Help Center Admin Support Best Practice First steps

            Adding your assets - First Steps Part 2:

            Selecting the heroes

            Many collections have large numbers of very similar items. This particularly applies to non-professional photography. Conversely, professional marketing photography in large collections tends to have been through a distillation process prior to inclusion in the collection.

            This difference is critical and should influence the decision on whether to cull before or after migration.

            Thorough editing takes a long time and the business value of the culling process must be addressed. Most images that are replicated many times with only minor variations are more documentary in nature and not high value in marketing terms.

            So let’s talk about selecting the best assets rather than culling the low value items.  This is the better option because images can start their lifecycle in the DAM as private and you can release them for general usage in batches from within Lookatme.

            With documentary assets (eg. operational works) it could be argued that retaining all similar images has more business value than culling. There may be a series of operational assets almost the same that might have legal or contractual value in the future.

            We generally recommend that you should upload first and cull second. You will get online and operational much sooner. 

            Adding Metadata

            Adding metadata to records one at a time is rarely practical for entire collections. For example if you have 10,000 items and spend one or two minutes on each record, you will need two or three months of uninterrupted time, assuming you could keep up the pace and enthusiasm.

            The key is to add metadata in bulk. To do this you need to have items in collections that share common keywords and descriptions.

            Your desktop folder structure can afford only one layer of organization because items can be in only one folder. In Lookatme you can add items to multiple Albums.

            For example you might have a folder of pencil images, a folder of pen images and a folder of paperclip images. Your folders will be reproduced automatically as Albums in Lookatme. Each item of stationery might come in one of three colors, red, green and blue. In Lookatme you can create an Album of all red items, an Album of all the green items and an Album of blue items. Then you can place all red pencils in the Red Album and the Pencil Album and so forth. This can be done with drag and drop actions in the Lookatme classic interface.

            Then you can add keywords in bulk to the various Albums, for example you can add the keyword ‘Red’ to all items in the Red Album and the keyword ‘Pencil’ to all the items in the Pencil Album.

            Generally items can be classified into three to 10 Albums. Do this first and then add keywords in bulk.

            A good Album to make first could be called Favorites for example. As you go through the collection gather all the stunning images – shots that make you say ‘Wow’. Another Album of Key collateral could be used to hold the most important items that are the most widely and frequently accessed, such as logos. Spend most of your effort on these Albums – they will give the best return on investment of your time.

            Tags (or 'Keywords')

            Generally, library administrators worry too much about tags/keywords.

            It is a better return for your effort to make sure that the factual data is correct:

            • Location
            • names of buildings
            • names of events
            • date of event
            • names of people 
            • name of campaign
            This type of data is usually found in specific data fields like Title, Description, Location.

            On day one of your image library you might have most of the above data in place and no tags/keywords. In that case do not panic, you will have time to get your tags/keywords in place.

            After a few months you can analyse the type of keywords that real users enter. So if you find that users have been searching for “crowd”, OK, visually find the crowd photos, copy them to a temporary editing album and enter “crowd” as a tag/keyword.

            The fact is that in the early stages, your library is generally only a few thousand images and it is easy to scan through very broad search results in very little time.  

            Plus we have the benefit of seeing millions of search results go through the Lookatme system and they are mostly based on the factual data, not mood, or colour, or abstract terms that often dominate stock image libraries’ keywords.

            Remember you are not managing a stock image library - so don’t copy what stock libraries do. You are managing a tightly-focused corporate repository and the selection of images by your users is invariably based on the factual content as the number one criterion.

            Yes, people will find what they need if your factual data is in reasonable shape. If the facts are lacking, get that aspect fixed first before thinking about tags/keywords.


            Lessons from migration

            After doing many migrations one lesson is very clear – marketing teams must mitigate against a repetition of the pain that has been experienced during migration.

            It is important to manage the entire image lifecycle from before inception. To do this you will need several processes thoroughly documented and adopted by all staff involved in the acquisition of digital assets. Today that means just about everyone.

            Important documentation for photography and video – our recommendations

            1.          Standard contributor purchase order and contract.
            This is needed to bring some consistency between contributors such as videographers and photographers. Having different conditions for each contributor adds enormous administrative overhead. A standard policy needs to be fair and equitable, respecting contributors’ rights and looking after your business needs efficiently.

            2.          Standard copyright conditions – for example how an image should be attributed.

            3.          Standard release form for people and locations.

            4.          Standard contributor briefing template – including image selection and data handover processes. Your contributors can be required to embed a specified level of metadata in assets to reduce your workload. Contributors can also be requested to follow a defined workflow. In the past some contributors sent low def versions before sending high def versions, leading to extensive duplication – this practice could be reviewed now that you have an online DAM.

            5.          Photography and Video Acquisition Policy – documenting the business objectives, a recurrent budget, processes, responsibilities, copyright clearance processes, quality selection, managing images of minors, release (permission) form management, de-accessioning.

            6.          Terms and conditions for usage of your DAM, these are required to be available on the site via the ‘Terms and Conditions’ footer menu.

            7.          Management policies for accessing your DAM – who can access, how the images can be used etc.

            If you need assistance with drafting any of the above documentation we can help.
            Lookatme™ offers a bespoke consulting service for policy development.

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