David Fuda

David Fuda - Lord of the DAM

Enriched with a photography background, Fuda has taken insights learned and developed a DAM system that works across all spectrums of a global company.

What companies/organizations have you worked for as a DAM professional? What was your role at each?

Ethan Allen Global Inc.

How do you describe digital asset management to others?

When DAM’ing is done right. It is the ability to have corporately controlled assets, wither photographic, line art, audio, video, document, software…etc. Available, to DAM members with an easy search function. In a perfect DAM world, the correct format/rendition is offered to the user of the DAM, based upon the users needs.

Digital Asset Management is also the protection of Rights Controlled assets, such as stock art, or model/freelance photo’g images with a limited use or time. Avoiding embarrassing, legal action that seems to be a growing element of stock agencies income due to use of a rights limited images by layout artist, who don’t read the fine print because their busy making pretty pictures.

Digital workflow should now also be an element of the DAM or at less it is, with proper DAM software.  In my view, having the digital workflow native to the DAM, eliminates the need for the purchase of separate workflow software that would need to be learned by parties that are already members of the DAM and will be familiar with its interface.

How did you learn DAM? Any recommended sources?

Cyberspace is wonderful place to learn all things.  There are DAM blogs, boards, communities and videos to be found with a few keystrokes. The professional DAM community online is fantastic, lots of friendly people willing to offer opinion and advice 99.95% attitude free!

What’s the most important thing for someone new to DAM to understand about DAM?

From an admin side; When speaking to your users, remember they are “users” not “digital interactive media programmers to the 5th level” Make your DAM as welcoming, simple and user friendly as possible.

For new users/members of my DAM; Relax, you can’t break it or delete any assets and on top of that. Within, you will find the elements you need to complete your project so far ahead of deadline. There will be tons of time to surf for funny kitten pic’s online.

If you weren’t doing DAM as a career, what would you be doing?

Groping people as a TSA agent and/or playing poker professionally on a full time basics.

What is your ongoing greatest challenge with DAM?

There are two great challenges that seem to be never ending.

A. Making those that control the checkbook, understand the value of updating 7-year-old DAM software.

B. Making certain senior co-workers, and “senior” in this case is used for some in regards to age and others in regard to position. Understand that the DAM is a user-based system. It is the task of the DAM staff to help you understand how to use the DAM, not too shag images for you.

What is your vision for DAM? What will it look like in 5 years?

It will probably look like an Adobe product. It will be able to provide BIG sharp preview images, with lots of drag and drop interaction with other software or for downloading to a users machine, both PC/MAC.

What was your biggest mistake with regard to DAM?

A rough roll out, not as bad as ObamaCare, but lots of newbie mistakes, we though would be avoided be having a 3rd party implementer head up the initial install.

A couple examples:

Internal IT was not involved till the late stages of install, and therefore felt slighted and acted accordingly when called upon for help.

Metadata fields designed by committee, resulting in development time being burned to make way too many fields that provided repeating data or data of no true value.

What was your biggest success with regard to DAM?

Making resources available to whole depts. with a quick visit to the DAM. Pre-DAM, to obtain even a single image file a work order  had to launch with the Production Dept for a request to obtain copies of a project or images, that sent a production manager on a three-day quest through scatter servers folders or artist hard drives with no promise of finding the requested assets.

What more would you like to learn about DAM?

User interaction, many DAM folks love to tinker under the hood of their DAM and there is a need to understand the tech aspect of DAM software. But the purpose of a DAM is to make assets quickly and easily available to its users. The more we know about what and how users are doing in the DAM systems, the more effect the user interface can be designed, thus the more effect DAMs will be.

This interview originally appeared on DAM Guru on Mon, 02 Dec 2013. For more DAM News interviews, see the interviews index page.

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