Tim’s Weblog Tim's Weblog
Tim Strehle’s links and thoughts on Web apps, managing software development and Digital Asset Management, since 2002.

Workflow awareness of DAM systems

Workflow doesn’t

This blog post is inspired by Roger Howard’s excellent, thought-provoking “Workflow doesn’t” critique of the workflow functionality in today’s Digital Asset Management systems.

(I don’t know which systems Roger has worked with. If you want to catch up with the state of DAM workflow engines, here’s some links to get you started: Status-based workflows in Canto Cumulus. The MerlinOne workflow engine. ADAM Workflow. DAM News on configurable workflow systems. DAM News on workflow in DAM value chains. Anything else?)

I like Roger’s observations that “exceptions are the rule in production”, exceptions require decisions, and “decision making is something humans excel at”. This reminds me of Jon Udell’s old motto that “human beings are the exception handlers for all automated workflows”. Software that doesn’t embrace this fact will stop the work from flowing.

Read the full article…

Wed, 29 Apr 2015 22:09:00 +0000

Find the latest articles on Digital Asset Management via Planet DAM

There’s lots of interesting articles being written on Digital Asset Management topics. How do you keep up-to-date? That’s easy – do as I do, follow the more than 600 DAM related Twitter accounts and about 100 RSS feeds, and I promise you won’t miss out on anything important! (I’m suffering from “FOMO”, I guess: “fear of missing out”.)

If this seems like too much work, check out my Planet DAM:

This is the place where I link all new DAM-related articles I come across when scanning Twitter and RSS feeds. A manually curated “river of news” for DAM writing which you can follow on Twitter via @PlanetDAM. If you’re using a feed reader (highly recommended), you can even subscribe to the Planet DAM RSS feed (well, Atom feed) and get all the latest stuff without having to visit the Planet DAM Web site.

If you know of an article that should be on Planet DAM but isn’t yet, please send me its URL via e-mail or Twitter. Thanks in advance!

Update (2016-10-17): I’m happy to hear that Planet DAM is useful to the DAM community:

Laura Fu: “@PlanetDAM is an incredible curation of DAM content. Kudos!”

Tracy Wolfe: “Tim Strehle’s fabulous resource PlanetDAM.”

MediaValet: “Tim Strehle’s feed makes it easy to find useful and relevant DAM content from reliable sources.”

Ralph Windsor: “Planet DAM is Tim’s hand-picked selection of DAM articles from different participants in our industry and includes vendors, consultants and a variety of personal blogs and related websites. I frequently use this as my go-to source for current information about DAM now.” (Ralph syndicates Planet DAM on DAM News, and sponsors the planetdam.org domain.)

Deb Fanslow: “Thanks for keeping my DAM reading queue full!”

Update (2017-06-15): Curating Planet DAM takes a lot of (my spare) time. Why am I doing this?

First, it’s a great way to keep learning about DAM, and to keep in touch with the DAM community.

Also, working on the tech side of DAM most of the time, Planet DAM is the sandbox helping me brush up my rusty librarian skills :)

More importantly, my vision for the DAM community on the Web is that we’re getting better at reading, listening, learning from each other – as opposed to being “content marketers” shouting at their (imaginary?) audience. Ideally, authors would do research on Planet DAM before writing about a topic. And use the time saved by linking to existing articles (instead of restating what’s been said before) to add their unique point of view, furthering the discussion. “Here’s to the ones who dream…”

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 07:00:00 +0000

Is there an XML standard for digital magazine replicas?

Many printed newspapers and magazines offer digital replicas to their subscribers – Web or mobile apps that let readers browse the publication in the exact print layout. Often with added functionality, like fulltext search, PDF download or an optional HTML-formatted article view for better readability. You’ll find lots of examples in the Apple Newsstand or Google Play Kiosk. In Germany, these digital replicas are called “ePaper” and are a must-have for publishers because they count towards the official print circulation figures tracked by the IVW.

Technically, replica editions are usually built from PDF files of the printed pages. A decent editorial system will also provide articles and images with structured metadata separately, which means better quality for added functionality compared to content extracted from the PDF. Really good systems can provide page coordinates for articles and images, so that a tap or click on the page can send the reader to the right article or image. (Remember the good old HTML image map?) Companies like Visiolink1000°ePaperiApps or Paperlit help publishers create and publish replicas.

Read the full article…

Mon, 13 Apr 2015 08:50:00 +0000