Curmudgeon-ish Corner Time: Article vs. AD-verticle

Please note: Curmudgeon-ish Corner Time has nothing to do with any Curmudgeon Corners, Curmudgeonly Corners, or general curmudgeon containers.  There’s someone, he’s got some time with a corner, he’s curmudgeon-ish, and he’s gettin’ more curmudgeonly with every trademark issue you bring up.

Okay, so we got this reading for LS566. It’s about DAMs, those Digital Asset Management systems you hear about (five minutes ago, because it’s your class topic).  So, okay, I open up “Rose of D*Mificatin” (what? I want to hear some comment from the author? No. I’m twerkin’ the title).

Uh oh.  Now, first things first.  Adverticles can contain useful information.  And we’ll get into that in another place, but you got to, GOT TO, read them with a fine tooth comb with two questions in mind: What are you trying to get me to believe, and what are you trying to get me to ignore?  Because, as the DAM Foundation article points out, they are trying to get you to believe something that most other sources are not. And they may be trying to get you to ignore, say, the commonly-held definitions of some things.

So, first, suppose I wanted to know what workflow management is (which, as DAM Foundation points out, should definitely be part of a DAM solution). Well, this is an article on that. And this is an honest advertisement with a listicle format. I don’t mind this, which is why I’m just curmudgeon-ish. It’s got points, it actually says at the top what a WMS actually does, the name of the product is at the top and bottom, no one’s trying to pull the wool on you.

But this D*Mificatin’ things just got red flags everywhere. It’s trying to make you feel smart while making you only “business smart”. You know, the smart level of your boss who kept handing you articles to read and highlight the three sentences HE needed to read once he came back from golfin’ with his dad. What are those red flags?

  • It never says it’s written by someone who actually makes the solution until you figure out the “use cases”. In fact, you never find out who the author or company is until you read that little text AFTER THE END OF THE ARTICLE. News flash: Real people usually tell you what they’re doing fairly quickly.
  • It introduces a BS term to tie it to something that “business people” know. Are you wondering why I never write that D word out loud? Do a search for it. NO, you fool, in the private browsing; you don’t want Google knowing you touched this word (man, it’s worse than clicking on any link in The Worst Things for Sale. I still get ads for funny plastic banana slicers). Gee, did you see that word anywhere BUT after “The Rise of”? Gee, is it because it only exists because it rhymes with GAMIFICATION? Think about it, what evidence does the article give that the two have anything in common? Two word clouds with no matching words? A definition that literally says “it’s just like that, but for DAMs” and then ignores any possible link? The only purpose of the word is to get you to feel like you know something new. You don’t; you know something fake.
  • It uses “business verbage” that, essentially, leverages business processes to HALT ANY ACTUAL BUSINESS. Hokey smokes, this thing uses “leverages” twice in the first sentence. And notice that all it does is “adapt quickly to change” and “support positive business growth”. Isn’t that pretty much every mission statement you’ve seen that yells out “I was written by someone who has no idea what their employees do”?
  • The Technology Adoption Lifecycle. Oh, sweet Lord, that effing diagram. Here’s another newsflash: Yes, it’s real. But, like “being cool,” if someone has to tell you about it, you’re not it. You’re not an “innovator” if you buy something no one wants after seeing this curve. Good products never needed this curve to look good. No, you’re on the shorter curve: 2.5% Suckers, 2.5% BIG SUCKERS. And the suckers paid for you to see the curve. Heck, even Steve Jobs fell for the Segway.
  • The diagrams have a generic component replaced by a very specific thing. Look at Figures 5 and 6. That orange diamond. Yeah. You know what the first thing is. What’s the second? Time for private browsing again. Oh, it’s made by the company? I’m shocked. They want you to think that THIS is the future of DAM. Which should raise the question: Is it a DAM? Does it have all of the things that DAM Foundation thinks is important? Or was that the “past”? Or is the future “redefining DAM”?
  • It pits “IT needs” vs. “business person needs”? Because, oh boy, sooner or later, some smart guy in your organization is going to start asking “why doesn’t it do this?” and “why are we paying money for crap that doesn’t even blah blah blah”? And you need to say, “earlier systems had UIs focused on IT needs, limiting its users. This focuses on business person needs.” Because you have the money, you make the decisions. Don’t let Johnny IT boss you around. You never understood this version control junk.

*sips some cold, black coffee* Yeah. Sad thing is, this thing actually has some nice workflow management examples. But too bad, that according to DAM Foundation, a WMS does not a DAM make. So, what do you, Mister or Ms. Library Person, do to protect yourself from business people drunk on adverticles when you want to build a business process system?

Know what you want. Know your requirements. Know what your requirements mean. I’ve known a FEW libraries who are like, “Oh, we have embedded librarians,” and you look, and they seem to have shoehorned SOMETHING into that term, but not what most people recognize. We’re all guilty of shifting definitions to meet our goals, especially when ACRL Survey time comes. So own your definitions. Don’t let people make you feel dumb or nerdy or unfashionable for having them. If they were that great, they wouldn’t be asking YOU for money and work.  Elsevier needs to get off their high horse, I’m tellin’ ya *mike cuts off*

This has been Curmudgeon-ish Corner Time.  Tune in next time, after someone gives this guy a library job when he writes this kind of stuff.  Yeah, keep waiting.

Curmudgeon-ish Corner Time: Article vs. AD-verticle

One thought on “Curmudgeon-ish Corner Time: Article vs. AD-verticle

  1. Tee hee! 🙂

    I’ve been doing some research into the business marketplace of DAM, and a conclusion reached by one industry analyst (forgot who, but this has stuck with me) was that the DAM industry has no Goliath, rather, just a bunch of Davids … thus, there’s even more more room for the gamification of sales language than in the typical software sub-industry.

    And if this “$ification” trend ever hits the library software marketplace, the two of us will need to put out a curmudgeon shingle and open up a pot-shot shop! 😉


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