The Secret Diary of Sarah Carney – Age 38 3/4 – the cost of not giving a DAM


Jan 20. Dear Diary: Our CMO decided that the case study we did on Acme Corp. should finally go live tomorrow, with a special landing page and lots of photos. Sarah ran the photo shoot, but she is not at her desk?

Panic! I just realized she is on vacation this week.

Had unpleasant meeting with CMO and we will postpone the launch for a week. Lost points. If only we had a centralized system for marketing content with everything in one place….

Feb 14. Dear Diary: Today set a new record, I had 14 requests for images or videos from 11 different people. I am the one person bottleneck for this entire company when it comes to fulfilling requests for digital assets. No one else knows which hard drive stuff lives on, and there are some things we cannot show to some people, so they cannot find things themselves.

It would sure help if we could democratize searching for and downloading digital assets. For that matter, any kind of search function, outside of folders with dates on them, would be an improvement…..

Digital Asset Management Stress Level

Valentine’s Day And I’m NOT Feeling Fine!

March 7. Dear Diary: time to go live with the new CEO portrait, and guess what: plugged in the hard drive the photo shoot was on, and we cannot read it on ANY computer. My heart sank. Now I have to spend today coordinating another photo shoot between the CEO’s schedule and the photographer’s. And she really liked the photo from the shoot we lost. Not to mention where do I find the money to pay for re-shooting? How can we set up something that is fault tolerant, so a single hard drive failure does not kill a project?

April 1. Dear Diary: It is April Fool’s day all right. A double screw-up. First, just learned we put some video on the web site without having the rights to do so, and the videographer is threatening to sue. Then we delivered a folder of product pictures to Sales, and it contained some prototypes we won’t have ready for months, and they are out there showing them to customers!

How do I do damage control for that: people cannot “un-see” a picture, and our customers say they are going to hold off orders until the new thing is available.

EVERYONE is mad at me. If only we had a way to segregate what people see by their group, and if only we had explicit rights management information so we would know when we need to get the rights for a new use.

Digital Asset Management Stress Level

Fool Me One, Shame On You!

May 22. Dear Diary: They went and redesigned our logo for the sportswear line. We have 211 worldwide offices. I have to figure out how to inform them all of the change (effective immediately) and how can I make sure they delete every copy of the old logo so it does not get used by mistake going forward? If only we had a system where the ONLY logo they can access is the most current one…

June 11. Dear Diary: New boss arrived. He asked for our top 10 photos: which ones get people to stop and spend the most time on our website. How would I know? We all took guesses based on gut feel, but we have no metrics. New boss not impressed, since his picks don’t line up with ours…. How can we figure out adding metrics to all these files which are all over the place?

Digital Asset Management Stress Level

Blood Pressure Rising Faster Than The Outside Temperature

July 30. Dear Diary: Our Paris office sent in some photos and they came from some kind of new camera. Only one of us has a version of software that will open the files and let us look at them, and that is because she bought the same camera for personal use. Now she has to go thru 723 images and manually convert them to a format the department can use. Some reward for having the solution! Why do we have to worry all the time that some new file format will come out and throw us a curve ball?

August 23. Dear Diary: It is my birthday, but can I take the day off? Guess again. I have to be in the office because 4 groups in our marketing department have separate projects due next week, and I have to sort thousands of potentially useful images and videos and PDF’s into 4 separate DropBox folders for them. If only we had some way for each group to locate objects of interest and organize them into projects or folders everyone could see and work on, even if they are remote. And it would be awesome if the objects were instantly accessible instead of waiting for DropBox to upload them one at a time, and then I have to send out sharing notifications for each of the four folders….

Digital Asset Management Stress Level

Where Did My Fingernails Go!

September 12. Dear Diary: Remember those 4 marketing projects we set up last month? Well now each group has made selections, but they need them approved by legal, by the district managers, and by the CMO. So they want an approval workflow, with ways for each to sign off whenever they can make time to look at them. I have no idea how to set that up, outside of emails from the approvers to all the members of each of the 4 groups. So I guess I need to make a spreadsheet to keep track of the approvals for each object, for each group. And watch email diligently so I don’t miss comments about why someone cannot approve one of them. This will take me a solid week, at best…..

Digital Asset Management Stress Level

Can’t See Straight, Fight-or-Flight

October 26. Dear Diary: We have people working on our CMS posting content, and in Adobe Creative Suite creating content, and for each group it takes like 10 steps to get request an image from me, get it, change the file format, rename it, put it in the right folder, and then open it up in the CMS or Adobe application. They are yelling at me about how much time they are wasting all day, every day, and they do not understand why they cannot stay in their CMS or Adobe application and just reach out and pluck the object they need from my system. They have no idea how impossible that is. “Workflow Automation” hah! I am the automation, how sad is that. If only…..

November 29. Dear Diary: We opened up a medical product line. Apparently in that world they have laws like HIPAA and HITECH (all those forms they make me sign at doctor’s visits these days). They want us to open a new collection of images and videos for this new line, and the lawyers say everything has to be encrypted all the time, and there have to be physical safeguards and technical safeguards, and all sorts of other requirements, with huge fines possible if we mess up. The job security I was giving thanks for last week over the turkey has just gone out the window. What does it take to be a “HIPAA Compliant DAM”????

December 24. Dear Diary: I just gave myself a huge present—I quit!! I need to work someplace that has a system that does all this stuff I have spent the year losing sleep over.

dam helps teams

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