Listen to Another DAM Podcast interview with Yonah Levenson about Digital Asset Management
Here are the questions asked:
How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
You were involved with the Language Metadata Table. Tell us more about this.
What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?
What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Henrik de Gyor: 00:00 This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today, I’m speaking with Yonah Levinson. Yonah, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Yonah Levenson: 00:11 I work in the broadcast and media space and I work on metadata strategy and terminology governance. In my past, I’ve also worked in the publishing industry. That’s where a lot of my background is from and I’ve been heavily involved at DAM throughout my career because it’s very important to make sure that your assets are managed properly. My particular area of specialty is metadata because without the metadata it’s really hard to manage your digital assets in your DAM system.
Henrik de Gyor: 00:42 Yonah, you were involved with the Language Metadata Table. Tell us more about this.
Yonah Levenson: 00:47 The Language Metadata Table, which we refer to as the LMT is basically a table of codes that describe the different languages that can be used throughout really any industry. The initial focus has been on the, in the broadcast and media space. And it came about because I was in meetings at my company where people were talking about, you know, what code were they going to use for Latin American Spanish. And in one system it was Lat Am and another one was LAS for Latin American Spanish and other one was Lat Am Span. And I thought to myself, being the metadata geek that I am, I said, this is crazy. We need something consistent. So we began looking at what codes could be used that would be standard across the industry. You know, I don’t like to reinvent the wheel when it comes to metadata. So if something’s out there that exists already, let’s use it.
Yonah Levenson: 01:42 And at the end of the day, we determined that, IETF BCP 47. So that’s the Internet Engineering Task Force Best Current Practice number 47 fit the bill for what we needed in-house. And we created a table that had about 128 different languages included in it. Now, the next part was that I was at a meeting at MESA Alliance, which is the Media Entertainment Support Alliance, which is very useful in the broadcast immediacy base. And they said we would love you to present this LMT and we think it’s so good that it should become an industry standard. Or a couple of years ago, we published the initial LMT and we’re now on version two and there should be another one coming up in the near future. So basically, there’s over 200 languages in the language metadata table now and it’s being, we have a tremendous amount of support and participation across the, not just the broadcast and media industry, but also standards organizations and other groups as well.
Henrik de Gyor: 02:50 Yonah, what are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?
Yonah Levenson: 02:55 I’ve been in this space for a while. That’s a really good question, by the way, Henrik, I appreciate that question. I’ve been in this space for quite a while and what I have noticed is the evolution of DAM. So initially, people had their assets, you know, on their local computers. They would push them up to shared drives, when I started at one of my jobs working in the publishing industry, we were looking for some files. And one of the people on my team said, Oh, I know where those are. They’re at, they’re at Rocky’s house. And so Rocky had them and you know, the assets copied onto a CD or DVD at his home and happened to not have thrown it out yet. So we were able not to have to recreate the entire, it was like a statistics book or something really complicated with Math, there was just.. that would’ve been expensive to recreate.
Yonah Levenson: 03:48 Other assets were in boxes, you know, again, on movable media, under people’s desks. And so what I have seen is that first was getting the assets onto a DAM and then there were challenges in how to better describe them and to get people to put the metadata, to apply the metadata to the assets that they have. So that’s when those are some of the big challenges. I mean, people now understand, are starting to understand better about the value of reuse of assets. They’re looking to monetize what they have already and in a different way. Whereas in metadata, I don’t want to reinvent the wheel. People don’t want to reinvent the wheel with the assets that they may own already. So those are some of the challenges.
Yonah Levenson: 04:37 So the successes end up being that people are because they do understand more. There is more of a metadata capture is included in workflows. Maybe not everything that we need, but it’s getting there.
Henrik de Gyor: 04:53 Yonah, What advice would you like to share with them professionals and people inspire to become DAM professionals?
Yonah Levenson: 04:57 What I have found in my experience is that there are many people who did not necessarily choose a career in DAM. Many of us fell into it, you know, DAM systems were being set up in companies. Somebody needed to run it. Maybe they were working in and you know, just an archival space or some kind of storage or a library. And then it moved over into DAM as people realize that they could do more with the assets if they were available. And not just, you know, tucked away in a, you know, in a system where somebody had to go and retrieve it and burn it to media or to, you know, to call it back from some other kind of system.
Yonah Levenson: 05:42 But really to have it available. So what I have seen is that the whole field of DAM has really been evolving quite a bit. And I do encourage people to study DAM in a more formal setting in some cases, especially those who are new and coming up in space, you know, or wanting to participate in some kind of an IT field. But they may not necessarily be programmers or developers. Not everybody wants to do project management. And so you need these actual people who are going to do the hands-on work of managing a DAM making sure that the content is, you know, the assets are retrievable. So along those lines, one of the things that I’ve been involved with recently is I’m the co-founder and co-director of Rutgers University’s Online Digital Asset Management Certificate Program. And this is a series of six courses.
Yonah Levenson: 06:42 Each course is four weeks long, where at the end of the six month period of taking all these courses, then you end up with a DAM certificate in Digital Asset Management. So that can really go a long way towards for people who are new to DAM but are interested in it this way. They have the background and awareness of what is needed in either setting up a brand new DAM or updating an existing one and you can come out with a portfolio piece. In addition, I also see a very strong need for people who have the, you know, library science background, particularly, you know, taxonomists and ontologists because in order to really get the most that you can out of your DAM, the content in the DAM and it really needs to be described well, there are many different industry standards that I also encourage people to participate in.
Yonah Levenson: 07:39 You know, first of all, you have to know a little bit about, or a good amount about what area you’re in and what your subject matter is. But, participating in standards and having a voice in the creation and the updates of those standards also could go a long way because you could make sure that your organization’s needs are being met through metadata standards and, and therefore the requirements of what’s needed to describe the assets in your DAM. So, and always read a lot, keep listening to important things like podcasts and other kinds of presentations that are out there and be active and participate so that you can learn lots of great articles out there as well.
Henrik de Gyor: 08:20 Well, thanks Yonah.
Yonah Levenson: 08:22 You’re welcome.
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