Feature Article: Understanding The Meaning And Scope Of Digital Assets

I have written a two-part feature article for DAM News entitled Re-Defining The Meaning And Scope Of Digital Assets.  This continues my examination of the themes in the item from last month, Appreciating The Value Of Digital Assets but I have gone into far more detail about distinctions between the three major types of digital assets which I believe can be uniquely distinguished:

As I will describe, ‘digital asset’ may well become popularised as a description in the same way as ‘content’ has. Digital assets are self-contained entities that have more tangible characteristics than ‘content’ which is vaguer and harder to assess the value of (especially a quantifiable one). There are trends which I will discuss in this article that suggest this is already happening. Some powerful forces are generating momentum behind the term ‘digital assets’ which will likely re-shape and redefine it in the medium term. For that reason, it is important that anyone who considers digital assets an important aspect of their professional life understands the wider context in which the term exists now and will get used in the future.” [Read More]

The second part will be published later this week and will cover digital commodities as well as other emerging technologies (and the relationship of digital assets to them).

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  • Tenisha Jones

    I really enjoyed reading this first part of a two part article because I feel that during our work through the semester we have been technically establishing the components of a good DAM system and learning about how assets should be managed. I think in my focus to soak up the materials I put the “meaning” part of digital assets at the background of my mind. This article written by Ralph Windsor “ Redefining the Meaning and Scope of Digital Assets really brings home how the intrinsic value of digital assets can be shown through binary essence and the metadata that come together to form a digital asset. He tells us that the binary data and metadata help consumers/users decide if the asset is useful to them. In this article three clear definitions of digital asset are presented as well as arguments for finding value and meaning in these different versions. Windsor states” While those three basic outlines are satisfactory to describe the context of the term digital assets, they mask some subtleties and further subsidiary definitions which (while related to each other) change the nature of how they should be evaluated and ultimately managed.” Another interesting point in his discussion is the fact that we are entering an age where digital assets are becoming representations of non-digital entities. Using Facebook, Uber, and AirBnB as examples Windsor asserts that even though these companies aren’t technically producing, storing, or owning anything the metadata created within the company can be leveraged to create value that can then be sold third parties. Reading this article has helped to look further than simply the management of an asset, but what value it has and to whom is it valuable.

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