Can you unlock your digital assets?

October 22, 2010

Posted in AgencyND and Technology.

Magnifying glass kid photo by woodleywonderworks at

Notre Dame has recently begun to tackle the problem of our many content silos, with digital assets being captured, stored, processed, and delivered in so many ways. Last year, our interviews with faculty and staff revealed a troubling conclusion: It’s often faster and easier to re-create content than it is to find it.

It’s a big problem for many institutions and solving it is an intimidating project. But as you can see from this analogy, it’s worth it:

Imagine winning an eight-figure lottery only to find that your winnings are locked in a vault – and you must guess the combination. You have your eyes firmly fixed on the prize and on all the things you want to do with your newfound assets, but you must first rise to this seemingly insurmountable challenge.
Ben Weinberger

The solution only seems easy…

Our division produces hundreds of videos each year for our carousel, but the raw footage is on tapes sitting in a box. We don’t have the infrastructure to do anything else at this time. It takes processing power to rip down the footage and digitize it. Storage on campus is at a premium, and buying cheap drives from Best Buy isn’t a long-term solution (nor are they terribly reliable). Tagging and documenting the content takes staff time. And then finding it again means having some kind of system that’s accessible. We won’t even talk about how they integrate with the myriad web content management systems out there.

YouTube - digital asset management.jpg

There are many digital asset management (DAM) solutions out there, but we also have many use cases. And video isn’t the only content that needs to be addressed. How many versions of a single photo, faculty bio, or press release exist? Where are they located and who has access to them?

What are your greatest digital asset management challenges?Is anyone doing it well?