PRISM 2.0: Production Group Setting Multiplatform Mag Standards
When a group of members of the International Digital Enterprise Alliance-the IDEAlliance-first released PRISM ("Publishing Requirements for Industry Standard Metadata") in 2001, it was generally celebrated as the first real document of common metadata standards for a magazine industry traversing the unchartered waters of the Web.
It also was inherently limited. When PRISM was updated in 2002 and again in 2004 (PRISM 1.2), it was designed for magazines with content aggregators like Lexis-Nexis or Factiva in mind. But, with the onslaught of multiplatform content-"magabrands," the term unfortunately-coined by Men’s Health editor David Zinczenko for this year’s American Magazine Conference-another update to the PRISM specs was sorely needed.
PRISM 2.0, set to be unveiled in December at an IDEAlliance show in Boston, specifically addresses the multiplatform universe for publishers in 2007. It also addresses a need to support the implementation of XMP-essentially XML for photos. There’s also greater "granularity" for the metadata vocabulary, covering distribution feeds as well as genres such as cover packages, blog entries, homepage and reprints.
"You might have a print article that has a different headline on the Web," says Lee Vetten, publishing technologies specialist at McGraw-Hill and co-chairman of the PRISM working group. "You might also have a different headline for Blackberries, cellphones, PDAs. Our goal was to specify what the requirements are for each platform."
The working group, which includes representatives from major publishers like Time Inc., Condé Nast and Hearst, began shaping the new specs in January, enhancing the current document that includes such 2004 terms as tagging and newsletters. The group is even working on a "cookbook" that will include the soup-to-nuts documentation on just how to implement the new specs.
The hard part, of course, is getting your production, editorial and art departments to buy in, Vetten says. "Getting production departments to follow the rules can be difficult," says Vetten. "We are very, very strict on style sheets. [We’re] constantly policing the style sheets to make sure everyone is abiding by these rules."
Vetten adds that the rules don’t limit creativity, but do set up a framework in which to be creative. "We’re pretty inventive" when it comes to metadata, says Vetten. The production team, for example, adds certain fields in the "clipboard" areas design documents that are extracted automatically.
PRISM 2.1 is already on the horizon, according to Vetten. That update will address the content that is moving beyond the Web-rights management for tricky areas like social networking. The working group has formed a subcommittee to vet the enhanced rights and vocabulary, but Vetten says it’s still in the early stage. "We’re being intentionally vague," he says.