Back in October when Twitter IPOed, we spoke with James Neufeld as he was developing SAM, an online asset management platform that was still in private beta. Today, SAM has officially launched publicly in what Neufeld describes as a platform for the “post social TV era.” SAM enables newsrooms, journalists, editors, producers, bloggers and anyone who calls themselves a storyteller to find the best content on social networks. We interviewed Neufeld about the big launch and why you should try SAM.
Lost Remote: What does SAM do and how is it helping newsrooms?
James Neufeld: SAM is a tool and platform that enables newsrooms, journalists, editors, producers, bloggers and anyone who calls themselves a storyteller to find the best content on social networks (think power search for social media) and manage that content throughout the media life-cycle (identify, verify, clear, and publish/broadcast, etc).
Today SAM is already helping some of the worlds leading newsrooms by providing a central workflow tool for their social media and UGC new-gathering and processing. There is so much behind the scenes work that goes into sourcing, verifying and keeping track of UGC, SAM sits in the middle of all of that as a unified tool between departments, tasks and roles.
We are incredibly thrilled to launch to anyone who wants to take control of their internal social media workflows.
LR: Why will SAM make an impact on the social TV world?
Neufeld: To be very honest, I hope SAM is one of the companies that starts ushering in the “Post Social TV” era. I say that because I think social media has become so pervasive, it doesn’t require it’s own buzzword anymore. The way in which we create and distribute content is forever changed (the very reason we built SAM), we need to re-think our workflows, CMSs, Broadcast Systems and everything we thought we knew about how to make and distribute television.
I image our impact in the social TV world will be fairly unseen, but in a good way. We want to see better quality UGC on TV, Online and back on Social Networks. Content that wasn’t selected by an algorithm or white/blacklist. Content that actually matters to the story, event, or program.
LR: What led you to launch SAM? Was your experience at never.no in social TV a part of it?
Neufeld: I count myself incredibly fortunate to have worked with some of the best minds and brands in the social TV space (long before it was even called social TV). My trials, errors and experiences in and out of companies I’ve worked for has certainly played a part in shaping the ideas behind SAM.
For me it really came down to the end users. Journalists, editors, producers, and so on, whom all used a handful of tools in a ducktape fashion. Tweetdeck for Twitter, Instagram on mobile, email to send links to verify content, CGs or CMSs that would publish content, yet users had to copy/paste everything in them. The end result was typically a frustrated user and content that was never really cleared for air, content that was improperly credited and at the end of the show/event/program, or what have you, was lost never to be seen again.
To put it more concisely, unhappy end users battling inefficient workflows.
LR: If you had to pick one feature that you think SAM accomplishes the best/differentiates it what would it be?
Neufeld: I’m cheating a bit with a broad answer, but I think it’s workflow. An important key to any successful scalable newsroom, control room or media company is getting the workflow right. If you find a breaking Tweet or Instagram, but lose pace because of a slow email thread while emailing the link around you lose the lead. If one of your team members has cleared a great viral video for broadcast, having internal access to that content saves the whole organization duplicated efforts.
At SAM we’ve spent a lot of time to fully understand the real day-to-day workflows. Some of our most loved features during our beta have been Team Curation (curate with whole team on the same story) and Tags (i.e. internal only, fake, cleared, verified, breaking, publish, etc).