A number of people talk about metadata. Some actually practice what they preach. When it comes to resources needed to apply/associate/embed metadata to digital assets (audio, video, text, graphics, photos) in a consistent manner, too many fall short.
We consistently hear about issues with budgets and headcount, while what is really lacking is a clear business case with a total cost of ownership per year. This must include continual executive support (year over year) to operate a successful and sustainable Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution with the necessary people, processes, technology and information (metadata).
Implementing a DAM solution and making it operational just gets you to the starting line. Yes, that’s right, that just gets you started. Now, you can begin to manage your digital assets properly. Companies are only accumulating more digital assets at an alarming rate considering how much is born digital nowadays. That means this is a continual DAM journey and there is no finish line (unless your company disappears).
Many companies have figured out how to store files, which is getting easier today, however storing digital assets is not the same as managing digital assets. Part of managing these digital assets is the need for metadata which enables finite search (unless you prefer to click, scroll, not find, repeat). Part of that necessary metadata are keywords to find and potentially help monetize these digital assets.
Adding metadata to digital assets is an investment that makes the digital assets searchable, findable, reusable and potentially repurposable. In this respect, a Digital Asset Management solution is only as good as its metadata.
Because adding content-specific metadata can be such a significant investment, companies often struggle with certain choices:
Contractor or staff?
Keep in mind most companies are only accumulating more digital assets. If you work for a company that is no longer accumulating digital assets, you are either not paying attention or the company might not exist much longer. Who is going to do this work?
I have already written extensively on:
- Why you likely need a Digital Asset Management professional for the success of your DAM solution
- Where to find these people (there is usually not a line out the door)
- What are the levels of DAM experience
- What skills to look for
Insource or outsource? Onshore or offshore?
Keep in mind the level of communication, collaboration, institutional knowledge, and security needed for your digital assets to be accessible, searchable, manageable and deliverable promptly. Also, note your company culture as well as other cultural differences.
Human-generated and/or computer-generated metadata?
With the growing popularity of artificial intelligence (AI), we are often asked, “can a computer create this metadata for our business?”
Because we get this question about human-generated and/or machine-generated metadata quite often, we decided to look at all of the companies that offer keywording services, image recognition and/or video recognition as possible ways of outsource metadata creation. A few months ago, this list started with over 100 companies. While looking into image and video recognition companies, we noticed about one-third of these companies were acquired by large companies (some start with the letter A, F, G, I, M or V…among others) over a period of a few months. Then, there were less than 60 companies to be found. Apparently, we are not the only ones that find this interesting.
Over the past few weeks, we decided to reach out to all these existing companies globally. If they had an email address and an online presence, they likely received our request. Since we are vendor neutral, we do not partner with nor prefer any company. Some chose to ignore our request. Some very politely declined. A few were “too busy.” Most companies were given a month to schedule a 30-minute call. Some could not make that happen.
A few hundred emails later, we were able to interview people who lead their companies from across the world in keywording services, image recognition and/or video recognition.
To further efforts in the remaining vendor neutral, all the interviews recorded to date are being released in one day (we learned this from another content provider who releases an entirely original series in one day). Every interview was conducted independently of each other. No one interviewed was told who else was interviewed. While most of the questions were the same, most of the answers were quite different. Most of these interviews are more practical than technical, and some go more depth. After the interview, the audio was edited, reviewed and transcribed. All of these audio interviews are now free to listen, read, share and learn from.
http://tagging.tech is focused on A) keywording services, B) image recognition, C) video recognition and where these intersect. The intended audiences are all who are curious, anyone who is unaware of these services, those with preconceived notions about this, anyone interested in looking and/or companies who presently use any of these businesses.
The first set of interviews will serve as a snapshot in time (as of March 2016) as these markets change exponentially. Take a look to find out how and why.
As a vendor neutral Consultancy specializing in Digital Asset Management (DAM), we inform clients by educating them, helping them become more self-aware, finding the hidden value they did not even think about as well as answering the more obvious questions that come to mind for their business. Have questions? Let us know.
We are also looking to interview more people for this series, so if you currently use keywording services, image recognition and/or video recognition, we would like to hear from you.
We look forward to hearing from you.