers.

While charging over US$1 per page, I can not imagine why this journal would cease its publication in today’s digital market. After all, readers…oh wait. Never mind.

Anyhow, DAM Professionals have been able to share their own knowledge at their own great expense and then have prior articles available online at a fee per article. Hopefully, these articles will continue to be available online but the stone tablet… I mean paper edition may cease to exist.

Some say the journal will take the form (like a phoenix) of an e-zine in 2011 and likely be called something else. And…is it still the same thing then? This e-zine may be offered for a faction of what the journal cost. Imagine that. They may have found the last nails for that coffin to bury that idea.

How else will we read or even write about Digital Asset Management aside from books?

Let us think for a nanosecond. What are you reading right now? A blog.

Blogs don’t matter. No one reads blogs anymore. Blogs are dead. Explain why this blog has more unique readers than any periodical about Digital Asset Management ever had as well as many of the other dedicated blogs about DAM. Shall we continue ignoring the impact of the monthly or sometimes even daily information shared by this medium (blogging) on the field of the Digital Asset Management? What other medium does this today?

In full disclosure, I was interviewed by this particular periodical. It took one year to get published. Not 6 months as they said it would. They “forgot” to while I reminded them every few months. This might be considered fast…if the standards were set by cave men carving stone.

If you didn’t pay for it, remember it can’t be any good. One of their editors asked me if I could ‘wrap up’ some of my blog posts into an article for the periodical. I checked to make sure if I understood them correctly. They wanted me to take my blog posts (which I write and share free of charge), spend my time writing their article for their journal (uncompensated), they would publish it (I would remain still uncompensated) and they sell free content back to you as a subscriber of this journal. So they profit from the work and knowledge of others who provide this for free. Who in their right mind still does this in today’s digital age? Here is an idea: If it’s free, it stays free. If it costs, all should be compensated for creating the end result.

Blogs don’t have a good reputation. Reputation comes from the creator of content and/or the value of content itself. Reputation does not come from the channel (such as a blog) which simply a vehicle for the message (whether it is fact or opinion) nor what the channel (such as a journal) charges for its content. In case you need to be published for the sake of your work, explore more cost effective ways than custom publishing and trade journals. You can do it yourself for free nowadays and you can market it more widely and better (using social media) than those you have paid to deliver and market your content today. Who buys content based on who published it rather than the value of the content itself or the writer’s reputation? Content still rules.

After heavily filtering my response, I reminded the editors they were still sitting on the interview they did with me and I declined their offer to ‘wrap up’ any of my free blog posts for them to profit from or re-publish.

If you blog, you don’t have to wait for anyone to publish. You can leave the greedy, the pathetically slow and the technically un-inclined to fail without your content and knowledge.

I am not bitter.  Just continue paying lots of money to get free content that was regurgitated into another form. It is your money.

Both readers and writers deserve better.

Is the journal dead? I have more nails and a shovel if someone needs them.

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Why should I pay for the DAM when the entire organization uses it?

Someone asked me about this question and remembered I wrote about this briefly in an earlier blog post, but wanted me to ellaborate. So here is blog post to explain it.

Let us say one group or department is the original requester of a DAM solution within an organization. Likely this same department becomes the business owner, stakeholder and/or sponsor of the DAM solution. This same department or group pays to administer and maintain the DAM. They might pay for any monthly/quarterly/annual licensing fees and/or service level agreements (SLA) for the DAM solution as well. Now let us say other departments see the value in using the DAM to keep the organization’s branding, graphics, photographs, publications, presentations, reports, video or other intellectual property (IP). The DAM gets more user adoption by more departments. Now who pays for the DAM within this organization?

Often, what occurs is the original requester, sponsor or stakeholder continues paying for the DAM solution. Because of this, they might say “Wait, I am paying out of my department’s budget for other departments to benefit from this solution as well? What’s in for me? Why should I pay for the DAM when the entire organization uses it?”

Consider this idea “Why am I the only one paying for it? If we share the DAM, share the cost.”

Enter the idea of chargeback or simply charging the department who requests to acquire/create/use something with the actual expense in resources used by refunding it. This idea is likely a change for many companies in how they deal with budgets and how departments are accountable for the resources they use. This also keeps a department which may overtax another department’s resources in check. So, with this idea every department or group has their own budget as usual, but since every DAM user should have a unique login (right?) and possible different collections of assets they can access or share, why not split the total cost of these expenses based on actual usage of the DAM solution per department? Charge each department based on usage of the DAM solution.

If one department uses the DAM more than another department by a measurable amount or percentage, should they pay a larger share of the cost each month/quarter/year? Should each department be able to share this cost evenly or should each department pay for what they use based on a percentage? Or have one department pay for it all?

How do you measure usage of the DAM? With usage reports from the DAM which could list:

  • Who are the DAM users (by individual login) accessed the DAM? (keeping individual user accountability)
  • Who has the most active DAM users within a given period of time?
  • Who wants/needs/asks for the most time in administration, maintenance, support and/or training?
  • When did they access the DAM? (keeping time accountability)
  • How often did those users or group of users access the DAM? (time based usage)
  • How long did they access the DAM over a period of time? (number of minutes or hours)
  • How much was downloaded/exported from the DAM? (by the number of assets and/or file size if bandwidth is measured)
  • How much was uploaded/imported to the DAM? (by the number of assets and/or if bandwidth is measured)

I would recommend looking what you are paying for internally and externally to gauge what are the costs of doing business.

Some DAM vendors charge for bandwidth (how many GB is uploaded/downloaded to/from DAM within a given period). Some don’t.

Server space costs money regardless of whether it under your own IT department’s domain, a vendor’s domain or in the cloud. Who is using the storage space?

Is the data deduplicated? Do you want to dedupe the DAM data to minimize duplicate assets?

Some DAM vendors charge per DAM login or per concurrent user. Some DAM systems limit how many users you can have or the total users at one time. Can your organization add/remove DAM users without the vendor’s help?

How much does it cost to administer, support, maintain a DAM and train the DAM users? How much does it cost in errors and problems when you don’t?

Why should I pay for the DAM when the entire organization uses it?

Are these costs of doing business worth sharing as you share business tools such as a DAM solution?