Understanding And Implementing Metadata Standards In Digital Asset Management Initiatives
Over on DAM Guru, they are running a series on DAM for librarians: Librarian Tips for DAM Managers with some contributions from various of their members who have a Library or Information Science background. The first two are Why Librarians Understand DAM by Linda Rouse and Standards and Metadata by Lisa Grimm. There are a few other articles planned from various other authors in the forthcoming weeks.
The item by Lisa Grimm was of particular interest to me as this is a topic that seems to come up a lot these days (in various contexts):
“…if you’ve come into the field from a ‘straight tech’ or marketing route, you may feel you already know everything you need to about metadata – it’s always been important for search and SEO, and few people knew or cared about standards there, right? On the flip side, degreed librarians may throw their hands up in dismay at how different DAM vendors approach metadata management – those global standards can be difficult to implement, even with the best of intentions. Let’s try to clear up the picture.” [Read More]
This is very good article and one of a small number of educational DAM pieces that is neither facile nor glosses over some of the trickier subjects, as many others do. You can find numerous items by those who claim expertise in our subject along the lines of ‘metadata and taxonomy is very important to DAM’ but without giving you much in the way of practical detail about how to apply it to your own situation. It’s a bit like being told that if you want to run a successful business, you need to ensure you make lots of money and the suspicion is that the authors of both these types of learning materials do not really understand how to do it themselves. I don’t know if reading Lisa’s article will make you any wealthier, but it will enrich your knowledge about what to consider when it comes to applying metadata standards to your DAM implementation.
The article provides an overview of the types of metadata you might encounter, the benefits of controlled vocabularies, existing metadata standards (such as Dublin Core, XMP and others). There is a large section on how to actually implement them as well as dealing with common challenges, such as customising DAM solutions and establishing metadata governance, best practice guidelines and dealing with making changes to your metadata model.
This is a great resource and even if you think you know metadata inside-out (in addition to the various standards which relate to it) I recommend reading it anyway, as much to help explain the key issues to others as for your own understanding. As well as this article, David Riecks’ Controlled Vocabulary site is another one worth looking at again along with articles by John Horodyski.
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