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Picturepark Launch #LearnDAM

by Ralph Windsor on January 22, 2014

One of our featured DAM vendors, Picturepark, have launched a DAM learning resources site and also a dedicated hashtag #LearnDAM.  The site is coordinated by 2013 DAMMY winner, David Diamond, who is also the author of DAM Survival Guide as well as being Marketing Director of Picturepark.  This is the press release quote from the man himself:

Google doesn’t always get it right when it comes to filtering out nonsense,” said Picturepark global marketing director, David Diamond, . “DAM vendors and others with established websites typically rank higher in search results, even when the content they offer isn’t the best. We’re hoping #LearnDAM helps level the playing field so those who want to find these materials can find them.”

More information is at

The range of resources includes:

  • DAM 101 (basic info about DAM)
  • Digital asset management software evaluations
  • Metadata, Taxonomy, Controlled Vocabularies
  • Digital asset management system management
  • Focused digital asset management study
  • Casual DAM reading, viewing and listening
  • Digital asset management information resources
  • Digital asset management courses and certificates
  • Professional assistance

As you would expect, there is some moderate bias towards David’s own resources (and by association Picturepark) but it’s kept fairly venture neutral.  There are a bunch of other links to materials provided by various DAM industry commentators and participants (including various DAM News web properties too).

I suspect the action with this is likely to be on the Twitter hashtag (possibly Tumblr too – if you are an active user of that platform).  There have been various attempts to decide on an alternative to #dam as many Twitter users apparently either have not grasped that there is usually an ‘n’ at the end of ‘damn’, or can’t be bothered to spell it correctly anyway.  #reDAM was proposed a while back, which resulted in various jokes from my co-contributor about Dutch cheese marketing campaigns or Maoist breakfast TV shows (the former being my personal favourite).  #LearnDAM is longer than #reDAM, but does have tighter criteria in terms of what is legitimate information as opposed to sales copy and none of us here at DAM News have worked out how to subvert the meaning of it yet.  So, we’ll all give #LearnDAM a try and see what happens over the next few months.

I can see why Picturepark aren’t falling over themselves to rush to do this right away at launch, but some additional info on the site from other vendors might be a good long-term plan to encourage wider adoption of the tag across the DAM sector.  Having spoken with David a few times, I don’t doubt he is already thinking about exactly that.

I know that Widen and ADAM have both made efforts in this regard.  There are some others ploughing a similar furrow, but a lot of vendor originated content (not just in DAM) still doesn’t seem to be able to fully break away from this ‘North Korean State Television’ style where it’s all about the vendor and how  wonderful they are rather than how to help their users solve DAM-related problems.  I must admit, I also find the whole idea of ‘content marketing’ to be a big distraction – along with even more dubious terms like ‘thought leadership’ etc.  This isn’t a new concept, it’s been known for centuries (probably longer) that people won’t buy into what they can’t understand and you shouldn’t need a digital marketing guru to tell you that.  We have explained before (on numerous occasions) why it’s a good idea to prepare learning resources for both prospective and existing users with complex topics like Digital Asset Management, especially.  Anyone who needs some help is advised to read G.David Dodd’s B2B marketing blog for some good ideas and a reality-check on why you need to tone down the promotion and dial up the educational aspects to gain the trust of potential clients and customers.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

David Diamond January 22, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Thank you for the coverage of this, Ralph. When we launched DAM Guru Program almost a year ago, we asked other DAM vendors to support it. I even had telephone conversations with a few of my counterparts at other organizations who agreed it was a needed resource and pledged support. Several of these organizations were mentioned (and linked to) from the DAM Guru Program website at launch.

Unfortunately, not a single other DAM vendor lifted even a “tweet” to help DAM Guru Program find help for DAM newbies, even when those newbies were their own customers, and even when Picturepark was willing to mention competing products in our own announcements just to try to find those needed Gurus.

Eventually, we stopped pretending that other DAM vendors were interested in making DAM Guru Program a success. So we continued to fund and support it on our own. Today it has hundreds of members from all over the world, many using DAM solutions other than Picturepark. In fact, we learned that we didn’t need the support of other vendors, even when it came to helping their customers learn more about DAM or even their own solutions.

So when it came to creating a “getting started with DAM” collection of materials for the #LearnDAM site, we decided to stick with sources we knew to fully support the notion of pure DAM education, and resources we considered to be sales-neutral in that they provide benefit no matter what DAM solution is in use or under consideration. It’s true that many of those resources are ones I authored myself. I hope this can change over time. (And I’ll leave it at that.)

To be honest, and as you mention above, I’m not sure I’ve seen another vendor even try to supply the industry with quality educational materials that were not sales focused. If one does (or has), and that vendor decides to support DAM Guru Program and #LearnDAM, that vendor will see these programs supporting and linking to those resources.

As mentioned in the press release, #LearnDAM is not owned by Picturepark. We sought no legal protection for the hashtag nor would we discourage its use for any legitimate purpose. In fact, we want this to become a social media standard that identifies worthwhile materials. There is too much sales-focused communication in the DAM industry and, worse, there is too much sales-focused communication that’s disguised as education.

If other DAM vendors are able to provide genuine digital asset management educational materials that we would be proud to promote to the community, we will do so. Likewise, we hope that other vendors–at the very least–will promote DAM Guru Program and #LearnDAM to the community in order to help educate and strengthen it. Even if they don’t, there are enough non-vendor professionals in the DAM industry to make these programs work. And the net result will be that people entering DAM for the first time will have an easier time finding quality DAM education materials (#LearnDAM) and the help they need (DAM Guru Program).

And that’s the goal.

David Diamond
Director of Global Marketing

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