Recently, I had one of those life events that challenged my traditional way of thinking of Enterprise Content Management. The event that gave me the epiphany was inadvertently caused by something I considered very disruptive. That is I had to swap out computers. During the chaos of moving all of my pertinent information I recognized that the one thing that made a seamless transition was my music collection; it stayed perfectly intact regardless of the devices I swapped out.
As a little back story, I’m a music aficionado and I had a great deal of investment amassed in a very large collection of songs. Over the years I’ve converted from one medium or another. Like many others I started my music collection with vinyl. Then I transformed my albums to tapes, which was largely credited to the advent of the Walkman. It took me some time to move to CDs but the real catalyst of change was the digital transition to WAV and MP4. It is amazing how the amount of songs I now have has grown exponentially, how my music is now more accessible and tailored to me and the people I have shared experiences with, and small because it’s now in digital format.
For me it wasn’t just about changing mediums (making content digitally available); it was about moving to a standard format combined with a progressive classification process that really elevated my music experience. By that I mean when I first started converting my music to digital format the only information that came across was the title and sometimes the artist but in most cases all I had was a folder with the files titled Track 01 track 02, etc. The next thing I did was look at media playing tools that could help me classify music. From there I was able to manually add additional classification to elevate my music selection based on artist and music title. Then I found tools that would take what little meta-data I had and cross catalog with their massive database to add additional details like album year, album cover and genre. A side benefit: they could also show me duplicates. Now I’ve added new tools that can identify songs by their sound and automatically classify music and assist me in bucketing songs so I can assign them to specific playlists. Most importantly after all of this extra classification effort was made, all of that information stays with the music even when I swap out devices.
Where this ties back into Enterprise Content Management and my new thoughts around the technology I will pose to you in a question. How hard would this be and how much labor is involved to do the same thing to other content files? More on this in my next blog called The Adlib Experience.