An Interview with Kara Van Malssen on the DAM Operational Model

14 February 2023

AVP recently published AVP’s Operational Model for DAM Success, authored by Kara Van Malssen. This operational model, pictured to the right, is a thorough, holistic look at what it takes to launch and sustain a healthy and successful digital asset management program. The video below is an interview with Kara Van Malssen about the DAM Operational Model from the creator’s perspective.

Topics in this interview include:

  • Inspiration and background behind the DAM Operational Model
  • How to think about implementing the DAM Operational Model
  • The target audience for this model and who it will work for
  • Whether this model is only for DAM, or if it also works for MAM, PAM, digital preservation, etc.
  • Why leadership should care about, and invest in, getting digital asset management right
  • The costs of getting digital asset management wrong
  • Why each of the components are important and how we should think about them within the model:
    • Purpose
    • People
    • Governance
    • Technology
    • Process
    • Measurement
    • Culture
  • How AVP uses the DAM Operational Model in our work every day
  • What’s next for the DAM Operational Model

AVP Tips to Manage Your DAM Expectations Video

2 July 2020

AVP DAM System Specialists Kara Van Malssen and Kerri Willette talk through tips on how to manage expectations during a DAMS launch. The tips are from a recent AVP blog post Manage Your DAM Expectations and based on Van Malssen’s white paper Scenario Planning for a Successful DAM Journey.

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How to Aviary: Lesson 3

17 June 2019

How to Create and Configure a Collection

Lesson3, Part 1: How to Create a Collection


Lesson 3, Part 2: How to Configure a Collection

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Managing Data In Spreadsheets

8 June 2019

In this tutorial, spreadsheets are positioned as a mechanism to help practitioners manage metadata more accurately, efficiently, and effectively. There are many opportunities to leverage sophisticated features in spreadsheet applications that allow you to work faster, smarter, and with greater accuracy towards a more robust metadata management system. The tutorial features instruction using Microsoft Excel. Self-directed exercises and practices worksheets are linked here:

How To Aviary: Lesson 2

22 April 2019

How to Customize Your Organization Profile and Theme

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99 Problems: The AV Information-Oriented Experience Problem

16 April 2019

Welcome to AVP’s very first post in our 99 Problems series! This series focuses on the problems of current generation streaming platforms that are solved by Aviary, AVP’s next-generation platform for streaming audio and video content. (Did that sentence make you roll your eyes? Start here). Otherwise, if you are ready to dive in, let’s go!

The Production and Consumption of Text as Information

The point of this post will be to focus in on audiovisual content, but before we get to that, let’s talk about text because it serves as a useful reference point for comparing and contrasting. Since ancient times people have written things down and consumed written information under two primary paradigms:

  1. Entertainment-oriented: Writing as a form of expression and consumption of entertainment.
  2. Information-oriented: Writing as a form of documentation and consumption of information.

It is not to say that there can’t be some overlap between the two, either on the production or consumption side, but for the purpose of this conversation let’s use these two terms to speak broadly about these two paradigms. Let’s also focus on the consumption side of things and refer to these as an entertainment-oriented experience and an information-oriented experience. In other words, let’s look at this from the perspective of the consumer of content and what their intended experience is – to be entertained or to gather information.

Without getting into an arcane history of text or search, let’s look at a crude listing of some salient facts in rough chronological order:

  • Humans made marks on all manner of objects and materials
  • Text was written by hand on paper
  • Text was typed on paper
  • Text was typed and saved as digital information
  • Full-text search emerged that allowed people to retrieve the exact words they wanted to find within a digital document
  • Full-text search evolved, allowing people to find the exact words they wanted across a boundless number of repositories of text in all different formats

The emergence of full-text search transformed the consumption of text, and most significantly impacted the information-oriented experience.

In the entertainment-oriented experience we are consuming every word for the purpose of enjoyment. Search and navigation of this same text may become useful when we are performing certain tasks, but this use of the text would fall under an information-oriented experience. For instance, when we are at the library or online trying to find the next book we’re going to read, or we are looking for a specific piece of text to share with someone else, or there is scholarly work taking place.

Today it’s hard to imagine a time when we were not able to hit Command/Ctrl-F within a PDF or Word doc, or search instantly across documents on your computer or server, or Google things. Seriously, try for a minute to imagine what your life would be like without this functionality. This is a deeply ingrained user expectation today for text in all file formats and forms, regardless of whether it’s a book or a newspaper or a report or a website or meeting minutes or… you get the picture. EVERYTHING. We do not give an inkling of thought to the miracle of being able to search in a comprehensive and limitless way with little effort all day long, every day of our lives.

The Production and Consumption of AV as Information

Now, without getting into an arcane history of AV or search, let’s look at a crude listing of some salient facts in rough chronological order:

  • AV was recorded on analog media of various sorts with increasing sophistication and quality over time
  • AV was recorded and saved as digital information on physical digital media (e.g., CD, DVD, DAT, Digital Betacam)
  • AV was recorded and saved as digital files on hard drives (e.g., .avi, .wav, .mov, .mp3)
  • The internet allowed people to consume AV online with incremental levels of increasing sophistication in search and organization based on a small amount of metadata (e.g., title, director, producer, actor, date published, genre)

AV still exists in a pre-full-text world. Why is that? For as long as AV has been produced and consumed, it has been done for both entertainment and information reasons. The information-oriented experience with AV is equally as valid as the information-oriented experience with text. AV is news, lectures, presentations, meetings, the study of music, and… you get the picture. EVERYTHING. It is not just movies, television, commercial music, and other forms of entertainment. There are many billions of hours of recorded AV and a vast majority of it is not entertainment. In the same way that people have a need to search across their computers and servers and the web, across all file formats and all types of text, people have the need to search for AV.

However, every current-generation, widely available streaming platform* in existence gives users about 5-10 paltry fields of metadata on which we can search. The most common user experience when using AV in an information-oriented experience is not a quick Command/Ctrl-F that takes you right to the point of interest. It is clumsily jumping and skipping around the timeline of an audio or video recording hoping that you get lucky and find the right spot and that you aren’t missing something important. Or spending inordinate amounts of time listening/watching in faster-than-real-time to many hours. And forget the idea of even searching across millions of hours, across multiple types, file formats, and sources**. That’s not even a thought.

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How To Aviary: Lesson 1

8 April 2019

Welcome to AVP’s very first post in the series, How To Aviary! This series of quick insights and videos will introduce you to the basics of Aviary, AVP’s next-generation platform for streaming audio and video content. (Did that sentence make you roll your eyes? Start here). Otherwise, if you are ready to dive right in, let’s begin with what it means to subscribe to Aviary.

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Exiftool Tutorial Series

1 December 2015

This four-part series of video tutorials, created by Kathryn Gronsbell is focused on Exiftool, a command-line application that can read, write, and edit embedded metadata in files. The tutorial series provides detailed support to users looking for an approachable and practical introduction to Exiftool.

Featured exercises have wide-ranging applications but trend towards improving digital preservation workflows through a step-by-step exploration of Exiftool’s basic features and functions.

Manipulating Data In OpenRefine

27 April 2015

In this tutorial, we explore how to understand and apply features of the OpenRefine (formerly Google Refine) tool in an archival context. OpenRefine can enable organizations to clean up, merge, and manipulate their metadata so that the information can be better integrated into workflows and across systems. OpenRefine is “a free, open source power tool for working with messy data” that libraries, museums, archives, and other organizations can employ to analyze, normalize, and clean up datasets through its simple yet powerful features.

FIAT/IFTA Cost Of Inaction Presentation

25 October 2014

AVP President Chris Lacinak was invited to give a keynote presentation at the 2014 Fédération Internationale des Archives de Télévision / The International Federation of Television Archives (FIAT/IFTA) World Conference on the topic of our Cost of Inaction Calculator. The COI Calculator is a planning tool that provides estimated budgets and schedules over the long term so that one can begin to develop a preservation plan for beyond the immediate near term. By looking at the costs of physical storage and management, digitization, and digital storage, an institution can think about distributing costs over time while also considering the critical need for sustainability of preservation activities (and their associated costs) beyond short term fund raising or grants.

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