You’ve finally made the leap and are ready to create your organization’s cloud-based photo and video library. But in order for it to succeed, your library needs to provide your clients with high utility for relatively low effort. If it’s too difficult to use and people can’t find and access the assets they need, you’re going to run into a world of pain. Here are 5 common mistakes we’ve seen.
1) No project leader
Like any project, you need to select a project leader to own the strategy and execution. For a photo and video library think about decisions on architecture (how will we organize our content) and access (what are our policies for uploading, viewing, and downloading content) as well as gathering feedback from users to improve the system.
This is especially important for larger installations where your library is a hub for photographers/videographers, editors, and internal and external clients.
2) Upload all at once
It’s tempting to believe that you need to upload all your photos and video into your library for it to be useful. This often leads to paralysis because the task can feel overwhelming for large collections. Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a product development concept that identifies the fewest number of core features that allow a product to be deployed and gain insightful user feedback. This same ethos can be used for your library.
Instead of trying to upload all your historical content, one approach would be to start with images and video from today onward, and select a pilot group that is willing to give you good feedback (was the content logically organized? could you find what you were looking for?).
A segmented approach to uploading also alleviates one key problem: Uploading lots of photo and video content can take a long time.
3) Poor or no keywords and meta data
In the future, computers might be able to analyze photos and video and automatically and accurately tag keywords, captions and other useful metadata. Unfortunately, that time is not here yet. As evidenced by the success of Google, we are still in a keyword-centric world when it comes to search, thus your content needs to have robust metadata in order to be found.
Creating a keyword policy and workflow are essential to an ever-expanding library. Most stock photography is delivered with robust keywords and descriptions, so you must make sure that your library software can ingest this information. When dealing with internal and external photographers, you can contractually obligate them to add metadata when submitting the files to you. There are also third party services that can keyword your images for anywhere from a few cents to a dollar per image.
4) Poor file organization
Most consumer photo software automatically groups images and video by date, and thus it can be tempting to use the same organization for your library. However, it’s much more useful to organize your collections by access. If your social media team needs to access finished images, you can make a collection called “Social Media” and put galleries inside the collection that will help the social media team find the images they are looking for.
Most modern software including Libris allows you to put a single file in multiple locations without duplication, making it easy to create access-oriented organization.
5) Lack of ambassadors
Whether you refer to them as early adopters, advocates or ambassadors, the role is the same: spread the word for your photo and video library and get people using the system and providing feedback. When you implement a new system within your organization, the benefits might not be immediately clear. But a few influential voices can spur adoption while encouraging constructive criticism to tailor the system to your organization’s needs.
Your project leader should try to identify a handful of ambassadors across different departments to ensure the success of your photo and video library.
As your photo and video library grows and services more and more users, the benefits of a cloud-based visual asset management solution will become more readily apparent. A little upfront planning and advocacy will pay major dividends in time, money and frustration.