This is a guest post by Lisa Gregory, Digital Projects Liaison, Digital Information Management Program, State Library of North Carolina.
About two weeks ago, I tried a little thought experiment. Throughout the course of an afternoon, for each person I spoke with or saw, I imagined myself talking to them about digital preservation. From grocery store to coffee shop, from close colleague to elevator acquaintance, I mentally engaged them in a tête-à-tête and tried to guess at their responses. Why? Because I think it’s important to remind myself that, for most of the population, digital preservation just isn’t on the radar.
My colleagues and I at the State Library of North Carolina think a lot about those folks even when we’re not mentally ambushing them in grocery stores. We know that our message is relevant to those who don’t have The Signal in their RSS reader account, or who wouldn’t know RSS if it hit them on the head. This week, we released a four-part video tutorial that isn’t for you, colleagues and friends – it’s for them. It’s about one of those first steps that can help someone start doing digital preservation before they even know what it is: file naming.
Our four-part tutorial explains (1) why file naming is important, (2) how to change a file name, (3) what not to do when naming files and (4) best practices for file naming. We tried to make these tutorials no-frills, brief and informative. We tried to present the information in a way that would make sense to folks who might only use one or two programs on their computer and who might not ever care about authenticity or obsolescence. We hope we succeeded.
Please let us know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org or @ncpedia. If you think they’re useful, pass the videos on to those at the fringes of your lives, outside of your digital preservation posse. I’m hopeful that more of those mental conversations can become real ones.