On the last day of the 2013 FIAT/IFTA Media Management Commission Seminar (aka ‘metadata heaven’) I had an epiphany. Because food seemed to be on everyone’s mind* I decided to compare digital assets to onions; spend too much time peeling away layers, adding metadata to come closer to their essence, you may sacrifice accessibility to your digital collection. Judging by some of the comments I overheard, there is tension between those who believe in adding exhaustively ‘perfect’ metadata and those that want to get digital objects out there immediately. I believe there’s a sweet spot somewhere in the middle. There may be no absolute measure of what constitutes enough. Nevertheless the right amount should be defined by the stakeholders. And who best to guide them through that process than the archivist and media manager, which brings me to my final point….
There is a real need for collaboration between the archivist and media manager (D/MAMers?) within organizations with many digital assets. People in these roles can add some valuable knowledge about the process of keeping assets safe while exposing them to an intended community. As our digital ecosystem evolves, I think ’knowing your onions’ is a very good thing.
*Seth van Hooland’s presentation spoke of coconuts and apples, Karin Bredenberg equated the OAIS conceptual model to food in a fridge
Short summaries of the presentations + panel discussions will be posted to the Beeld en Geluid website. Details to follow early next week.