Tagging.tech interview with Mark Milstein
Tagging.tech presents an audio interview with Mark Milstein about keywording services
Mark Milstein: [00:07] Fine, thank you very much, Henrik, for asking me to come on board today.
Henrik: [00:11] Mark, who are you and what do you do?
Mark: [00:13] I am the managing director and founder of Microstock Solutions. Microstock Solutions is a leading provider of DAM agnostic congestion, curation, keywording and asset management services to the visual media industry.
[00:24] In early 2015, we launched digital content solutions, a freshly designed and staffed brand to support the DAM needs of the Fortune 500. Both companies are headquartered in South Dakota, with offices in New York City and operation centers globally.
Henrik: [00:38] What is DAM?
Mark: [00:38] Digital asset management.
Henrik: [00:40] What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with keywording services?
Mark: [00:44] Challenges abound. The cost side is a major issue. Every client has a shrinking budget, and exploding numbers of assets, that desperately need discoverability. The second with our primary clients is a lessening understanding that quality keyword adds lasting value to any asset.
[01:00] I emphasize the word “lasting value” quite often, but the nature of today’s stock photography world is volume, volume, volume. Assets, both still and motion seem to resemble cups of coffee, great when hot, less so when cold.
[01:14] We’re very proud of a recent project. First, was the moonshot‑like effort we made to keyword 25,000 user-generated still assets in a bit more than three weeks on behalf of the most successful marketplace for mobile stock photography.
[01:28] Second, has been on our work with Shutterstock’s premium royalty-free library, called Offset. This is a labor of love for everyone involved, and so as to develop an in‑house team of specialists focused on interior and exterior design photography. Nearly every aspect of food presentation and preparation.
[01:48] Last, but not least, has been our work on behalf of VideoBlocks, a Washington DC-based marketplace for still and motion content. Their recent acquisition of the Discovery Channel library, they have been given the Discovery Channel library.
[02:06] We have worked to keyword tens of thousands of motion clips on behalf of both companies that have been made over the past decade.
Henrik: [02:13] As of late February 2016, how much of the keywording work is done by people versus machines?
Mark: [02:20] All of our work is done by humans. So far we have yet to come upon a software solution that fits our needs. We are, however, very much open to the idea. Right now, it’s a wait-and-see issue. When the right product shows up, we’ll probably absorb it into our tool belt.
Henrik: [02:33] What advice would you like to share with people looking at keywording services?
Mark: [02:37] Communicate your needs. Know your end users, both internally and externally, and their various needs, and be able to describe it to the service provider in order for them to able to customize the output. Be prepared to share samples of common search queries in order to…the service to customize a taxonomy which fits your needs.
Henrik: [02:58] Mark, where can we find more information about keywording services?
Mark: [03:01] First, you can go to www.microstocksolutions.com, or digitalcontentsolutions.net. If you are in North America, the DMLA, which is the Digital Media Licensing Association, formerly known as PACA, would be a great start.
[03:17] They have a well‑sourced membership directory, and within that membership directory, you can find all sorts of similar services to ours. If you’re outside of the United States or Canada, I may recommend CEPIC, which is cepic.org, which is the Center of the Picture Industry.
[03:33] It’s a singular umbrella organization for the still and motion licensing community. Also in their directory have many, many services that provide keywording.
Henrik: [03:43] Thanks, Mark.
Mark: [03:45] Thank you very much.
For a book about this, visit keywordingnow.com