For Keeps?A Digital Asset Management To-do List
The Quark file is missing, your advertiser's asking which format to send, and your publisher just informed you that the anniversary issue is due tomorrow. Do you search haphazardly through old file cabinets looking for reusable scans? Or do you subscribe to a better form of asset management before the proverbial waste hits the cooling device?
Like Dickens' ghosts, experts recently delivered testament about DAM's past, present and future. During a Women in Production luncheon, several speakers explained the do's and don'ts of DAM. The following is a checklist of some unofficial rules for the digital road:
Think Long term. Determine your needs, study a variety of DAM solutions and then choose one. Kathy Sandler, manager, training and information services, Hearst Magazines, warns that converting to digital will initially cost money, but eventually, publishers will not only save cost, but make money.
At Condé Nast, for instance, the magazine publisher found ways of generating new revenue from some old assets.
Owen Weekley, production manager, Condé Nast, says collectors spend a lot of money on vintage covers of The New Yorker. Hollywood studios also have a vested interest in seeing what the good old days really looked like from antique photography. When you go digital, be creative, Weekley suggests. Creative potential exists for publications with a famous arsenal of assets, as well as publications simply sharing content across issues, editions and divisions.
For catalogers, DAM can mean creating a database wherein one office can trade content with another, without having to practice hand-holding (editors can browse and choose content independent of the corporate office), there is also no risk losing files via traditional shipping methods.
No matter how you decide to organize your assets, agree Weekley and Sandler, there's still debate about who decides which solution to integrate and who should run the show.