Who's worried about the writers' guild strike? There's more out there than you can shake a stick at...darned stuff is everywhere ! Music...there! Video...there! Movies...there!!! School/market research...there! We know you grab it all. Big problem? Finding the D*** stuff after you've got it -- even your own stuff !!! We need software that keeps track of it all. Then we'll quit making copies...duplicates...copies of copies...

Content Insider #94 – Creating, Storing Information, Memories Is Easy…Finding It? Dam!

THE Insider

Content Insider #94 – Treasure Hunting
Creating, Storing Information, Memories Is Easy…Finding It? Dam!

Author: THE Insider

“I've brought you to the Library of Congress. Why? Because it's the biggest library in the world. Over 20 million books. And they're all saying the same exact thing: Listen to Riley.” -- Riley Poole (Justin Bartha), National Treasure (2004)

Who's worried about the writers' guild strike? There's more out there than you can shake a stick at...darned stuff is everywhere ! Music...there! Video...there! Movies...there!!! School/market research...there! We know you grab it all.

Big problem? Finding the D*** stuff after you've got it -- even your own stuff !!!

We need software that keeps track of it all. Then we'll quit making copies...duplicates...copies of copies...

Today’s technology is fantastic.

Camphones, computers, videoMP3 players, USB drives, cameras/camcorders, YouTube/MySpace, ITV/TheirTV, newspapers/websites/blogs…stuff!

Six billion plus people on this little orb and you’d swear to gawd everyone is creating content.

Back in ancient times, content trickled out because it was “managed” by kings, priests, bosses. Common folks did the heavy lifting and read/watched what they said was good for us.

Figure 1 - Yesterday, Today – In years long past there wasn’t a lot of content available for us to view, learn, listen to. But with low-cost cameras/camcorders, cheap computing power, economic video/photo/music production software and the Internet everyone is suddenly a content developer and distributor. No wonder production/distribution companies are a little uneasy. Source – 6Sight

Now…everyone’s getting even.

More Tools

We’ve all got the communications, creation tools:

  • WW installed base of devices – camphones, cameras, PCs – increasing two fold

  • 2 billion plus computers WW and the really cheap system programs plan to put the tool in every child’s’ hands

  • 2 billion camphones in use to grab all the embarrassing shots we can share

  • Over one million podcast stations beaming out news, information, music everyday

  • 100,000 plus video podcasts beaming content

  • Video websites being filled with more than 200,000 new short subject posts every day

  • 36 million plus digital cameras sold just in the U.S. with bigger, bigger pixel numbers

  • Cameras, camcorders grabbing more than 2 billion still images annually and 50,000 hours of video a month

  • Governments, businesses processing, passing terabytes of documents around every month

  • Internet commerce transactions increasing four fold

  • Nearly 25 trillion email messages sent WW this year (ok so 2/3 is spam but still…)

Information and content is flying out of devices so quickly we grab everything we can the minute we see it.

Storage Growth

It’s a great time to be in the storage industry since all that stuff has to be stored somewhere. Despite the fact that none of them – removable flash, consumer/computer tape, HD, optical – could satisfy the world’s hunger they all claim they have the ideal storage solution.

Figure 2 - It’s Available, It’s Mine – Content of every kind, shape and quality is available to us and more is being produced and distributed every hour, every day. The question is that since supply outstrips storage capacity…where is it residing ? Source -- IDC

Our son has his TB external drive half full and he’s “hinting” for a second drive.

Our daughter has shelves full of CDs/DVDs, needs a bigger Zune (yes she also has an iPod), has thousands of photos on her HD, thousands of songs there as well (all “legally” acquired), most of last season’s Lost segments and assorted school projects.

At the office it’s worse.

There are the normal client files, video/photo samples, ppts, research on every subject in the industry, crap we have to keep to keep the government off our back and presentations from conferences/conventions we’re going to study…sometime.

Fortunately we don’t seem to be alone.

Figure 3 - So Much To Do, So Little Time – Content is coming at us from every quarter. There’s so much the learn, enjoy and retain that we’ve become increasingly adept at multi-tasking – reading, writing, watching, viewing all at the same time. No wonder people feel harried today. Source – Burst Media

When we have to find something we simply have to have we can hear Abigail (Diane Kruger) stating the obvious, “You're treasure hunters, aren't you?”

If we don’t find it in a few minutes – which is most of the time – we do what any red blooded person would do…we grab another copy.

Figure 4 - Later, Much Later – Even though there are only 24 hours in a day people continue to gather up content – data, video, audio – and store it for later. When they are ready to use the content and can’t find it, they grab another copy and make a copy of the copy. As a result our storage requirements continue to rise and rise and… Source -- IDC

That’s probably why IDC recently reported that while content and information is growing so rapidly only 25% of it is “original.”

The rest?

A copy…a replicate…a duplicate…a backup…a mirror image…redundant!

It’s like the universe …it just keeps expanding on itself.

Figure 5 - Terrestrial Collision – Today content seems to have taken on a life all of its own. It seems to breed, divide, grow, expand in an almost unending pattern. Source – NASA

To save us from ourselves everyone seems to have their own solution.

Attend a document management conference and they have really dry presentations on how rich text (read expensive) meta data systems can be set up to help you track content for you.

Photo Tags

Attend a conference like the 6Sight conference and you hear how people have finally realized that since less than 13% of the digital photos will never be printed -- and the befuddling numbers on each little file don’t mean a thing – they’re working on image recognition/search technology that will find just the photo you’re looking for in the thousands of shots you took last year.

TV networks and movie studios have content search software that helps them quickly search for segments they can grab and recycle.

But something for a small business?

Something for the home?

Something for the individual system?

All you hear is Riley say, “Who wants to go down the creepy tunnel inside the tomb first?”

The beauty of today’s connected life is that all that stuff is out there and we grab it all, use/enjoy it all and put it somewhere.

Figure 6 - Connected World – In today’s world everyone is connected. Often it feels like we’re closer than being separated by six degrees. As a result we more readily share content of all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it is received and stored…somewhere. Can’t find it? Get another copy because finding it requires too much effort. Source -- Cisco

We just can’t remember where!

DAM Right

The guy – or gal – who develops a really versatile, really scaleable digital asset management (DAM) product will make a freakin gazillion dollars.

You know something like Abigail described, “What let you to assume there's this invisible map?”

Sure there are products like these as long as you’re a huge enterprise that only wants to track specific content. Or if you’re Gates or Jobs who have a huge RAID or optical library in the basement and want to grab content, play it and return it for use later on.

Folks in the document management area have said what’s the problem? They offer very good search engines to pick key phrases for us.

Photo folks say there’s no problem because all we have to do is tag the photos and put the information in a simple search database. Then BAM!! we’ll be able to instantly go to the photo or a group of photos that meet the criteria.

Crap if we were that bright when we started writing all of this stuff, taking all those photos, shooting all that video, downloading all of that vital information we probably could have written the search protocols ourselves!

We didn’t plan ahead like Riley, “We have a clean room environment all set up: EDS suits, a particulate air filtration system, the whole shebang.”

Come Get Us

At this point we’d almost invite the RIAA and MPAA to raid us so they could search for “their” content in our terabytes of files just to tell us exactly what we have in our storage solutions…and where it is at!

Since they are too busy serving warrants on the deceased, little old ladies, 10-year-olds who can bust their elaborate security codes in under two minutes; we need someone in the industry to do the unglamorous work of developing a really neat, realistically priced DAM solution.

You know, something that automatically recognizes music, photos, videos, DVDs, TV programs, documents, presentations and produces its own meta data.

Think about it…something that would track the content’s “name,” features, other criteria, tell you where it was located and disclose how you could access it remotely or locally at home or in the office.

That would be worth more than the delight of spending mega bucks for a new media center server or having three techs come out to rework our PnP home entertainment/business network.

Would it reduce the amount of data/content we’d accumulate over our lifetime?

Figure 7 - Content Obesity – With content being developed and distributed on top of content our total storage “weight” grows. Over our lifetime it is now projected to rise to 1PB and very little of that is professional content but personal information and content that carries important moments/memories. Source – Coughlin Assoc

Probably not.

But at least when Riley asked “Do you actually know who the first person to come up with the idea of daylight savings time was?”

We’d have the answer in a couple of keystrokes.

Unfortunately when the system asks us that kind of question we can almost hear it add… “You've been looking for that treasure for too long, and now you've dragged your friends in it, too!”

A good DAM probably won’t happen.

Old Tales

Probably like the urban legend of the petroleum industry hiding the engine that could run on air or water…it would kill their sales.

In this instance Larry (Ellison) and Steve (Ballmer) are being paid billions each year by the storage folks…the cheap product(s) would cut storage sales by 2/3rds or more.

But…when someone sneaks that product onto the market we’re going to snap one up so we can log off.

Of course then Ian will probably ask “You all right, Ben? No broken bones? A jump like that could kill a man.”

Then we’d simply say, “Hold on one second, let me just take in this moment. This is cool. Is this how you feel all the time?”

Great Feeling – Getting down inside your storage device, searching around and actually finding what you have been seeking is a fantastic feeling. When someone helps you out you want to take a breath and celebrate. Source – Walt Disney Pictures


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