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Blog about Digital Asset Management

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Why should I care about the DAM Community?

In the past few years, I have been asked a lot of questions by people…

  • Who are you doing this for?”
  • Who really reads this stuff?”
  • What is in it for you?”
  • Why do you do all this for free?”
  • Why do you care so much?”

I wanted to take the opportunity to explore these questions and explain…

A few years ago, when I started working with Digital Asset Management (DAM), there were a few conferences, a few books, an expensive journal and experts who knew what they were talking about. All those still exist, but now DAM is growing.

Who are you doing this for?

It all started when I was frustrated and had very few people to discuss DAM with (how many of you can relate to this?). I learned about DAM myself, I volunteered to work on DAM, but in the past, found it difficult to communicate with people who knew little or nothing about DAM. I learned how to explain why DAM is important. I also wondered why  I could not find much on the first-hand experience with DAM explained, specifically in the user and administrator perspective of Digital Asset Management. I knew I was not the only person with this question. So, out of frustration, I started blogging about DAM.

After my second blog post, I was contacted by people who could relate to what I wrote about and they love/hate my blog to this day. I was even offered to be paid to blog for them. The day I drafted my first blog post, I decided early on that my blog was for everyone to share openly and learn about DAM in the user and administrator perspective. I do not talk about using DAM product X or DAM vendor Y, but rather I stay vendor agnostic. In order to stay vendor agnostic, I would not take money from DAM vendors (and I still don’t). If you have read my blog posts before, you will note I hold very little back and I am very open about what I talk about.

Who really reads this stuff?

Literally, thousands of people all over the world read my blog posts every month. My blog is aggregated on other sites which also get a lot of traffic. Some of my posts are more popular than others. Content is king. I deliver a fair amount of content in many of my blog posts. There are other DAM bloggers as well. I happily list them on blog roll when I find out about them. Sharing the experience is good. DAM is all about sharing. I know most people read about DAM during weekdays (I don’t blame them), so that is when I normally schedule new posts to appear. DAM users, potential DAM users, DAM vendors and even DAM analysts tell me they read my blog regularly.

What is in it for you?

When I have the energy, time and a DAM related idea to write about, I blog about it. I do this on my spare time. Blogging is a hobby. DAM is my career. Due to the popularity of my blog posts, I am invited to speak and moderate at conferences around the United States. When I go to events, I get to meet like-minded people…eager to share experiences and best practices about DAM. If I have a DAM idea to blog about, but don’t have the time to blog about it, I make a quick audio recording with a speech-to-text app which sends me an email with what I said, so I can revisit it later when I do have the time.

Why do you do all this for free?

To this day, I am not paid to present at conferences nor to blog.  Yes, that is correct. I did not charge the people I mentored on a monthly basis either. I get motivated by helping others understand the subject. If someone really wanted me to consult for their organization, they could ask me directly. For the most part, I write in general terms about DAM. My generosity of information pays a multitude of dividends. People have told me and written that I happen to be one of the top bloggers in the field of Digital Asset Management. I do not believe this is by accident. How do you communicate you are experienced and knowledgeable about a subject such as DAM? hint: you genuinely share that knowledge by blogging about it. People read and hear about it. People recognize what you write makes sense. People learn and benefit from what is shared. And you repeat this often.)

My goal was write and share 52 blog posts per year. Done.

Why do you care so much?

Yes, someone actually asked me all these questions. I love this question so much, it inspired me to write this specific blog post. Why should I care so much? Why should anyone care about the DAM community? Not only will you learn first hand you are not alone in thinking about and using DAM, you will become part of a group of people who want to learn, get/give feedback and share experiences. It can be a career. It is for me and many others. You will soon find out I am not the only one. These days, it does not matter where you are geographically located because you can be a member of the DAM Community in person and/or online. What matters is whether you are willing to learn and share your interest in Digital Asset Management to not only survive, but thrive with DAM.

Let us know when you are ready for consulting on Digital Asset Management for your business.

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What is the difference between DAM mentoring and consulting?

me During late 2009, I started DAM mentoring program. I had a flurry of emails asking about it and joining the free program daily.

After having the first day of mentoring, I wanted to clarify what DAM mentoring is and what DAM mentoring is not.

DAM mentoring is not consulting. Mentoring is mostly on an individual basis. I am not going to mentor a whole organization.

The other difference is the frequency. DAM mentoring is done a couple times a month and an hour at a time (maximum two hours per month) . DAM consulting is available as often as you need their advice and as long as you pay the consultant(s).

If you happen to be a DAM mentee, but need more frequent advice, I would suggest looking for a consultant. If you already have a consultant and also want mentoring, you are more than welcome. Just note the limited availability of the mentor to mentees. Mentoring is not a replacement for consulting and consulting is not a replacement for mentoring. Mentoring is individualized assistance, guidance and suggestions. The only thing major thing that is similar to consulting and mentoring is the fact that it is still up to you to follow the advice given (or not).

For those that contacted me and joined me for the individual hourly mentoring sessions, everyone:

  • had different questions brought to the table
  • enjoyed the conversation
  • gained something from conversation

On a side note, I had some vendors contact me about the mentoring program. Some were interested in mentoring for me. Some were even interested in being mentored. After careful consideration, I had to turn them all down since I remain vendor agnostic and so does this mentoring program. I talk with many various DAM vendors regularly, but it is not realistic to subject mentees to guidance by any specific vendor. It would also not be fair to other DAM vendors either. As for those vendors wanting to be mentored, I suggest they first learning the ins and outs what their own solution does and then take a look at other DAM vendors for comparison.

So, mentoring is free and consulting is not. And in all fairness, it should stay that way. If you are interested being mentored, feel free to contact me and we can schedule something together. If you interested in a DAM consultant, be aware of whether they are partial to particular vendors, especially if you are being consulted in the vendor selection process.

Who do you turn to for DAM advice before, during and well after the DAM implementation?


Where can I find a DAM mentor?

During one of my presentations at a recent Digital Asset Management (DAM) conference, the audience made a request for a DAM mentorship program. A recent poll shows growing interest in such a program and some of you have already contacted me about this program. I welcome others to contact me about being mentored (being a mentee). If you have experience as a DAM professional (preferably at all levels of experience listed in my earlier blog post) and are also interested in being a mentor, let me know.

If you are awaiting the internship program, there are several major universities in the US who have contacted me since my post about career planning and mentioned they are already (or are about to start) offering DAM courses and interested in an internship program for their students. There is work being done toward spreading the word online as well as at several DAM conferences about these educational programs. Details coming soon.

There are not enough mentors today (in most fields for that matter), so I have made it one of my goals to start this DAM mentor program and remain vendor agnostic.

When will this start? Beginning in January 2010, I will begin offering a DAM mentoring program online on periodic basis (probably twice per month). There is no obligation to meet twice a month. You may choose to participate as often as the conversations are scheduled.

How and where will this mentor program start? Since geography and time zones are what really separates us today, this program will begin as a live voice conversation online (via VOIP) and any visuals can be shared (via screen sharing software). Mentoring can be done as a group or individually. In the future, we will explore in-person conversations, but those are likely to be even more limited in time and location.

What time and day would these online conversations happen? It all depends on your time zone and schedule. We are not bound by any geographic limitations nor travel necessary.

In what language? Individuals in the US and Europe have already contacted me about this and I welcome others globally as long as they speak fluent English.

Who can be a DAM mentee? Any individual working professionally toward the implementation of a DAM solution within an organization. This can also include individuals who already work with a DAM solution within an organization and who want to have a regular conversation about DAM. This is not about DAM for individual use, but about DAM for use within an organization (or even across an organization).

How much will this cost? Free. It will only cost you time for the conversation. I am donating my time and using free software (legally downloaded) to have these mentor/mentee conversations. Think of it as a DAM professional giving back to the DAM community to enrich the knowledge others. As long as the mentee is willing to learn and ask questions, I am willing to give guidance and/or suggestions. It is your responsibility what you do with the guidance or suggestions given. I assume not responsibility for (a) any hurt feelings (shoulder to cry on not included), (b) any action taken based on my guidance, (c) my suggestions and/or (d) any bruised egos. I will guide you as if I were in your shoes, based on the information you provide.

What about the mentee’s identity and affiliation to an organization? The mentee’s identity and affiliation is kept confidential unless they want to reveal it themselves. I will continue to blog about commonly encountered questions about DAM (which you can read about on this blog) in future posts without any organization(s) names nor the names of any individuals listed. Chances are you are not the first to ask those DAM questions.

Interested in being a DAM mentee?

  1. Contact me directly
  2. Tell me where in the world you are located (in order to find a suitable time within your schedule and my schedule).
  3. Note what topics you would like to discuss so I can possibly sync them with others wanting to discuss the same topic in a group discussion. If you need this to be an individual discussion, please specify.
  4. I will send you details on when we can have a live periodic conversation and some free software tools to do so.

Where can you find your DAM mentor?