A content modeling illustration by Eva-Lotta Lamm
Illustration by Eva-Lotta Lamm

Thank you for attending tonight’s workshop at Content Strategy Philly. This page includes instructions, discussion questions, and links for all the activities we’ll do this evening.

You can also download the presentation slides (PDF).

1. Analyzing content

  • Go to marthastewart.com. Spend 5 minutes looking around the site with your group, noting the types of content you find.
  • As you do, remember to think beyond just topics or media formats (e.g. “text” or “video”).
  • Consider: What is each kind of content doing there? What purpose does it serve the user? What purpose is it serving the business?

As you discuss, start making a list of all the content types this site uses.

2. Defining content types

Choose one of the content types above to explore more deeply. What are the defining characteristics of that content? In other words, what makes it what it is? Why?

After you’ve discussed, start turning the characteristics into a list of content components, such as “headline” or “instructions,” and any requirements you might need for that component (e.g. length, format, required/optional, etc.). You don’t need to get this detailed, but here’s an idea of what a fully fleshed-out set of content requirements might look like:

An example of a chart of content elements found within a feature article content type.

3. Building a system

Now it’s time to start thinking of the interconnectedness of your content. Take a look through the following pages:

As you do, think about:

  • What types of content are represented here? For example, “recipes” is one.
  • How are those types of content related to one another, conceptually?
  • Which of those conceptual relationships are made explicit on the site? Which ones are missing?
  • How could that content be better connected, and what value would those connections have?
  • What would need to happen to make that possible? For example, are there new content components needed? Metadata?

Sketch a diagram of your team’s proposed content model, showing the connections between content types.

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