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DigiCULT 13
thumbnails that each of its local affiliates could post
on their Websites with dynamic hyperlinks back to
the licensing and dynamic imaging capability of the
Church's DAM system.
shers of books and magazines, producers of motion
picture and television programmes, authors of jour-
nals and papers, members of the Church, and develo-
pers of Websites and CD-ROMs. Some of these
potential users know precisely what they want, refe-
rencing an image from a book or other published
material. Others have a general idea of what they
want. Others have little or no idea, and need to
browse large collections. Some users want to find a
cultural artefact that expresses a particular abstraction
or idea (love, authority, exultation). Others want to
examine every image or drawing of a particular
historical personage. Still others seek examples of a
specific architecture or ornamental detail. Some users
will pay handsomely for the perfect image. A corpo-
rate sponsor of an exhibition would gladly donate a
considerable
sum for broa-
der (though
not unlimited)
access to a
large collection
of digital arte-
facts, enabling
their marke-
ting teams to
pick and
choose items
for promotio-
nal uses. A
large publisher
of books and
related com-
mercial art
would pay a
small annual
subscription
to access a
digital archive
and license
individual
items as the
need arose.
The Church
might provi-
sion local dio-
ceses to offer
limited sea-
sonable access to sacred artefacts, giving individual
parishioners the opportunity to create, download and
print (at authorised imaging centres) personalised
posters, calendars, postcards, etc. at no cost or as a
`thank you' for donations of a certain level. Finally,
the Church could provide a library of low-resolution
AUTOMATING CROSS-MEDIA
PUBLISHING WORKFLOWS
D
AM can also help institutions automate
their internal, cross-media publishing work-
flows.This means that, with little extra
effort, mostly planning, an institution can produce a
magazine, newsletter, direct mailer, catalogue,Web
page, poster, proposal, and presentation slide from the
same set of digital assets.
Let's use one example among dozens of what we
call activity-task automation cells the basic units
of a workflow. Provided with a personal computer,
software and network access, a Web content specialist
will spend 15 minutes to complete one activity, per-
forming the following tasks: logon to a corporate
network, search for a digital image, retrieve several
potentially useful files, open and inspect each one,
edit the most useful one, save the changes, export or
render the image to a specific format and size, place
the image in a Web server, and verify if it looks okay
when served from a Website.
A DAM system with a dynamic imaging system
performs the same task, but in only 15 seconds.
Typically, a Web content specialist working full-time
will prepare and place an average of 24 graphics or
images per day, 450 per month, or around 5,000
annually.What do you do with the 14-minute, 45-
second time savings? How about producing 5,700
images in the span of 24 hours? Not only will this
compress one year of labour into 24 hours; once pla-
ced on the Website, each image remains linked to the
original asset.This means that any authorised user
can pan, zoom, inspect, crop and download high-,
medium- or low-resolution renditions, some paid for
and others at no cost, 24 hours a day. In this way,
DAM can extend a publishing workflow and set of
automated activity tasks to any stakeholder: scholars,
public officials, citizens, corporate sponsors, students,
and any employee of the institution.
DAM provides a way to unlock the value of cultu-
ral artefacts without compromising their security,
integrity, usability or accessibility. And, yes, in the
course of all that, an institution can reduce its costs,
become more efficient in the one or two things it
does brilliantly, and expand the number of stakehol-
ders it can serve.
Michael Moon, GISTICS Incorporated, www.gistics. com