The Widen digital asset manager series: Being a Widen DAMster – with Grant Wheeler of the African Wildlife Foundation

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Our next interview is with Grant Wheeler. He’s been a graphic designer/digital asset manager at the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) for the past seven years. The AWF is the leading international conservation organization focused solely on protecting Africa’s wildlife and wild landscapes. As their leading designer, Grant is responsible for making sure the organization’s key people around the globe get all the images they need when they need them.
Though Grant works for a global organization, he’s able to work from home thanks to use of Widen’s cloud-based digital asset management system. Here’s a glimpse into Grant’s daily work world...
1. How long have you been a Widen user?
About 3 years.
2. How often do you use the Media Collective?
I must be accessing Widen’s Media Collective at least 20 or 30 times a day.
3. In what area(s) of your organization is Widen’s DAM system being used?
Mostly our marketing and communications department, as a digital library/archive tool. We have field staff all over Africa – these folks are needing to upload and share digital assets from our various projects as often as they can, collaborating with other NGO’s vendors and corporate partners, etc.
Grant Wheeler Workplace
4. For what kinds of activities are you using it?
Because I manage most of the assets I’m releasing and tagging most of the assets, for security reasons. As AWF’s designer I also load, store and distribute art files to our vendors and publishers. I would say Widen’s Media Collective is mostly used as our  photo library for both storage and distribution. The ability to convert files into the various formats is a bonus.
5. How do your users use the Media Collective?
Our teams working on various publications will set up collections in the Media Collective and I’ll help them choose specific assets. The guys in Africa are mostly uploaders. We also have a collection of “partner” wildlife photographers who often donate images for our foundations work, so they would load and tag assets with restricted user rights.
6. What is the most useful thing the Media Collective does for you?
I think the fact that it’s cloud-based and we can get onto it from any location. We’ve got guys everywhere. With a cloud-based system like Widen, we can deliver files all over the world daily. We use this capability the most, especially for me with the graphic art files.
7. What are your favorite apps on your smart phone?
Facebook, Dropbox, Instagram. I’m not really an app kinda guy. I know, boring.
8. Which tech websites or blogs do you follow?
On tech sites/blogs – CRBlog, cameromoll and spoon graphics. More so African photography and travel blogs. and, as examples. I like to keep up with the many photographers who donate their stunning images for our usage.
9. What do you think is the most important thing other users should know about using a digital asset management system?
The ease of it! A definite solution to digital asset storage and distribution.

Topics: Customer Stories, DAMsters

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