Let’s say your DAM system is installed and you’re ready to start tagging your media. Good metadata tags allow users to search for and sort content quickly and accurately, and the long-term usefulness of the system hinges on the quality of the metadata you apply now, from the beginning.
This can be a daunting task, but dedicated librarians can ensure that the tagging process is approached correctly. The problem: you might not have dedicated librarians on your staff, and even if you do, they might not have enough time to tag everything.
You could deputize other users to add foundational metadata, but they probably won’t bring the same rigor and efficiency to the task that a librarian would. For example, they might use inconsistent tagging language, thus creating discrepancies and sowing confusion.
The best solution is to use in-house or outsourced digital librarians from the word ‘go,’ but that’s not always possible. (Life is not perfect, we know.) The next-best solution is to create easy-to-use reference materials that everyone will use, to ensure a consistent, repeatable metadata process, no matter who’s tagging.
- A taxonomy – a scheme of classification in which things are organized into groups or types – can provide a top-level frame for much of your most-common tagging language. This might be product categories, location names, or terminology unique to your company or industry.
- Definitions and real-life examples can then be built into this taxonomy – the more specific to your organization, the better.
- A DAM ‘style guide’ can establish repeatable conventions for things like name format, abbreviations, special characters (e.g., &, %).
When everyone has a common metadata guide to reference (even if, naturally, it evolves), tagging will be cohesive. Terms will be correctly associated with the intended media, creating efficiency throughout your DAM. No more scratching your head, wondering, “how did we tag that thing I really need?”