If you want to make Edward Smith's day, ask him about digital asset management. No, really. He takes great pleasure in educating the unknowing masses on the hows, whats and whys of DAM when he's not busy writing poetic tributes. Find out what else Ed has to say about his field. 

An Interview with Edward Smith 

CMSWire: What first brought you to digital asset management?

Edward Smith: I've always been passionate about technology, creativity and business and DAM is a very powerful combination of those three obsessions. I started my career as a tech support representative helping Dell and Gateway desktop users and eventually landed a job providing second-level support to Adobe Creative Suite users.

Armed with knowledge of creative workflows, I discovered the perfect opportunity at Extensis where I could leverage my experience and work closely with creative professionals -- first remotely and then as an onsite consultant -- where I witnessed firsthand how technology can solve workflow problems to improve the bottom line. While I've become both a DAM and font management expert at Extensis, DAM is my true love.

CMSWire: What project are you working on now that you'd like the readers to know about?

Edward: Recently, I've been working on a project to help both new and experienced DAM users called the Rich Media Hoarders Seminar. The idea is to get a bunch of creative and IT pros in a room for a few hours, talk about the problems that come along with managing a large “hoard” of digital assets and encourage people to share what they've learned in terms of what’s worked and what doesn't.

Our last session was in New York City with Comedy Central and next up is SXSW in Austin this spring. I think the hoarders theme speaks to people because they feel a sense of responsibility and ownership of their files, they’re protective of their hoard, and aren't always willing to just “let things go” out the door or in the trash.

CMSWire: What excites you most about your field today?

Edward: Other than the fact that technology is always evolving, I get excited when I think about how most people don’t even know what DAM is!

Most of the people I meet outside of the DAM space have no idea what I do. The really exciting part is that it’s my job to tell them about how cool DAM is and help get them started.

CMSWire: Was there ever an "aha" moment in your career and if so, what was it?

Edward: When I discovered that while ROI and a solid business case are important, people really want and need DAM because it makes their job easier. DAM decreasing costs, increasing revenue and providing a competitive advantage are great benefits but so is improved morale!

CMSWire: What would your one or two biggest wishes for the industry be for 2013?

Edward: I see 2013 as the year of adaptability for DAM, and by that I mean systems that easily adapt to IT environments as well as user needs. DAM needs to seamlessly share information with other business systems and provide users the files and information they need as soon as they need it -- even if they’re working in an application separate from the actual DAM system. DAM should adapt on the fly to meet user and business needs, not the other way around.

CMSWire: Is there anything else our readers should know about you?

Edward: In addition to contributing to CMSWire I also run a blog called DAM Learning Center where I provide tips, tricks and thoughts about the DAM world.

Speed round: 6 Things you should know about Ed

1. Right now I am reading

Seth Godin's, "All Marketers Are Liars"

2. Quote to live by

"Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right." -- Henry Ford

3. The best word ever said

We have an inside joke around the office about marketing buzzwords, and for some reason “velocity” is the go to word when joking about product names and marketing terms. Unfortunately, the term has yet to make it into a product but I'm not holding my breath.

4. When not working

I am spending time with my family, snowboarding in the winter and camping in the summer.

5. Word that should be struck from the dictionary

“Monetize,” I admit I’m guilty of using it, but “make more money” is much clearer although uses more syllables.

6. Best Song ever sung

I’m not sure what the best song ever sung is like, but I know the second best is "Tribute" by Tenacious D.