Don’t Rethink, Redesign Your Website Without Acquia DAM

‘It’s Just a Site Update’: DAM If It Isn’t

We were on the verge of announcing two new leaders at the top of the organization, and my job was to make sure the Acquia website reflected the news. I had four pages that needed to be updated: two bio pages, the PR page and the leadership page — easy enough, right? It should have been.

Here’s an overview of how the site update process surrounding the new leadership announcement went:

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  • The internal PR team Slacked me a link to the approved press release and bios hosted on Google Drive.
  • I needed several images of the two leaders for different purposes, which led me in many different directions.
     
    • I requested individual headshots of each in front of a standard background to match our leadership web page style, and our creative director emailed me a link to them in his Dropbox folder.
    • I needed photos of them together for our press release, so I connected with our director of corporate communications, who Slacked me a sharable link to the photos on his Google Drive.
    • Needing smaller photos cropped at uniform dimensions for the web, I opened up my photo editing software, edited the photos and re-saved them to my desktop before uploading them to our Drupal 8 site.

Of course, I was able to complete the site update. But it took no less than half a dozen different systems and interaction with a handful of people to make it happen. And this was just for a press release — you can imagine how things might get even more complicated if I was asked to update an entire service area or remove every mention of a particular partner from across our site.

If Content is King, Why Does it Live Like a Vagrant?

If Content is King, Why Does it Live Like a Vagrant?

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Does any of this sound familiar? Do you find your organization using a combination of Slack, email, Google Drive, Dropbox, external drives, duct tape, institutional memory, and sheer luck to get your content from point A to point B on a daily basis? If this describes you, there are two things you need to know:

  1. You are not alone: The example I gave you is not some far-fetched fantasy story that I dreamed up. It’s a pain that I’ve felt firsthand, and that honestly we’ve been living through at Acquia for many years. For us, it’s what happened as a result of our company getting really successful really quickly — and just because it’s one of those “good problems” doesn’t mean it’s not a problem.

    However, it’s also a problem that our company is committed to solving. Our account managers and sales team have seen just how many companies out there in the real world are having trouble wrangling the content they spend so much time and money to create into a system that optimizes and maximizes its value.
  2. There’s a better way: And for our organization and perhaps yours, that better way is a digital asset manager; specifically, Acquia DAM. Deciding that it made good business sense for us to use all of our own products (!), we’re currently in the process of implementing Acquia DAM on our own site.

    I realize I may be biased, but I think it’s going to be fantastic, eliminating a lot of the back and forth that currently happens when I’m looking for content and assets — not to mention cutting down the amount of times that someone needs to upload another photo of Dries to the website because they can’t find the one they really want to use.

And that’s what I envision this blog series being about; the journey we here at Acquia are taking to implement Acquia DAM for ourselves — right as we’re in the process of a major redesign, I might add. (My first piece of advice: Always implement your DAM well before taking on a major redesign. More on this later.) I’ll share what’s working well for us and what isn’t, and will provide the kind of advice that can only be gained from hindsight. I’ll talk to you, in detail, about what we’re doing and how we’re doing it and if you leave comments with questions or insights, I’ll attempt to address those here too. I also promise plenty of DAM puns, which should be reason enough to stay tuned.

Next up: I’ll go into more detail about our specific setup, and will tell you how far we’ve gotten with our DAM setup and why we’ve prioritized those specific activities. Until then my content brothers and sisters, keep the DAM faith.

David Pierce

Digital Content ManagerAcquia

David Pierce is a digital content manager at Acquia, where he coordinates content production and manages site updates, messaging and the promotion of marketing materials. David has 25 years of award-winning experience in journalism, including roles as a digital managing editor for Hearst Television, content producer for BostonGlobe.com and Boston.com, and several editorial leadership positions for New England newspapers.