Industry News

New DAM White Papers Website

While too many other companies and organizations in the digital asset management industry continue to feed us DAM ROI infographics and other such nonsense, the DAM News team has once again built a resource that’s intended to actually help people. This time, it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet of DAM-related white papers, all available from a single (free) login.

Some white papers on the site are not free, but my guess is that most that are uploaded to the site in the future will be available at no charge. That said, the for-fee papers up there now were written by DAM News team members, so at least you know they’re coming from a source of integrity. (It’s no secret that I think the world of this team because of their knowledge and willingness to always call B.S. when it’s warranted.)

My hope is that after all the me-too DAM vendors start stinking up the place with their 200-word “educational” white papers, the DAM News team will start reviewing them all. Given the team’s sharp skills and even sharper tongues, I think we’re in for an even better (and much more entertaining) resource in the future.

Kudos to DAM News for yet another wonderful resource! 

For the record, DAM News builds these sites from scratch. There is significant development effort (and expense) that has gone into this site, the DAM Vendors Directory, the DAM Glossary and DAM Projects. These are much more than just domain registrations.


DAMMY of the Year!

2013 DAMMY of the Year

I won the DAMMY, Bitches!

Imagine my confused delight while in Aarau, Switzerland, in the middle of the night, jet-lagged beyond my wildest imagination, I get word that I had won the 2013 DAMMY of the Year Award from Createasphere.

It all started a few weeks before that. My colleague, Ben Smidt, whom some of you will recognize as the manager of DAM Guru Program, asked me if Picturepark should enter anything into the DAMMY award competition. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the categories, but they’re pretty specific. And being one to take things at face value, I didn’t want to pretend we had something that fit when I knew we didn’t—that’s not the Picturepark way of doing things, and it’s not my way either. I told Ben that I didn’t think we had anything that was a good fit and we left it at that.

Fast-forward a few days and I get an email from Ben with a subject line that reads, “I hope you don’t think I’m sucking up.” Attached was the DAMMY nomination. I just sat there for a few minutes and stared at it. I couldn’t believe someone had done this for me. Further, I couldn’t believe the nice things Ben had written. I thanked him for the effort, but told him not to get his hopes up. (Then I think I thanked him a few more times.)

Createasphere told me that the judges picked me because of the contributions I’ve made to the DAM community, including DAM Survival Guide and DAM Guru Program. (Yes, DAM Guru Program was my idea, but Ben is the one who keeps it humming along so nicely, and Picturepark is the one who pays for it all to happen.) Anyway, these are exactly the sort of reasons I would want to win such a thing. Much better than being chosen because I was the most adorable person in DAM (duh) or that I’m getting to that age where I deserve a lifetime lack-of-achievement award (also duh).

A giant heartfelt thanks to Createasphere and the DAMMY judges. Between this and my time with Picturepark, it’s difficult for me to believe now that I wrote DAM Survival Guide with the intent of leaving the DAM industry after Canto fired me for being “too difficult to work with.” I would have missed out on DAM Guru Program, our killer DAM webinar series, being able to write for that wonderful Picturepark website, meeting my Swiss coworkers, homemade Swiss fondue, getting with deal with Hector again and, of course, working with Ben.

Thank you, Ben. Thank you, Picturepark. I might be too difficult to work with, but you are not.

DAM Guru Program Members Amaze Me

Digital Asset Management Help - DAM Guru Program

DAM Guru Program connects DAM professionals with others who need their help.

Throughout this month (October, 2013), DAM Guru Program is hosting a job fair to connect Digital Asset Management professionals (and those who would like to become DAM professionals) with employers.

That’s great, and if someone can get connected with a job before the holidays, it’s even better. But really surprises me about this is the caliper of individuals seeking new positions. Seriously, there is some amazing talent in there. People with 10 or more years’s experience, people who have worked with three or more DAM systems, people with library science backgrounds, DAM/IT experience and more. Lots of people with Xinet, MediaBeacon and Cumulus experience looking for new positions.

I’m really impressed by the varied backgrounds of DAM Guru Program’s members. It’s no secret that Picturepark sponsors DAM Guru Program or that I work for Picturepark. But I don’t manage the program, so I don’t see its daily operations.

New job profiles are being added almost daily, as more people hear about it. If you’re looking for a DAM job, employee or intern, check it out. It’s totally free for everyone on both sides of the employment contract. If you’re not in the market for a new employer of employee, please at least share this link with others in your social networks. It isn’t often we see a truly free and no-strings-attached resource for targeted job hunts.

See all the DAM professional job profiles:

Meet the Mother of DAM

Meet the Mother of Digital Asset Management in her first-ever live webcast.

You can’t see me right now, but I’m jumping up and down. Why? Because I get to interview the woman who virtually invented the Digital Asset Management industry! Jennifer Neuman founded Canto in 1990 and built the company into the biggest name in DAM at that time. Among her most significant contributions to the DAM industry were not the first-ever Web interface to a DAM or the first cross-platform DAM system, or even her foresight to see that digital cameras were the next big thing, or that DAM’s needed to offer real, tangible solutions and not just be “a platform with hundreds of pages of documentation and our best wishes for success,” as she once described Cumulus.

Nope, Jennifer’s most important contribution to the DAM industry was…wait for it…me! 🙂 Just kidding…sort of. (Do you see how giddy I am?) It was Jennifer who pulled me into this industry. She hired me to re-write the Cumulus 4 user guide, and she finally convinced me to take a full-time job with Canto. And the rest is history.

Speaking of history, join us on November 5, 2013 to find out all about the early days of DAM, what went wrong for her at Canto, what the DAM industry should be doing today to become stronger, and where DAM, SharePoint and related technologies are headed. If you knew Jennifer’s track record with regard to accuracy of prediction, you’d know that this is one live webcast that will be well worth your time.

Free registration:

Everyone is welcome to attend! I would especially encourage all those Canto employees who haven’t been around Canto (or DAM) for very long. It would do you good to hear a side of your company’s history that I’ll bet isn’t discussed much.

Kudos and thanks to Picturepark for seeing the value in hosting this.

The Copyright Killings

The Copyright Killings webinar

International courts are making decisions with regard to copyright. We could be doing more to avoid this.

The United Kingdom recently passed legislation that makes it permissible to use for commercial purposes works whose owners cannot be found. These so-called “orphan works” include photographs taken decades ago, the owners of which could be long dead; but they also include more recent works for which ownership can simply not be discovered by the intended user. 

The UK law makes provisions for setting aside funds in case the owner is determined at a later point in time, but who’s to say how much that owner would have wanted for her family photo to become the centerpiece of an international ad campaign? (Let alone, whether she would have permitted it at all.)

The justification for “orphan works” legislation is that museums and other historical cultural institutions avoid showcasing wonderful works simple because they cannot get approvals, and they want to avoid the risk of later being sued, which makes sense. The net result is that these works remain unpublished, offering no benefit to anyone. 

Feeding into this concern is that most social media sites strip embedded metadata from uploaded images. This means that even when someone does take the time to properly identify themselves in an uploaded work, that same work could be downloaded (without that metadata), uploaded by another user and, before you know it, become “orphaned.”

But don’t take my word for it. 😉 Instead, set aside an hour to listen to “The Copyright Killings,” which is a webinar I hosted that included three guests who are experts on this topic:

  • Michael Steidl, Managing Director of the IPTC
  • Jeff Sedlik, President and CEO of PLUS Coalition
  • David Riecks, metadata advocate and owner of and

The issue of copyright is huge, and I’m not suggesting any solution here. The rights of people who make livings from their creative works must be protected. But the value of those creative works is nullified if they cannot be enjoyed within parameters determined by their owners. This topic has exploded since the passage of this UK legislation, and similar legislation has been and will be considered elsewhere in the future. 

As with many situations, the Courts have come in to settle an issue the citizens could not settle for themselves. And, as is often the case, the Court might not have come up with the ideal solution. I encourage further discussion and debate on this topic because I think it’s up to us, the Creative and Business communities, to really figure this out. I don’t believe our world does enough to encourage creativity as a profession, and the last thing I want to see happen is commercial exploits that further discourage kids from thinking they can ever make decent livings as artists. 

On a side note, I want to send thanks to Picturepark for sponsoring this webinar. Though this topic has nothing to do with selling digital asset management software, the company agreed the topic was important. A lot of money and time was put into creating and advertising this webinar, and I know this is something that not a lot of other companies (particularly other DAM vendors) would have done. If you want to let Picturepark know what you think, please email

Top DAM Influencers of 2013

Top DAM Influencers of 2013

To Taxonomy and Beyond!

ConceptShare has just published its list of the Top DAM Influencers of 2013. While reading through it and seeing so many names of people I know, respect and call friends, I found my own name!

Thank you, ConceptShare. I really appreciate the recognition, particularly among a list of such wonderful people.

I’m totally going to ask for a raise now.

See the list.

(Special shout-out to Andrew, John, David, Naresh, Mary and my super-secret and always-sassy Twitter gal-pal. (You know who you are.)