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):
- Magan Arthur answers “…Just what is a DAM?“
- Teri Ross answers this as part of “…The Art of Archiving“
- David Austerberry has his answers to the wide field of Digital Asset Management
- Theresa Regli brings some clarity as to what DAM is and what it is not
- Peter Krogh has an answer for individual photographers to this question in The DAM Book
- If you search Wikipedia, you get a mashup of several ideas (the source of all knowledge…an inside joke from the DAMMY Awards)
- And I won’t go into the 150+ different DAM vendor’s answer to what their solutions could do for an individual or an organization
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?
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?