( read 4 min)

How We Got Our Users to Add More Metadata

By Olav Andreas Frenning on July 24, 2019

One of the biggest benefits of media management using FotoWare Digital Asset Management solution is that it helps your team save time by automating tasks and keeping people informed when assets go through the different stages of a production workflow. In this article, you'll learn how to get users to tag the right metadata by sending them automated notifications from FotoWare. You can use metadata tags to tell which workflow stage an asset is at, and when it moves on to the next step in the process a certain tag or collection of tags is updated so that another group of users is notified to to apply their bit of magic, and so on.

As manager of our own FotoWare, I find one of the hardest parts of getting users “onboard” is having them actually upload their files so others can benefit from their work. One of the keys in that respect is metadata. However, for all the outstanding qualities that metadata can have, defining very strict metadata requirements when having users upload files can be something of a two-edged sword: on the one hand you want to make it as easy as possible for users to upload files to the system. On the other hand, you need at least some basic metadata on those assets for reasons of context. Since these two sides of the coin are intrinsically at odds with each other, how does one find the best compromise?

On our own FotoWare site, we decided to allow users to upload content by only providing a minimum of metadata:

  • A title
  • A description
  • At least one tag



So how can we notify users that they need to fill in some additional metadata on the assets they’ve uploaded? We use a FotoWare action that combines a metadata update with a webhook. Here’s how that works:

Let’s say a user, Olav, has uploaded a file which may require a little more metadata. Then a FotoWare site manager can have a single action at his/her disposal that does the following:

  1. It tags the selected asset with “For Review” in a preset metadata field.


  2. It fires a webhook to Zapier, which parses the webhook data and sends Olav a notification in Slack saying he needs to add additional information to the asset he uploaded. The notification that is sent to Slack contains a small explanatory text and a preview of the asset so Olav knows which file to update.

    img-capture-action notify

Olav goes to the My Uploads archive on the FotoWare site and finds the asset tagged 'For Review'. Once he has added the additional metadata, a new notification will be shared saying he’s done updating the asset.

Job done!


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