MAD Perspectives Blog

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 The Social DAM

Peggy Dau - Tuesday, July 06, 2010

In this world of all things social, there is a lot of focus on making existing platforms social.  As an example, there have been many discussions about social CRM.  While salesforce.com is considered to be social, traditional systems (i.e., Oracle) are not.  A simple definition of social CRM is “having a discussion when, where and how the customer wants it.”  Coming from a world of digital media, should we be talking about Social Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems? Should users be able to access or provide digital assets when, where and how they want?   Is this an oxymoron or redundant?  Let’s review what functions a DAM system performs.

DAM systems evolved to address the challenges facing organizations who manage a variety of digital assets.  In an enterprise business, these assets would traditionally be managed by the marketing department.  They would include corporate logos & images.  If anyone outside of the marketing department needed these images, for any reason, they needed to go through the marketing department to gain access to these assets.  This could be a slow process with many bottlenecks.

Digital Asset Management systems evolved to provide a central repository for digital assets.  As these assets have evolved beyond static images into rich media assets incorporating audio and video, DAM systems became more elegant in how they addressed issues of tagging, metadata, taxonomy, ontology and overall semantics.  DAM systems, by necessity, must be easily integrated with other systems such as editing, transcoding, storage, digital rights and distribution.

Today, DAM systems are accessible by users across the enterprise, whenever they want.  Marketing may own the responsibility for establishing a corporate wide policy for tagging, metadata, etc., but groups such as sales, engineering, product management have access to the company’s digital media assets.  There is still separation between producers and consumers.  Does providing access make the system social?  Or does it become social when those same groups can become producers and contribute their own content and assets? 

Perhaps a DAM system with the ability to annotate, rank and comment on these assets makes it social within the enterprise.  Or, perhaps it’s the option for online, interactive communication that facilitates effective collaboration.  System features now enable users to rank assets or for managers to understand how many times an asset is viewed partly or in full. DAM systems providethe intelligence and elements of social platforms.  DAM systems continue to evolve and incorporate features that feel social.  Perhaps they are already social as these capabilities are core components of many social sites and platforms.

The ability for a DAM system to accept and manage user generated content (UGC) is increasingly important.  If companies recognize the social web as a relevant content distribution outlet, they may also need to consider it as a source of content input.  The DAM system can become more social by enabling content upload and the assignment of relevant tags, metadata by establishing and automating a standard taxonomy and ontology.  Thus the DAM enables users to access all digital media assets for the company, when, where and how they like.

Are you accessing your companies DAM system?  Does it feel social to you?  If so, why?  If not, what would make it more social?

What's your perspective?