It's a Digital World (2,835 words)
Based on these plans, determine what content you'll need digitized, such as photo collections, text files, audio clips, video clips, charts and graphs, statistical information, diagrams, illustrations and other data. Anything created anew will be developed in this digital atmosphere as part of your normal operations, but older content will have to be converted.
You don't have to go crazy converting the past 20 years' worth of images and text, says Leibly, but you do want to archive into the new system files that will be used again. Unfortunately, this is where the bulk of time will be spent on moving to a digital content environment. Conversion of files can be a long, tedious process; the benefits, however, prove to be substantial.
As Rietti explains, most software requires you to tag data with META codes (key words) once in the archival process that are later used for extraction. Cascade's MediaSphere allows users to create a digital library of data that automatically stores data based on such codes and—combined with retrieval language—pulls data back out to repurpose images and text for the Internet, CD-ROM, print, etc.
You can add codes to files at any point when databasing content. It just makes more sense to set up a standard archival process to eliminate time wasted locating missing files or items not yet processed. This standard process includes building your codes into a sort of pick list for all items in the image database. While the files stored can be indexed by variables such as SKUs, product families or types of data, the list should be common to all departments accessing the files.
While a good deal of time is involved with creating this digital database, the pay-off comes when the marketing and creative staffs are able to find images and text in less time than before, when employees can see the history of a particular asset and cut down on overuse of certain content and when images can be used for multiple media without the need for expensive, cumbersome alterations to their formats.