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:
1. Keep it Simple
2. Measure it openly and objectively (Yes or No)
3. Spend 100% more time
4. Encourage Honest Reviews
5. Schedule Go/No-Go Decision points
6. Recognize that pulling a doomed project is a still a success
7. Translate Business Models into DAM architectural design
8. Accept that all problems are people problems
9. Project management and Project controls are a skill set
10. Develop and deliver functionality in stages
The last session I attended was a panel on digital preservation. Kara Van Malssen, of AudioVisual Preservation Solutions (whose table had a wonderful selection of button-pins), moderated Sally Hubbard of HBO and Karen Cariani of WGBH. They discussed how preservation begins at the point of creation. They cited some OAIS reference models and mentioned Audit and Certification of Trustworthy Digital Repositories. Digital preservation develops when people, technology, and policies work together to implement it. The content needs to last even if the systems containing the content changes. One of the presenters had a quote from Richard Wright of BBC that I thought was really good:
“A repository is to storage media as a library is to shelves. A storage mechanism is needed, but all public benefit depends upon a repository: a safe place to put content that also provides documentation, preservation, and access.”
The panelists talked about the importance of keeping multiple copies of assets, testing for bit-quality (which is the loss of 0’s and 1’s), and providing regular migrations. Access has three components: the View, the Re-use, and the Get Back The Asset. They also discussed the problem of large preservation files that can come in complicated formats. I thought it was interesting when Sally Hubbard mentioned that HBO had a Archive Committee.
I wasn’t able to take really good notes of the closing session, on the future is now. The panel inlcuded Jason Bright of Media Beacon, Alex Grossman of Active Stoage, Jess Hartman of ProMax Systems, Steve Sauder of North Plains, Luis Pelyao of Hollywood Tools, and Thomas Schleu of Canto. The panel was moderated by Dan McGraw of Seven Dials. Overall, it was a great discussion and a good note on which to close Createasphere this year. It was full of energy and thoughts on the future of DAM. I wouldn’t be able to do it justice by describing it here.
Honestly, I don’t know if my posts here can adequately capture what Createasphere had to offer. However, I think access to the actual presentations could remedy that. Thankfully, Createasphere does just that. You can find all Createasphere presentations here.