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Blog about Digital Asset Management

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How do I enforce a file naming convention?

In order to enforce a file naming convention in any organization, just follow these simple steps…

  1. Establish and define a clear file naming convention which can scale up in the long term for many years. (Not just until next week)
  2. Document the file naming convention in writing with guidelines and samples. Make the documentation available to everyone and distribute it to everyone. Have one version of the guidelines available for everyone to follow, even if it is updated for any reason. Share a link to it.
  3. Train people on how to use the file naming convention properly.
  4. Assess the people who were trained (give them a written test) by having them demonstrate they understand and can follow the file naming convention guidelines.
  5. Follow the file naming convention after the training and assessments.
  6. Enforce it. Keep everyone equally accountable.
      • When someone has violated the file naming convention, let them and their supervisor know by email. Every time. You can only violate the rules so many times. Three strikes and you are out.
      • The first time the file naming convention is not followed, email the person those guidelines again and have them correct the file name(s) themselves within the same business day. Have them communicate once the file name(s) has been corrected.
      • The second time the file naming convention is not followed, give them remedial training and the assessment again. Then, have them correct the file name(s) themselves within the same business day. Have them communicate once the file name(s) has been corrected.
      • The third time the file naming convention is not followed, visit them with the file naming convention bat.

    Thank you for using the established file naming convention. Have a nice day.

The file naming convention bat is now available in black and blue, with accents of red. For those who prefer Cricket, we have one of those models available as well. Later, we will be reviewing how to enforce completed metadata fields in a DAM.

Let us know when you are ready for some vendor neutral consulting on Digital Asset Management.

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What is Digital Asset Management (DAM)?

Depending who you ask, you will get a different answer to the question, “What is Digital Asset Management (DAM)?”

There are plenty of unrelated answers found, about water reservoirs and feats of aquatic engineering. There is even an entry for “dam (dekameter)”. Umm, not really what we are talking about here, but thank you Wolfram|Alpha

In all seriousness, here is a list of answers to the question in their own words (click on each link):

So how do we get consensus on one definition? Can’t we just all get one definition for DAM? Does DAM vary that much? Do we need a broad enough definition that covers what DAM was before, what it is today and what it is becoming? Should there be a simple broad definition to understand the concepts and then more complex definitions to understand the various parts of the solution?

This discussion starts with unity among the DAM professional community. In September 2010, there were two DAM conferences back to back in different cities. Most of the top active minds in the ‘DAM-osphere’ were present. The issue is you could ask every DAM professional the same question and you would likely get a different definition from each person. Or they would ask you to reference xyz.


So how do we fix this? One solution is to set standards going forward. Someone told me ‘the interesting thing about standards is everyone has their own.’ Where is the standards body which creates these standards and hashes out what it really is? Sure, there are well accepted standards bodies. Just to list a few, there are:

The issue is these standards bodies move slowly when establishing standards. It can take 5 to 15 years to set a standard. Does anything change within that period of time?

There is one group which DAM professionals may have heard of already.

Enter the DAM Foundation. Yes, that’s right. There is one. And their major purpose for existence?

DAM Foundation. Creating the standards in Digital Asset Management

It has hundreds of members from DAM professional community already. You will hear more about it in the coming months. I have spoken to plenty of DAM professionals who would love to hash this out together… not individually. A standard accepted by the whole can trump the standard mentioned from one.

Meanwhile, we can continue the discussion…

What is your definition of Digital Asset Management?

Input interpretation:

dam (dekameter)