Student Ian Matzen Blogs and Tweets from the Digital Assets Management European Conference

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When San José State University School of Information Lecturer John Horodyski invited students in his INFO 282 Digital Assets Management (DAM) class to volunteer their social media skills in return for a reduced registration fee to the June 2012 Henry Stewart DAM Conference in London, student Ian Matzen jumped at the chance.

“I had asked Professor Horodyski what conferences he’d recommend we attend, and he mentioned the Henry Stewart DAM Conference,” said Matzen, who currently lives in Oxford just outside of London. “Soon after, Professor Horodyski put out an email to the class to see if anyone was interested in attending at a reduced fee in exchange for doing social media.”

By then, Matzen had already contacted the London conference organizers and arranged to volunteer his videotaping skills, but he jumped on Horodyski’s offer as well. “I blogged and tweeted about the conference during the sessions. Between sessions, I interviewed some of the participants and recorded what they said so it could be used later for posting on the organizers’ website,” Matzen said. “I met some of the leading movers and shakers in the DAM world and made contacts. It was great networking!”

Networking has been a priority for Matzen, who began the MLIS program in fall 2011. Coming from a career in post-production editing, where he managed video editing for broadcast stations, commercial agencies, and various corporations, making contacts in the Library and Information Science field has been critical to blending past and future careers.

“I’ve always been interested in film, but realized that I wanted to make a transition to digital asset management,” he said. “I want to help set up systems to manage digital assets for organizations with large visual media collections.”

Matzen chooses electives from the MLIS program’s career pathway in Digital Services, and supplements his courses with volunteer work. Soon after arriving at Oxford, he took a volunteer position with the Bodleian Library, where he catalogs printed cinema ephemera (magic lantern slides, playbills, pamphlets, and advertisements) for the John Johnson Collection. “I’m keen to work here because it’s very visual and I get to see how an archive works,” said Matzen.

Matzen also recently started working as a research assistant with the University of Oxford, encoding nineteenth-century London theatre advertisements from The Times, a British national newspaper.

Ultimately, Matzen hopes to work in project management. “Rather than building a system myself, I want to manage the project for clients,” he said. “One of the things my graduate program at the iSchool has done is broaden my understanding of where I can work with a MLIS degree. There are a lot of places that need people with MLIS skills.”

When Matzen volunteered for the Eastern Art Collection at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford,  he established and managed the online department’s book digitization project. “The social aspects of working at the museum were eye-opening to me,” he said. “I applied the people skills I developed while producing videos. The experience taught me that knowing how to negotiate with colleagues who may want to do things differently remains a big part of getting things done.”