Createasphere – Friday write up Part 1

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:

1. Self Interest Paradox – Being selfish can help others accidentally (DAM’s can help LAM’s by creating tools to preserve data and increase metadata accuracy)
2. Happy Data, Happy Users – Let your users control their data
3. Open Infrastructures – Open standards, tools, and formats lower costs and expand the possibilities for data
4. National Collaboration Engine – a DAM Software collaboration of NDSA; light-weight membership where groups can work together (www.digitalpreservation.gov/ndsa)
5. Karmic Wheel – Example: civil war daguerreotypes which were donated and later digitalized became a hit, one of which was used in National Geographic magazine.
Lazorchak also said that obsolescence isn’t happening as much now because vendors are now aware of it.
 The “I Want My DAM” session was the next. It was presented by David Ginsberg and Christy King, who highlighted the reasons why DAM professional need to show their work. You need to account for the money that you save; and not just big saving, little ones as well. Those little savings can really add up over time. For example, in the past you had to print out and mail a copy of a image whereas you can now simply scan and and email the image. The price of postage can add-up quick. The presenters suggested that you introduce your DAM in phases. If, for example, you don’t receive all the money that you wanted for the project you can scale the project back and roll out a DAM in phases to spread out the cost. You could contact your vendor to discuss options with scaling back the project or adding in a extra phase. The presenters did say that vendors tend to low-ball their prices, so to keep that in mind. However, money might not be the only limitation, time could be as well (another reason why phased-projects is the way to go). You also have to be careful not to isolate your data when you break your project into phases. They also stressed the importance of getting people on your side and keeping a paper trail or a diary from people with their thoughts on wanting a DAM system. When you have friends who want a DAM as much as you do, they would be the ones most willing to try your soft launch. This is similar to beta testing and it would be better to work out your bugs on these “friendlies”. They stressed the importance of communicating with people, being up-front in what you are able to produce is always better in the long run.
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