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Fixing Metadata (or Let’s Do it Right the First Time)

March 10th, 2011 · No Comments


In years of teaching visual indexing and being called in to create metadata schemas, I have seen some crazy attempts at description.

Sometimes we have been involved from the beginning developing thesauri of specialized terms for a collection, more often we are called in to fix existing records.

As I roll up my sleeves to tackle either project, I often wonder why organizations do not know more about what they want.

I come down to the same answer that permeates our profession as a whole. The majority of people do not understand the work that goes into providing quality. In our current era of fast and cheap; people have lost the quality aspect almost completely. When they can not successfully execute an accurate search in their database, then they call us to fix it. I am absolutely happy to do so, but make no mistake, I wish for that collection to have done it right the first time; rather than to have called us after hundreds of hours of wasted work. Quality becomes a feature of importance often only after a failure rather than as a preventative measure.

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Category: Archiving Challenges · Developing A Digital Collection

The DAM Metadata Disconnect

February 7th, 2011 · No Comments


After reading some marketing information from a DAM vendor, and working in the field for nearly 20 years, I just needed to vent about how some present their product.

Some DAM system vendors often tout their automated systems as replacements for what they claim is “costly manual tagging”. Yet, after implementing one of these expensive systems, their customers often turn to information professionals for metadata development help, because their end users are unable to find the assets they need in a timely manner. There is an obvious disconnect between full automation versus high-end manual service.

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Category: Developing A Digital Collection · New Tools

The Death of Asset Management Systems? (as we knew them)

October 31st, 2009 · No Comments


When I started 15 years ago, we had some really amazing tools already in asset management. What has evolved after that was really entwined with the 1990s web company expansion and what I have called the “gold rush” mentality. Vendors smelled money. They wanted to sell million dollar systems to big media companies, the Fortune 100 and the government. As the flurry evolved we saw less and less money going into development and more into marketing. As more players came to the party, a very cutthroat mentality took hold.

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