Closing Phase 1

As we are coming to an end of our initial six-month trial phase, we wanted to share with you some thoughts about this process and the challenges we have faced in the past two months.

Digitizing all our members’ videos was just the tip of the iceberg for us in terms of project management. If you think digitizing is time consuming (because it has to be done in real-time) wait until you have to transfer data to different storage units and calculate and verify checksums! Using batch processing has been a life saver, but that doesn’t mean it takes less time to do it. We also realized that, in spite of all our efforts to keep metadata updated, we had some issues keeping track of all our processes. Since we went through a major change in our group of core members, with two of them helping us from other cities, we had to figure out a way to not only keep communication but to transfer the responsibility of hands-on activities to new members here in New York. In addition to that, google docs proved to be an insufficient tool for our purposes. It took some time to reorganize our time and responsibilities but now, finally, all files are already at the Internet Archive!!! We are also returning the tapes to our members, together with copies of the digital files.

Now, we are getting ready to start our second six-month trial phase, and we expect to keep digitizing tapes for new members as well as working on new interesting projects, of which you’ll hear more in the future. We also hope to do a better job in documenting our workflows to save time and facilitate the integration of new volunteers. We are also considering using a project management tool to replace google docs or use in conjuction (we are researching Asana, Trello and Slack).

More on our next steps soon!!