I just saw that Butch Lazorchak posted an entry on the Signal Blog today on his presentation and his time at Createasphere. It’s well worth the read, if your interested about either.
Monthly Archives: October 2012
The next session I attended was “10 Reasons Why DAM’s Fail,” presented by Alan Pelz-Sharpe who did an excellent job. He stressed the importance of a business case for DAM projects, that there usually isn’t one or if there is it was created after the decision was already made – more of a justification than a premeditated plan. These business cases can be very valuable if used correctly. He also spoke about how budgets for DAM projects are generally incorrect. It’s not just that the software that needs to be purchased, but that people need to be trained on how to use it. Things go wrong, even in the best managed projects, that can need money to fix. The suppliers could accidentally forget to mention some things and that can negatively impact the budget. Something I was surprised about was he talked about “shelfware.” I never heard of the term before. This is software that was purchased but never used. This is such a waste, in my opinion. The presenter also said that when your DAM system goes live that may be the peak but you still need to see through the use-adoption of the system. The roll-out of the system represents this. He said a Big Bang will blow up and he recommends rolling it out incrementally, in phases. A great follow-up to the “I Want My DAM” session, in my opinion. Pelz-Sharpe compared DAM to the “Hoarders” TV show (which I thought was a really good touch), gow good-housekeeping is essentials for DAM, and how such assets have a life-cycle. It sounds very familiar to the retention schedules that Record Managers use. He also had a list of basic tips to help avoid DAM Project Failure:
Friday at Createasphere started off with a keynote from Butch Lazorchak of the Library of Congress. For a budding archivist like me this was a real treat. He spent the beginning of the session differentiating between DAM’s and LAM’s (Library, Archives, Museums). He explained how each had its own data concerns. However different their concerns may be, there is a need to preserve their assets for the long term; it’s just that proper win/win incentives need to be found. The Library of Congress has five incentives for DAM’s to preserve their assets:
The first session after lunch was Using Taxonomies and Metadata with Gary Carlson. I found this to be very interesting and packed with information. So much so that I wasn’t able to write it all down. The basic overview is that taxonomies and metadata can be used to create a Technical Content Strategy. Carlson talked about how a strategy driven by technology, rather than information, is not as good because it has limitations. He also discussed how taxonomies can help with content management. I really liked how he talked about the difference between a “deep archive” and an “active archive.”
The last session I attended consisted of two case studies. The Turner one really cool. They were showing off this Samsung Touch Table running this Light Table app on. It was shiny. This was cutting edge and shows why conferences like this are so important. While I can know that the technology was there to create something like this, I had now idea it was already available. I really liked how he explained how he came up with his idea of a digital light box. While I haven’t used an actual one, I can imagine it would be pretty intuitive much like the experience this touch table gives you. It really is great how people can view and edit digital photos on this. Also I think Christopher Grakal (the presenter) was right on about how this technology can foster collaboration among different departments.
The second case study in this session was by Paul Lasewicz, from IBM’s corporate archive. I was waiting for this presentation all day and it didn’t disappoint. He talked about an organization for which a DAM might be helpful but not critical to the business; something that’s a pretty important topic for those in the archive field. He said that when you are designing a DAM, it is important to balance what you, the vendor, and IT know. How it’s important to “hitch your wagon” to a big budget. His discussed how his archive was able to achieve that because IBM had a well-defined brand that the archive was able to work with. He talked about some of the concepts of the IBM brand, such as a heritage of progress and working with forward-thinking clients. How these themes have shaped their corporate culture and influenced how they work today, like their smarter planning project. How their history can showcase their values, like diversity or their relationships with employees. Lasewicz said that heritage is based on the compelling real-life stories that helped define IBM such as Deep Blue, which he mused was archival even if it was only 15 years ago. I personally thought that this could be compared to oral histories or how the NYC archives was able to digitize their photograph college. The session ended with him explaining that while DAM works with item level storage, most archivists don’t process to that level. Rather, they work with board series and collections. However, DAM can represent the big picture or help establish some intellectual control. Something the marketers who have the big budgets might appreciate.
Createasphere opened with a brief speech from the founder who stressed the importance of content: knowing its value, how you can be its best custodian, and the increasing need for organizations to manage it. A great way to open a DAM conference to a bunch of DAM professionals.
Thursday’s Keynote on Collaborative Innovation, from Doug Collins, was about the importance of working together and learning from your community. He cited Fisher Price (My FP Ideas) for how that company is looking into its target audience, namely mothers, and what types of new toys they would buy for their kids. He lamented the “tragedy of the web”: not that no one maintains it, but that everyone has brought their own version of it. Collaborative Innovation is a sign of leadership and can be used to articulate the benefits of DAM. Collins also described The Flow: Paint a picture, Identify Sponsor, Identify Challenge, Form Challenge, Challenge flow, Resolve Challenge, Explore Governance. The Flow helps find out what is the challenge or an organization and how to resolve it.
The Making Workflow Work For You was next. It included Andrew Mannone, B.J. Gray, Carol Thomas-Knipes, and Nate Cooper as panelists and Aaron Holm as moderator. With a lineup like that, you know it was a crackerjack discussion. Each panelist explained briefly their organization’s workflow. I liked how they included the fact that “archiving” is not the same as “backup.” I think the most important point brought up by a panelist is the importance of the end-user: that DAM professionals have to ask them questions. At the end of the session, the panelists was asked what they thought about different systems “talking” to each other. Someone said that right now the technical capabilities were there, it’s just being implemented (something I didn’t know). I thought that that was a big limitation with today’s technology.