Gregory Johnson

Gregory Johnson - DAM GuruGregory has extensive experience with multiple digital asset management systems. He has built them from scratch and also managed existing systems. Through these experiences he has learned to change his metadata mindset, to ensure all users of the DAM have success.

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

At Governors State University I managed two content repositories, building one from scratch (a nightmare). At Morgan Street Document Systems I worked as a Project Manager/Archivist and helped build “vaults” for our clients documents. At Masco Cabinetry I built the DAM program, collecting and culling more than 6tb of digital assets from multiple vendors in multiple states, local computers, and local servers.

How do you describe digital asset management to others?

I first compare the assets in the DAM to the physical assets around the building in terms of cost to show the need for DAM. I then explain the need for metadata in terms of searching and finding assets as well as the need for a strong DAM management program to keep the DAM running smoothly.

How did you learn DAM? Any recommended sources?

In graduate school I studies academic archival systems, so the transition to DAM wasn’t too difficult. I just needed to recognize that the assets in the DAM would be used by a far different type of end user, so I needed to change my metadata mindset.

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

Without proper metadata even the most expensive, well-built, shiny new DAM is useless.

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

I come from a library IT background, so I would probably be managing a library IT dept. that would have multiple content repositories, library systems, database and journal suites, and the hardware needed to run them.

What is your ongoing greatest challenge with DAM?

Right now, finding employment managing a DAM system. I was “re-organized” from my last position in another of the many changes of direction the company put into place.

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

Mobile use will finally be figured out. More seamless transition from content creators to the DAM will be realized. Prices will come down. And hopefully the importance of the position of DAM Manager will finally be realized.

What was your biggest mistake with regard to DAM?

Coupled with the answer for 9., being unable to convince that company about the need for a DAM management program. After I built our DAM the program was then crowd managed, which lead to the return of lost and un-findable assets due to the failure of the content creators/uploaders following the metadata schema. I was able to sell the need for the program, but in the end the desire to cut costs neutered the usefulness of the DAM.

What was your biggest success with regard to DAM?

Convincing a company that was very stuck in old school asset management to move their assets from various machines and servers into a DAM.

What more would you like to learn about DAM?

How to better use DAM at content creation that is done off site, i.e. photography, video, audio, etc.

This interview originally appeared on DAM Guru on Mon, 29 Aug 2016. For more DAM News interviews, see the interviews index page.

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