Managing Intangibles

This month, I thought we’d look at something that’s probably come up more than once as you’ve put a project through the phases of the personal learning environment – managing digital artifacts, or “intangibles” as I call them. Digital artifacts are pretty much a routine part of our lives these days. So much is done on our computers and peripheral gadgets. What makes these artifacts particularly nice is that they don’t take up a whole lot of physical space, but that does’t mean they don’t need to be cared for.

For the purposes of our discussion, digital artifacts are gathered information, personal thoughts and reflections, and digital creations. Basically, anything that can be stored and accessed through a computing device.

At its core, digital content management focuses on two methods: information architecture and digital asset management. Information architecture is building storage that allows for quick retrieval as well as discovery and pattern recognition (necessary to produce more innovative work). Digital asset management is building a uniform content storage system that enables smoother work flows in projects and across teams.

Over the next month, we’re going to look at a handful of aspects of digital content management with an eye toward making it work for us. Well thought out, well constructed storage systems provide a number of benefits. They can reduce the time spent finding curated information, giving you more time to produce. The can help you see related ideas within the content that can trigger new thoughts, ideas, and designs. In a collaboration situation, they can also reduce friction by creating a unified work space, paving the way for stronger projects to be created.

Ready? Then let’s get started.

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